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Business Tax Overview

The Sarasota County Business Tax is required if you are engaging in a business, profession or occupation located within Sarasota County. It is in addition to any other taxes or fees paid to operate a business.

The tax year is from October 1st through September 30th. Annual tax bills are sent in August. Formerly known as an occupational license, this is a tax.

When paid, a Business Tax Receipt is issued. The Business Tax Receipt does not guarantee the quality of the work or regulate the business. The receipt also does not permit a person/business to violate any existing regulatory or zoning laws of the state, county or cities, nor does it exempt the business from licenses or permits that may be required by law.

Funds that Sarasota County Government receives from the business tax are used for economic development. The county’s economic development strategy is coordinated by the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County (EDC), a non-profit, public-private partnership. More information is available in the EDC 2019 Update to Taxpayers.  The cities within the county also receive a small portion of the tax.

Operating without having paid the business tax is a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 minimum fine plus a daily fine of 25% of the total annual tax due. The total fine may not exceed five times the value of the tax or $500, whichever is greater. For businesses already registered to pay the tax, late payment must include a delinquency penalty of up to 25% per tax year.

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