The Sarasota County Business Tax is to be paid when a business begins operation and is in addition to any other fees paid to operate a business. The tax does not transfer so if you purchase a business you must register and pay the tax when you begin operation.
How to Register your Business
Businesses paying the tax for the first time need to complete a Registration for Sarasota County Business Tax form and contact our office to confirm the amount due. Our staff will assist in determining the correct category for your business, but you can get an idea of the fees from the fee schedule. First time registration and payment must be made by mail or in person. After the first year, the annual tax may be paid online, by mail or in person.
Exemptions May Apply
Under Florida law, some businesses and individuals may be exempt from paying the business tax following completion of an Exemption Affidavit.
Other Requirements to know when Registering your Business
- Fictitious Name - Florida law requires a Fictitious Name Registration Number unless the business name includes the legal name(s) of the owner(s), the business is registered with the Florida Secretary of State, or is licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or the Department of Health.
- Multiple Locations - A business tax must be paid for each location of a business.
- Zoning - Prior to paying the business tax, contact the zoning department in the county or city (Longboat Key, North Port, Sarasota or Venice) where the business is located to be sure the business is allowed in that location.
- State Licenses - If the business or profession is licensed by the state, proof of that license must be provided when registering. State licensing requirements can be obtained by calling the Consumer Services Department at 800.435.7352 or our office at 941.861.8300, option 3. If the business is owned by a professional licensed by the state, a business tax may be required for the business as well as the professional. Contact our office at 941.861.8300, option 3 or email for more information.
- Contractors Registered with the County - If a contractor is registered with the county, proof of that registration must be provided when registering to pay the business tax. Contact County Planning & Development Services for more information.
Additional State/Local Requirements
Businesses Located in a Municipality - Businesses located within city limits must also pay the business tax in the local municipality. Longboat Key, North Port, Sarasota, Venice
Tangible Personal Property Tax - Businesses are required to file a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return with the Property Appraiser.
Food Products - Businesses that sell food products must be inspected by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or the FDBPR Division of Hotels and Restaurants prior to paying the business tax.
Recycling - Businesses located in the unincorporated county are responsible for ensuring that the business complies with the Sarasota County Mandatory Recycling Ordinance.
Sales Tax - Businesses need to comply with any applicable sales tax requirements. To obtain a Florida Sales Tax Number, contact the Florida Department of Revenue.
Fertilizer - If your business involves the application of fertilizer, depending on your location, you may need to provide proof of completing an approved Best Management Practices training class.
Pain Management Clinics - There are additional requirements for Pain Management Clinics. Please call 941.861.8300, option 3 for more information.