Overview

This category includes businesses providing transportation of cargo and related support activities, as well as motor vehicle towing.

Business types included in this category:
  • Freight Transportation Arrangement

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in arranging transportation of freight between shippers and carriers. These establishments are usually known as freight forwarders, marine shipping agents, or customs brokers and offer a combination of services spanning transportation modes.

  • General Freight Trucking

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing general freight trucking. General freight establishments handle a wide variety of commodities, generally palletized, and transported in a container or van trailer. The establishments of this industry group provide a combination of the following network activities: local pickup, local sorting and terminal operations, line-haul, destination sorting and terminal operations, and local delivery.

  • Other Support Activities for Transportation

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing support activities to transportation (except for air transportation; rail transportation; water transportation; road transportation; and freight transportation arrangement).

  • Specialized Freight Trucking

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing local or long-distance specialized freight trucking. The establishments of this industry are primarily engaged in the transportation of freight which, because of size, weight, shape, or other inherent characteristics, requires specialized equipment, such as flatbeds, tankers, or refrigerated trailers. This industry includes the transportation of used household, institutional, and commercial furniture and equipment.

  • Support Activities for Road Transportation

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in towing light or heavy motor vehicles (both local and long distance); those that provide incidental services, such as storage and emergency road repair services; and those primarily engaged in providing services to road network users.

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 may need to apply for a business license from one of these Florida agencies:

  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – intrastate movers, citrus haulers, milk haulers, LP gas dealers
  • Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles – commercial driver licenses, placarded hazmat licenses, tank vehicle licenses, double/triple trailers

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/.

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.


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 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.

 

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://servicesforemployers.floridarevenue.com/Pages/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)
  • Solid Waste Tax, Fees and Surcharge Registration

Visit: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/Pages/default.aspx

Fuel and Pollutants Taxes

Businesses in this category may be required to register for one or more of the following licenses, and remit the associated tax.

  • Fuel Tax License
  • Pollutants Tax License

Visit: http://floridarevenue.com/Forms_library/current/gt400401.pdf

Apply for a license from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol.

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.flhsmv.gov/resources/open-government/.

Steps to Opening


Although not a business license, operators of commercial motor vehicles as defined in Florida law are required to obtain a commercial driver license.

  • Commercial Driver License (CDL)
  • Hazmat Endorsment

Visit: https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/commercial-motor-vehicle-drivers/

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/.

Steps to Opening


  • Intrastate Mover Registration
  • Citrus Hauler Agreement
  • Milk Hauler License
  • Category I LP Gas Dealer License Application License
  • Weights and Measures Permit

Visit: https://www.fdacs.gov/Business-Services/

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.

Steps to Opening


  • Air, Waste and Water Permits

Visit: https://www.fldepportal.com/DepPortal/go/home

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.

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


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.

Steps to Opening


U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was created as an independent agency by Congress in 1974 to ensure the safe use of radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and the environment. The NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements.

Through the licensing process, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) authorizes an applicant to conduct any or all of the following activities: Construct, operate, and decommission commercial reactors and fuel cycle facilities; Possess, use, process, export and import nuclear materials and waste, and handle certain aspects of their transportation; and Site, design, construct, operate, and close waste disposal sites.

  • Radioactive Waste includes low-level waste disposal, waste incidental to reprocessing, high-level waste disposal, and spent fuel storage
  • Materials include medical, industrial, and academic uses of nuclear materials; source material facilities; uranium recovery; fuel cycle facilities; nuclear materials transportation; and materials environmental reviews
  • Export-Import licenses. NRC general export licenses authorize exports of nuclear material below specified quantities, in certain forms and/or as contained in consumer products, to any country not listed in 10 CFR 110.28 as an embargoed destination. For more information, visit https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/ip/export-import.html

Visit: https://www.nrc.gov/

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

As the lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), FMCSA’s mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The FMCSA monitors and ensures compliance with motor carrier safety (all carriers) and commercial (for-hire, non-exempt carriers) regulations. Companies may find they are subject to registration requirements for both safety (safety registration) and commercial regulation (operating authority registration). Companies subject to the safety requirements are also required to obtain a USDOT Number.

The FMCSA registration process requires that companies define the type of Motor Carrier, Broker, Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP), Cargo Tank Facility, Shipper and/or Freight Forwarder business operation they plan to establish. The Agency administers the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) that govern interstate – and some intrastate – commercial trucking and bus industries.

Visit: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/getting-started

U.S. Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the nation’s tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress. Anyone who has registered or is required to register a heavy highway motor vehicle with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more in their name at the time of first use on the public highways must file Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return.

  • Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax

Visit: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/trucking-tax-center

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.