Business Tax Receipt FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Who

Who must pay the Business Tax?

Any person or business entity operating a business located in Seminole County must obtain a Business Tax Receipt.  Anyone who provides merchandise or services to the public, even if only a one-person company or home-based business, must obtain the Business Tax Receipt in order to operate.  If the business location is within the city limits, a city-issued Business Tax Receipt is first required, as well. 

Who is exempt from the Business Tax?

Florida Statutes 205.162, 205.171 and 205.192 provide certain exemptions from the Business Tax Receipt cost, such as:

  • Charitable, religious, fraternal, youth, civic, service or other such organizations, when the organization makes occasional sales or engages in fundraising projects, are generally exempt. Certain restrictions apply.

  • Residents of Seminole County who are permanently disabled, physically incapable of manual labor, widows or widowers with minor dependents and persons sixty-five(65) years of age or older - With not more than one employee or helper, and who use only their own capital, not in excess of $1,000.

  • Permanent Florida resident, or their unremarried widow or widower, who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified periods, was honorably discharged and is disabled from performing manual labor shall be entitled to an exemption of up to $50 on any Business Tax Receipt. Certain other restrictions apply.

What

What else do I need to conduct business?

A “New Business Checklist” is provided on this website to assist you in compiling the necessary documentation to obtain the Business Tax Receipt. In addition, there may be local, state and federal regulations that pertain to the type of business you wish to conduct. An Information Guide is also on this website for your assistance.

What if I buy an existing business?

If you purchase an existing business, you will need to:

  • surrender the previous owner’s current Business Tax Receipt.
  • complete an application and pay the transfer fee.
  • Completed Bill of Sale

A corrected business Tax Receipt will be issued. [If your occupation is regulated by the Department of Professional Regulations, State of Florida, or any other regulatory boards, you must present a corrected copy of the certification or registration, showing the changes before the Business Tax Receipt may be transferred.]

What if I change locations?

If your previous and new business addresses are in unincorporated Seminole County locations, download the Application Form. Submit the form, your current Business Tax Receipt and the $3.00 transfer fee to the Tax Collector.

If the new location is within the city boundaries of a participating city, you will need to contact the appropriate city office. Please check with those cities by selecting the appropriate link below.


If your new business address is within the city boundaries of Sanford or Lake Mary, you should first contact the city prior to transferring your county Business Tax Receipt. Please check with those cities by selecting the appropriate link below.

What if I have multiple locations?

Businesses with multiple locations in Seminole County are required to have a Business Tax Receipt for each location. There are circumstances in which we will issue one Business Tax Receipt for multiple locations.

What if I don’t pay before October 1?

Florida Statutes provide that a late renewal must include a penalty of 10% for the month of October, plus an additional 5% penalty for each month of delinquency thereafter until paid, not to exceed 25% of the Business Tax. If you conduct business without a Business Tax Receipt, you will be subject to a penalty of 25% of the tax due plus additional penalties. In addition, operating without a Business Tax Receipt is a misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine if not in compliance within 150 days of notice of the amount due.

What if I go out of business?

Notify the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office in writing, and provide the Business Tax Receipt account to be purged or deactivated. If advertising or conducting a “Going Out of Business Sale”, a special permit must be obtained.

You may download the Going Out of Business Permit Application Form and a Checklist from our website. In addition, you must notify the Seminole County Property Appraiser’s office of your intention to avoid future year assessment of Tangible Taxes.

Where

Where can I renew my Business Tax Receipt?

There are several convenient ways to renew your Business Tax Receipt:

  • By Mail - Please return the renewal notice in the enclosed, pre-addressed envelope. Include your check or money order, in U.S. funds only, made payable to: Seminole County Tax Collector, for the amount due. If you send one payment for multiple accounts, please provide all of the renewal notices.
  • By Internet - We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, with an additional 2.15% third-party processing fee (minimum of $1.00.)**.
  • The eCheck option is now available online for renewal of certain Business Tax Receipts. A processing fee of 50¢ will be applied to all eCheck transactions This fee is added by our secure third party service provider to all transactions.
  • In Person - You may pay at any of our branch locations.

** The Seminole County Tax Collector does not retain any of the user processing fees.

Where should I display the Business Tax Receipt?

The Receipt must be displayed conspicuously at the place of business, visible to the public, and to a Field Compliance Officer.

When

When is a County Business Tax Receipt required?

The Business Tax Receipt is required before a business begins operation.

When does the County Business Tax Receipt expire?

Annually, on September 30.

When is a “Fictitious Name” filing required?

  • If you are using owner’s first name, last name, initials or anything else besides the FULL name, that is considered a Fictitious Name (e.g. - D/B/A John’s Enterprises). You will need to register with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations (1-850-245-6058 or www.sunbiz.org.) Corporations can be registered at this site as well.

  • If you choose to register a fictitious name, you will need to provide the Fictitious Name Registration or the Articles of Incorporation at the time of application.

  • If you use ONLY your FULL LEGAL name as the business name, you will not need to register your business name with the state.

When will I be required to have more than one county business receipt for my business?

Some businesses are required to obtain more than one receipt. Contact the Sanford Branch Office Tax Department with any questions.

How

How do I apply for the county Business Tax Receipt?

You may apply, in person, at any of our branch locations or you may download the application from our website and mail it to our Sanford office for processing.

You are responsible to determine compliance with zoning and licensing requirements.

How do I obtain a Sales Tax Number and/or a FEIN?

  • For a Sales Tax ID, contact the Florida Department of Revenue at 407-648-2905 or 800-352-3671.
  • For an FEID number, contact the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1040 or for forms call 800-829-3676.

How long does it take to get a Business Tax Receipt?

Business Tax Receipts are issued within a few minutes, upon presentation of the application and all pertinent documentation. Use our convenient checklist to avoid unnecessary delays.

How do I renew the Business Tax Receipt?

There are several convenient ways to renew your Business Tax Receipt:

  • By Mail - Please return the renewal notice in the enclosed, pre-addressed envelope. Include your check or money order, in U.S. funds only, made payable to: Seminole County Tax Collector, for the amount due. If you send one payment for multiple accounts, please provide all of the renewal notices.
  • By Internet - We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, with an additional 2.15% ($1.00 minimum) third-party processing fee. The Seminole County Tax Collector does not retain any of the user processing fee.
  • The eCheck option is now available online for renewal of certain Business Tax Receipts. A processing fee of 50¢** will be applied to all eCheck transactions. This fee is added by our secure third-party payment service provider to all transactions.
    • ** The Seminole County Tax Collector does not retain any of the user processing fees.
  • In Person - You may pay at any of our branch locations.

How do I register a ‘Fictitious Name”?

  • If you are using the owner’s first name, last name, initials or anything else besides the FULL name, that is considered a Fictitious Name (e.g. - D/B/A John’s Enterprises). You will need to register with the Office of the Florida Secretary of State (1-850-245-6058 or www.sunbiz.org.) Corporations can be registered at this site as well.

  • If you choose to register a fictitious name, you will need to provide the Fictitious Name Registration or the Articles of Incorporation at the time of application.

  • If you use ONLY your FULL LEGAL name as the business name, you will not need to register your business name with the state.

How do I obtain a “Going Out of Business” permit?

The application for the “Going Out of Business” permit and the checklist may be obtained from the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office or download the Going out of Business application now.

How do I know whether my business is ‘regulated’ or ‘not-regulated’?

“Regulated” businesses are defined as those requiring local, state, or federal licensing, regulation, certification or registration. Regulated businesses will be required to show proof of all required regulatory licenses prior to being issued a County Business Tax Receipt.

How much does a County Business Tax Receipt cost?

The fees for the Seminole County Business Tax Receipt are $45.00 for all regulated entities and $25.00 for all non-regulated entities.

How do I know if I need a city-issued license, as well?

If your place of business is located within the city limits of any of the seven cities of Seminole County, then you will need to obtain a city-issued Business Tax Receipt. It is required that you apply with the city first, in order to assure compliance with city zoning regulations. Five of the cities participate in an interlocal agreement with the Tax Collector to enable one-stop customer service to obtain both the city and county Business Tax receipts combined.