Overview

This industry comprises businesses primarily engaged in (1) the commercial catching or taking of finfish, shellfish, or miscellaneous marine products from a natural habitat (e.g., the catching of bluefish, eels, salmon, tuna, clams, crabs, lobsters, mussels, oysters, shrimp, frogs, sea urchins, and turtles), (2) commercial hunting and trapping; (3) operating commercial game preserves (such as game retreats;) and (4) operating hunting preserves. This category also includes taxidermy establishments.

Business types included in this category:
  • Fishing

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the commercial catching or taking of finfish, shellfish, or miscellaneous marine products from a natural habitat, such as the catching of bluefish, eels, salmon, tuna, clams, crabs, lobsters, mussels, oysters, shrimp, frogs, sea urchins, and turtles.

  • Hunting and Trapping

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in one or more of the following: (1) commercial hunting and trapping; (2) operating commercial game preserves, such as game retreats; and (3) operating hunting preserves.

General Considerations

Before starting a business, you probably will need to register with the Florida Department of State, the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue. For businesses located outside of the State of Florida, evidence of registration with their Division of Corporations or Corporate Registry may be required. When you have completed those steps, you will probably need to get a license from one of these Florida agencies:

  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesters
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – retail and wholesale saltwater product dealers, salt water charters, saltwater fishing piers, freshwater fish and frog dealers, freshwater wholesalers, saltwater products, commercial fishing, fur and hide dealers, alligator farms, alligator processing facilities and processors, game farms, hunting preserves, special taxidermy permits and licenses to possess wildlife for exhibition and sale

Businesses in this category should check with the Department of Environmental Protection for applicable air, water and waste permits.

Business owners in this category may also wish to explore assistance offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Get Started

The following represents your interactive licensing checklist for this business category. Select the expandable blue bars below for more information on the specific licenses, permits or registrations that may be required to open your business. We have also included a printable version of the following checklist available at the top of this page for your convenience.

Register your business with the Department of State

Department of State

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations serves as the state’s central depository for a number of commercial activities. These activities include a variety of business entity filings, trade and service mark registrations, federal lien recordings, judgment lien filings, uniform commercial code financing statements, fictitious name registrations, notary commissions, and cable and video service franchises.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

The Department of State (DOS) is where you register your business. You can search and access filed information for corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, general partnerships, trademarks, fictitious name registrations and liens. Also, electronic filing and certification can be processed via the Department’s website.


Visit Website

Apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the nation’s tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

If you are required to report employment taxes or give tax statements to employees, you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to send with all items you report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Social Security Administration. If you do not intend to hire others, you may skip this step.


  • You may apply for an EIN online if your principal business is located in the United States or U.S. Territories. The person applying online must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN). You are limited to one EIN per responsible party per day.

Visit Website

Register your business with the Department of Revenue

Department of Revenue

The Florida Department of Revenue administers three programs: general tax administration, property tax oversight and child support. The general tax administration program works with Florida businesses that are required to register for, collect, report and remit the taxes and fees administered by the Department.

The Department also manages the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting Center. Federal and state laws require employers to report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date. This information is used to assist the Department’s child support program with child support orders. The employment information reported through the state’s New Hire Reporting Center is also used to detect and prevent public assistance and reemployment assistance fraud.

For additional information, please visit www.floridarevenue.com.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

A business owner or contractor may need to register for, collect, report and/or remit one or more of the taxes, fees and licenses administered by the Florida Department of Revenue. This is dependent on the structure of a business, the activities of a business, and whether the business hires employees. In addition, businesses must report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees through the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting program managed by the Florida Department of Revenue.


Reporting Employment Information

The Department manages the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting Center. Federal and state laws require employers to report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date. The Department’s Child Support program utilizes employment information and employer cooperation to assist with child support order compliance. The reported employment information through the state’s New Hire Reporting Center is also used to detect and prevent public assistance and reemployment fraud.

  • Register your business to report newly hired, re-hired or temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date.

    More info

  • The Department of Revenue’s Child Support Program works with employers in a variety of ways to ensure compliance with child support orders when applicable. Employers must work with the Child Support Program to respond to income withholding requests and to enroll children in medical insurance plans. Once registered with the New Hire Reporting Center, businesses will be able to access the Child Support Employer Services website to report employee termination and bonus or lump sum payments, request replacement copies of income withholding notices currently in place for employees, and use the Program’s online calculator to get pro-rated child support amounts for employees that have more than one child support case.

    More info

Visit Website

Business Taxes, Fees and Surcharge

Businesses in this category may be required to register for, collect, report and/or remit one or more of the following taxes and fees.

  • Most corporations and certain entities conducting business, or who are incorporated in Florida, including out-of-state corporations, must file a Florida corporate income tax return.

    Register online or by submitting a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1), or by filing the Florida Corporate Income/Franchise Tax Return (Form F-1120).

    More info

  • Reemployment Assistance gives partial, temporary income to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and are able and available for work. If your business will employ workers in Florida, you may register online or submit a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1).

    More info

  • Before conducting business, anyone selling, renting, leasing or repairing goods, providing certain services, charging admissions, or renting or leasing short-term lodging, housekeeping accommodations, or commercial real property must register with the Department of Revenue.

    Additionally, use tax is due on the use or consumption of taxable goods or services when sales tax was not paid at the time of purchase.

    Register online or by submitting a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1).

    More info

  • This surtax, imposed by most Florida counties, applies to most transactions subject to sales or use tax. Businesses must also collect the applicable discretionary sales surtax from the purchaser at the time of sale, then report and remit it to the Department of Revenue.

    No additional registration is required.

    More info

Visit Website

Apply for a license from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) supports and promotes Florida agriculture, protects the environment, safeguards consumers, and ensures the safety and wholesomeness of food.  FDACS licenses and inspects various businesses and professions in Florida, such as bakeries, milk producers, weights and measurements, pesticide dealers, oyster harvesting, pre-packaged food sales, beekeepers and travel agents, among others. A variety of different businesses may need to coordinate with FDACS to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.

Steps to Opening


Division of Aquaculture

The division issues Apalachicola Bay Oyster Harvesting Licenses for the commercial harvest of oysters in Apalachicola Bay.

Visit Website

Apply for a license or permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people.  With more than 575 species of wildlife, 200 native species of freshwater fish, and 500 native species of saltwater fish in their purview, the agency balances their focus with the needs of 19 million residents by providing law enforcement, research, management and outreach.

Steps to Opening


  • This license authorizes the holder to operate a facility for captive propagation of alligators, to possess alligators for captive propagation, to take alligator hatchlings and alligator eggs occurring in the wild, to rear such alligators, alligator hatchlings, and alligator eggs in captivity, to process alligators taken or possessed under authority of such alligator farming license or otherwise legally acquired, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat.

    More info

  • This license authorizes Alligator Farming, Alligator Trapping, and Alligator Processing license holders who possess a current food permit issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to process alligator meat for sale.

    More info

  • This license authorizes a person to buy and process lawfully acquired alligators from alligator trapping, farming, or other alligator processing license holders and to sell the alligator meat, hides and other parts.

    More info

  • Any person who takes freshwater fish or frogs by any lawful method prescribed by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for purpose of sale is required to possess a Commercial Fishing License (resident or nonresident).

    More info

  • This license permits a resident to import, export, or sell (non-game) freshwater fish or frogs, including live bait. It is unlawful for licensed freshwater fish dealers or buyers to purchase freshwater fish or frogs from an unlicensed person.

    Non-game Fish: all freshwater fish are defined as non-game fish, except grass carp and fish defined as freshwater game fish. Note: Alligator gar require a scientific collector’s permit to take.

    More info

  • This license authorizes the captive rearing of native or nonnative game birds and game mammals. Includes chucars, ducks, geese, pheasant, quail partridges, turkeys, deer, and other game species. This license does not authorize the taking of or keeping of any game removed from the wild.

    More info

  • This license authorizes the release of captive reared native and non-native game animals for hunting purposes.

    More info

  • This license authorizes any person, firm, corporation or association to possess specific wildlife for exhibition or public sale.

    More info

  • This license permits a nonresident, who does not sell freshwater fish or frogs in Florida, to buy (non-game) freshwater fish or frogs from resident freshwater fish dealers for resale outside the state.

    More info

  • This license permits a nonresident to buy (non-game) freshwater fish for resale from persons properly licensed to harvest freshwater fish and may sell freshwater fish within the state.

    Non-game Fish: all freshwater fish are defined as non-game fish, except grass carp and fish defined as freshwater game fish. Note: Alligator gar require a scientific collector’s permit to take.

    More info

  • This license authorizes the holder to engage in the business of a dealer or buyer in alligator skins or green or dried furs in the state and purchase such skins within the state.

    More info

  • This license authorizes the holder to engage in the business of a dealer or buyer in alligator skins or green or dried furs in the state and purchase such skins within the state.

    More info

  • A Retail Saltwater Products Dealer license is required to sell any saltwater products to the end consumer. A retail dealer may purchase only from a wholesale dealer. The RC is not required when products are prepared for consumption or take-out under a license issued by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

    More info

  • A Charter Captain or Boat License is required to carry paying customers (where a fee is paid directly or indirectly) for the purpose of taking, attempting to take, or possessing saltwater fish or organisms.

    More info

  • This license is issued to an owner, operator or custodian of a pier; covers everyone saltwater fishing from that pier.

    More info

  • A saltwater product is defined as any marine fish, shellfish, clam, invertebrate, sponge, jellyfish, coral, crustacean, lobster, crab, shrimp, snail, marine plant, echinoderm, sea star, brittle star or urchin, etc.; except non-living shells and salted, cured, canned or smoked seafood. You must have the Saltwater Products License (SPL) to commercially harvest and sell saltwater products, and you may sell only to a licensed Florida wholesale dealer. An SPL may be issued in the name of an individual or a valid commercial vessel registration number issued in the name of the license applicant. Any vessel used to harvest commercial quantities of saltwater products must have a commercial vessel registration.

    More info

  • A special taxidermy permit is required to salvage or mount any alligator, crocodile, weasel, round-tailed muskrat or any other species classified as “threatened” or “endangered.” An exception to this is that skulls and untanned skins of cougar lawfully taken outside this state may be possessed and transported.

    More info

  • A Saltwater Wholesale Dealer license is required to purchase saltwater products from persons holding a saltwater products license or another licensed wholesale dealer and to sell saltwater products to any licensed wholesale dealer, retail dealer or restaurant. Wholesale dealers must report purchases to the Commission when products are landed or sold for the first time.

    More info

Visit Website

Explore assistance from the Department of Economic Opportunity (optional)

Department of Economic Opportunity

In collaboration with our partners, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) assists the Governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision and by administering state and federal programs and initiatives to help visitors, citizens, businesses, and communities.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) utilizes public and private sector expertise to attract, retain and grow businesses and create jobs in Florida. It also provides valuable resources for businesses and entrepreneurs; assistance with recruiting workers; and statistical information regarding Florida businesses and employment. Your business may qualify for various state or federal assistance.


Visit Website

Federal & Local Government Requirements

This checklist provides state requirements only. Remember to check federal requirements and your local county and municipal agencies. The following organizations and websites can help:

  • Florida’s Small Business Development Center Network (FLSBDC) – State designated as Florida’s principal provider of small business assistance, the network provides no-cost, professional business consulting, in-person and on-demand training, and access to business research resources to help Florida businesses—no matter their stage of business—grow and succeed.
  • Florida Chamber of Commerce – The chamber is a Florida business organization whose goal is to further the interest of businesses in Florida.
  • County Websites – Florida’s county governments require various licenses, permits and filings above and beyond state requirements, depending on the type of business you wish to open. Find out about other public services and opportunities related to Florida counties and their governments by visiting the Florida Association of Counties website.
  • City Websites – Business owners should be aware of local government requirements, especially local business taxes (occupational licenses), building permits and inspections, planning and zoning, and community and economic development opportunities. The Florida League of Cities offers a comprehensive, alphabetical listing of municipality websites and additional information about local events and government requirements.

Disclaimer: The State of Florida operates OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov as a public service to Florida residents and visitors worldwide. While efforts were made to verify that the content of this website is accurate and comprehensive, it is recommended that you consult with a professional (e.g., attorney, CPA, SBDC, etc.) to ensure you meet all requirements before starting your business. OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov is not responsible for the content of external websites.