Overview

This industry comprises businesses primarily engaged in (1) manufacturing food and feed for animals from ingredients (e.g., grains, oilseed mill products, and meat products), (2) milling flour or meal from grains or vegetables; (3) preparing flour mixes or dough from flour milled in the same establishment; (4) milling, cleaning, and polishing rice; and (5) manufacturing malt from barley, rye, or other grains, (6) processing sugar and chocolate products and confections, (7) manufacturing dairy products from raw milk, processed milk, and dairy substitutes, (8) slaughtering animals, (9) preparing processed meats and meat byproducts; (10) rendering and/or refining animal fat, bones, and meat scraps, (11) canning seafood (including soup), (12) smoking, salting, and drying seafood, (13) eviscerating fresh fish by removing heads, fins, scales, bones, and entrails, (14) shucking and packing fresh shellfish; (15) processing marine fats and oils, (16) freezing seafood, (16) manufacturing fresh and frozen bread and other bakery products, including tortillas, and (17) manufacturing other foods, such as snack foods, unpopped popcorn, roasted nuts, nut butter, coffee, tea, syrup, seasoning, dressing, spices, extracts, etc.

Business types included in this category:
  • Animal Food

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing food and feed for animals from ingredients, such as grains, oilseed mill products, and meat products.

  • Animal Slaughtering

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in one or more of the following: (1) slaughtering animals; (2) preparing processed meats and meat byproducts; and (3) rendering and/or refining animal fat, bones, and meat scraps. This industry includes establishments primarily engaged in assembly cutting and packing of meats (i.e., boxed meats) from purchased carcasses.

  • Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing fresh and frozen bread and other bakery products.

  • Dairy Product

    This industry group comprises establishments that manufacture dairy products from raw milk, processed milk, and dairy substitutes.

  • Fruit and Vegetable

    This industry group includes (1) establishments that freeze food and (2) those that use preservation processes, such as pickling, canning, and dehydrating. Both types begin their production process with inputs of vegetable or animal origin.

  • Grain and Oilseed

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in one or more of the following: (1) milling flour or meal from grains or vegetables; (2) preparing flour mixes or doughs from flour milled in the same establishment; (3) milling, cleaning, and polishing rice; and (4) manufacturing malt from barley, rye, or other grains.

  • Other Food

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing food (except animal food; grain and oilseed milling; sugar and confectionery products; preserved fruit, vegetable, and specialty foods; dairy products; meat products; seafood products; and bakeries and tortillas). The industry group includes industries with different production processes, such as snack food manufacturing; coffee and tea manufacturing; concentrate, syrup, condiment, and spice manufacturing; and, in general, an entire range of other miscellaneous food product manufacturing.

  • Seafood Product

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in one or more of the following: (1) canning seafood (including soup); (2) smoking, salting, and drying seafood; (3) eviscerating fresh fish by removing heads, fins, scales, bones, and entrails; (4) shucking and packing fresh shellfish; (5) processing marine fats and oils; and (6) freezing seafood. Establishments known as “floating factory ships” that are engaged in the gathering and processing of seafood into canned seafood products are included in this industry.

  • Sugar and Confectionary Product

    This industry group comprises (1) establishments that process agricultural inputs, such as sugarcane, beet, and cacao, to give rise to a new product (sugar or chocolate), and (2) those that begin with sugar and chocolate and process these further.

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 these steps, you will probably need a business license from one of these Florida Agencies:

  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Manufacturing frozen deserts, transporting animal carcasses, milk product distributors, milk plants, milk producers, out of state milk processors and products, single service milk container manufacturers, cheese manufacturers, feed masters registration, shellfish processing, citrus bonds and dealers
  • Department of Citrus – citrus fruit dealers

Florida law prohibits individuals from producing and selling food from their homes without a license.  However, Florida’s Cottage Foods law allows this type of operation for certain food products under specific conditions.  For more information, please visit the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Cottage Foods site.

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.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://www.dos.myflorida.com/offices/general-counsel/public-records-requests/.

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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.


  • Manufacturing: Food and Dairy Products

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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.

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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.


  • Manufacturing: Food and Dairy Products

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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 floridarevenue.com.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit:https://floridarevenue.com/opengovt/Pages/default.aspx.

 

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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.

  • Manufacturing: Food and Dairy Products

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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.

  • Manufacturing: Food and Dairy Products

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Apply for a citrus fruit dealer's license from the Department of Citrus

Department of Citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus is responsible for regulating and overseeing all citrus-related business for the state. Citrus is defined, with the exception of grove management, as post-harvest oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and specialty fruit.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://www.floridacitrus.org/grower/about/open-government/.

 

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Agency Introduction

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) provides licensing for citrus fruit dealers as defined in 601.03(8), F.S. This does not include nurseries.


FDOC - Legal Department

The legal staff has authority to grant conditional dealer licenses; the Florida Citrus Commission, the department’s agency head, gives final approval of all dealer licenses.

  • Manufacturing: Food and Dairy Products

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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.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://fdacs.mycusthelp.com/WEBAPP/.

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  • Manufacturing: Food and Dairy Products

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Apply for a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection

Department of Environmental Protection

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the agency charged with safeguarding Florida’s environment. Manufacturers, agriculture-related professionals and environmentalists will need to coordinate with DEP to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://floridadep.gov/sec/sec/content/public-records.

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  • Manufacturing: Food and Dairy Products

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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.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://floridajobs.org/about-us/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/requests-for-public-records.

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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.


  • Manufacturing: Food and Dairy Products

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Additional Local Government Information

County Business Requirements

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Explore Federal Licensing Considerations

Federal Business Requirements

In addition to state and local licensing, many business activities are also regulated by federal agencies.  Businesses within this category may also be required to obtain additional federal licenses, permits, registration, etc. depending on your specific business activities.  It is recommended that you consult with a professional (e.g., attorney, CPA, SBA, etc.) to ensure you meet all requirements before starting your business.  The U.S. Small Business Administration is an excellent resource for potential and current business owners seeking assistance navigating federal licensing requirements.  For more information on the Federal Government, please visit www.usa.gov.

In most cases, you will need not need a license to import or export services or goods into or from the US.  However, international transfer of certain goods may require a license, permit or certification.  All items are subject to export control laws and regulations.  For more information, please visit USA.gov’s importing and exporting page.

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U.S. Food & Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors. The FDA is responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medical products more effective, safer, and more affordable and by helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medical products and foods to maintain and improve their health. The FDA also plays a significant role in the Nation’s counterterrorism capability. FDA fulfills this responsibility by ensuring the security of the food supply and by fostering development of medical products to respond to deliberate and naturally emerging public health threats.

The FDA regulates the various types of businesses, including:

Foods, including:

  • Dietary supplements
  • Bottled water
  • Food additives
  • Infant formulas
  • Other food products (although the U.S. Department of Agriculture plays a lead role in regulating aspects of some meat, poultry, and egg products)

Veterinary Products, including:

  • Live stock feeds
  • Pet foods
  • Veterinary Drugs and Devices

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the federal agency that oversees the American farming industry. USDA duties range from helping farmers with price support subsidies, to inspecting food to ensure the safety of the American public. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issues permits for the import, transit and release of regulated animals, animal products, veterinary biologics, plants, plant products, pests, organisms, soil, and genetically engineered organisms including, but not limited to, Commercial Animal Dealers, Exhibitors, Research Facilities, and Transporters.

The USDA licenses various types of businesses and professionals including:

  • Animals and Animal Products
  • Plants, Organisms, and Soil

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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.