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.

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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.


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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.


  • 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.

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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 www.floridarevenue.com.

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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.

  • 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

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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.

  • 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.

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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.

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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.

  • Citrus fruit dealer means any consignor, commission merchant, consignment shipper, cash buyer, broker, association, cooperative association, express or gift fruit shipper, or person who in any manner makes or attempts to make money or other thing of value on citrus fruit in any manner whatsoever, other than of growing or producing citrus fruit. The term does not include retail establishments whose sales are direct to consumers and not for resale or persons or firms trading solely in citrus futures contracts on a regulated commodity exchange.

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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.

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  • Any place, premises or establishment where milk or milk products are collected, handled, processed, stored, pasteurized, aseptically processed, bottled or prepared for distribution. Any place, premises or establishement were single service containers are produced for use with dairy products. Any place, premises or establishement where bulk milk tankers are washed and sanitized for use with dairy products. Any place, premises or establishment where milk or milk products are transferred directly from on milk tanker to another or where raw milk is received, collected, handled, stored, or cooled and is prepared for further transporting.

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  • Citrus Fruit Dealers are required to be licensed and bonded by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Applications for the citrus fruit dealers bond can be obtained from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Applications for the citrus fruit dealers license can be obtained from the Department of Citrus.

    More info

  • Citrus Fruit Dealers are required to be licensed and bonded by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Applications for the citrus fruit dealers bond can be obtained from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Applications for the citrus fruit dealers license can be obtained from the Department of Citrus.

    More info

  • Florida law requires registration of citrus fruit dealer agents, organic growers, scale operators, packing houses, canning plants and concentrate plants.

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  • A distributor of commercial feed must obtain a master registration and place on file a copy of the label for each brand of feed to be distributed in Florida.

    More info

  • Food manufacturers that process, produce, store, distribute or sell foods at wholesale are required to be permitted by the FDACS.  Cold and dry storage warehouses and distribution facilities also require a food establishment permit. Applications and requirements can be found and submitted from the Division of Food Safety website.

    More info

  • Any person who manufactures, processes, converts, partially freezes any mix or frozen dessert for wholesale distribution or sale.

    More info

  • Any person who offers for sale or sells to another person any milk or milk products with onsite cold storage of milk products.

    More info

  • Any place, premises or establishment where milk or milk products are collected, handled, processed, stored, pasteurized, aseptically processed, bottled or prepared for distribution. Any place, premises or establishement were single service containers are produced for use with dairy products. Any place, premises or establishement where bulk milk tankers are washed and sanitized for use with dairy products. Any place, premises or establishement where milk or milk products are transferred directly from on milk tanker to another or where raw milk is received, collected, handled, stored, or cooled and is prepared for further transporting.

    More info

  • Any person who offers for sale or sells to another person any milk or milk products with onsite cold storage of milk products

    More info

  • Any place, premises or establishment where milk or milk products are collected, handled, processed, stored, pasteurized, aseptically processed, bottled or prepared for distribution. Any place, premises or establishement were single service containers are produced for use with dairy products. Any place, premises or establishment where bulk milk tankers are washed and sanitized for use with dairy products. Any place, premises or establishment where milk or milk products are transferred directly from on milk tanker to another or where raw milk is received, collected, handled, stored, or cooled and is prepared for further transporting.

    More info

  • Facilities processing shellfish including oystera, clams and scallops.

    More info

  • Any place, premises or establishment where milk or milk products are collected, handled, processed, stored, pasteurized, aseptically processed, bottled or prepared for distribution. Any place, premises or establishement were single service containers are produced for use with dairy products. Any place, premises or establishement where bulk milk tankers are washed and sanitized for use with dairy products. Any place, premises or establishment where milk or milk products are transferred directly from on milk tanker to another or where raw milk is received, collected, handled, stored, or cooled and is prepared for further transporting.

    More info

  • Permit for hauling any dead, dying or diseased animal; any product of an animal that has died other than by slaughter; or any inedible animal product not meant for human consumption.

    More info

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.