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.

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.


  • Business Registration

Visit: http://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/forms/

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.


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.

  • New Hire Reporting Registration
  • Working with the Child Support Program

Visit: https://newhire.floridarevenue.com/SitePages/home.aspx

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.

  • Corporate Income Tax Liability
  • Reemployment Tax Registration
  • Sales and Use Tax Registration
  • Discretionary Sales Surtax (local option county taxes)

Visit: http://floridarevenue.com/dor/taxes/registration.html

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.

Steps to Opening

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.

  • Licensed Citrus Fruit Dealer

Visit: http://www.floridacitrus.org/grower/resources/forms-2/

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


  • Cheese Manufacturer Permit
  • Citrus Fruit Dealer’s Bond
  • Citrus Fruit Dealer’s License
  • Citrus Fruit Registration
  • Feed Master Registration
  • Food Establishment Permit
  • Manufacturer of Frozen Desserts License
  • Milk Plant License
  • Milk Producer License
  • Milk Product Distributor License
  • Out of State Processor of Milk and Milk Products License
  • Shellfish Processing Certification
  • Single Service Milk Container Manufacturer License
  • Transport Animal Carcasses/Refuse Permit

Visit: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/

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.

Steps to Opening


  • Air, Waste and Water Permits

Visit: http://www.fldepportal.com/go/

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.


  • Assistance Programs

Visit: http://www.floridajobs.org/

Additional Local Government Information

County Business Requirements

Steps to Opening


Federal & Local Government Requirements

This checklist provides state and local requirements. Remember to check federal requirements for your business. 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 – Throughout the Florida Chamber’s 100 year history, its number one goal has been to encourage a business friendly climate that allows job creators to do what they do best – create private-sector jobs and contribute to Florida’s economy.
  • 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.