Overview

This category includes businesses providing health care and social assistance. The services provided by businesses in this category are delivered by trained professionals. All industries in the category share the labor inputs of health practitioners or social workers with the requisite expertise. This category includes hospitals and health care clinics, and the business establishments of health practitioners such as doctors, dentists, marriage and family therapists, opticians, optometrists, orthotists, electrologists, dieticians, nutritionists, prosthetists and psychologists.

Business types included in this category:
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

    This industry comprises establishments known and licensed as general medical and surgical hospitals primarily engaged in providing diagnostic and medical treatment (both surgical and nonsurgical) to inpatients with any of a wide variety of medical conditions. These establishments maintain inpatient beds and provide patients with food services that meet their nutritional requirements. These hospitals have an organized staff of physicians and other medical staff to provide patient care services. These establishments usually provide other services, such as outpatient services, anatomical pathology services, diagnostic X-ray services, clinical laboratory services, operating room services for a variety of procedures, and pharmacy services.

  • Individual and Family Services

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing nonresidential social assistance services for children and youth; provide for the welfare of children in such areas as adoption and foster care, drug prevention, life skills training, and positive social development; providing nonresidential social assistance services to improve the quality of life for the elderly, persons diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or persons with disabilities; provide for the welfare of individuals in such areas as day care, nonmedical home care or homemaker services, social activities, group support, and companionship; and providing nonresidential individual and family social assistance services.

  • Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories

    This industry comprises establishments known as medical and diagnostic laboratories primarily engaged in providing analytic or diagnostic services, including body fluid analysis and diagnostic imaging, generally to the medical profession or to the patient on referral from a health practitioner.

  • Offices of Dentists

    This industry comprises establishments of health practitioners having the degree of D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) primarily engaged in the independent practice of general or specialized dentistry or dental surgery. These practitioners operate private or group practices in their own offices (e.g., centers, clinics) or in the facilities of others, such as hospitals or HMO medical centers. They can provide either comprehensive preventive, cosmetic, or emergency care, or specialize in a single field of dentistry.

  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners

    This industry group comprises establishments of independent health practitioners (except physicians and dentists).

  • Offices of Physicians

    This industry comprises establishments of health practitioners having the degree of M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) primarily engaged in the independent practice of general or specialized medicine (e.g., anesthesiology, oncology, ophthalmology, psychiatry) or surgery. These practitioners operate private or group practices in their own offices (e.g., centers, clinics) or in the facilities of others, such as hospitals or HMO medical centers.

  • Outpatient Care Centers

    This industry comprises establishments with medical staff primarily engaged in providing a range of family planning services on an outpatient basis, such as contraceptive services, genetic and prenatal counseling, voluntary sterilization, and therapeutic and medically induced termination of pregnancy; providing outpatient services related to the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders and alcohol and other substance abuse; providing general or specialized outpatient care (except family planning centers and outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers); physicians and other medical staff primarily engaged in providing a range of outpatient medical services to the health maintenance organization (HMO) subscribers with a focus generally on primary health care; medical staff primarily engaged in providing outpatient kidney or renal dialysis services; medical staff primarily engaged in providing general or specialized outpatient care (except family planning centers, outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, HMO medical centers, kidney dialysis centers, and freestanding ambulatory surgical and emergency centers).

  • Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals

    This industry comprises establishments known and licensed as psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals primarily engaged in providing diagnostic, medical treatment, and monitoring services for inpatients who suffer from mental illness or substance abuse disorders. The treatment often requires an extended stay in the hospital. These establishments maintain inpatient beds and provide patients with food services that meet their nutritional requirements. They have an organized staff of physicians and other medical staff to provide patient care services. Psychiatric, psychological, and social work services are available at the facility. These hospitals usually provide other services, such as outpatient services, clinical laboratory services, diagnostic X-ray services, and electroencephalograph services.

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.

After completing these steps, you may need to get a license from one of these Florida agencies:

  • Agency for Health Care Administration – health care clinics, residential treatment facilities, hospitals, drug-free workplace laboratories, clinical laboratories, multiphasic health testing centers, abortion clinics
  • Department of Business and Professional Regulation – health care clinic establishments that purchase prescription drugs
  • Department of Children and Family Services – license to provide substance abuse services
  • Department of Health – physicians, dentists, marriage and family therapists, opticians, optometrists, orthotists, electrology facilities, dieticians, nutritionists, prosthetist, psychologists, pain management, trauma and biomedical waste generators

Businesses within this category may employ or require individuals holding professional licenses as requirement for a business license.  If you are only pursuing a professional license, you may not need to complete all of the additional steps listed on this checklist.

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.

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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.


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 license from the Agency for Health Care Administration

Agency for Health Care Administration

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is the agency charged with licensing and regulating health care providers and health care businesses in Florida. Health care providers and other health care related professionals will need to coordinate with AHCA to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.

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  • Abortion Clinics License
  • Clinical Laboratories CLIA Certification
  • Commercial Health Maintenance Organizations (CHMO)
  • Crisis Stabilization Units and Short Term Residential Treatment (CSU/SRT) Facilities License
  • Drug-free Workplace Laboratories License
  • Health Care Clinic License
  • Hospital License
  • Multiphasic Health Testing Center License 
  • Prepaid Health Clinics (PHC)
  • Residential Treatment Centers for Children and Adolescents (RTC) License
  • Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF) License

Visit: http://ahca.myflorida.com/

Apply for a license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in Florida. A variety of businesses will need to coordinate with DBPR to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.

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Agency Introduction

DBPR’s Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics provides licensing for health care clinic establishments under this category.


Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics

This division licenses, inspects and regulates manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of drugs, devices and cosmetics. The division requires a health care clinic establishment permit for the purchase of prescription drugs by a place of business at location that provides health care or veterinary services.

  • Health Care Clinic Establishment Permit

Visit: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/ddc/HealthCareClinicEstablishment.html

Apply for a license from the Department of Children and Families

Department of Children and Family Services

Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF)  works in partnership with local communities to protect the vulnerable, promote strong and economically self-sufficient families  and advance personal and family recovery and resiliency.

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Agency Introduction

The Department of Children and Families, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health is the designated state authority for substance abuse, mental health, and medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.


Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) is responsible for licensure and regulation of all substance abuse providers in the state. If you are interested in pursuing licensure to provide treatment for substance use disorder, it is recommended that you review and become familiar with the Licensure materials on the Department’s website as a starting point. Applicants may also contact their local SAMH Office with further questions. *Please note: new opioid treatment programs may only be established in response to the Department’s determination of need.

  • License to Provide Substance Abuse Services 

Visit: http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/substance-abuse/licensure-regulation

Apply for a license from the Department of Health

Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.  The department’s goal is to be the healthiest state in the nation through innovation, collaboration, accountability, responsiveness and excellence.

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Medicine, Surgery and Mental Health

  • Anesthesiologist Assistant
  • Biomedical Waste Generator Permit/Exemption
  • Certified Podiatric X-Ray Assistant
  • Office Surgery Registration
  • Osteopathic Physician
  • Medical Doctor
  • Pain Management Clinics License
  • Physician Assistant
  • Podiatric Physician
  • Psychologist
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • School Psychologist

Visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html

Other Health Practioners

  • Acupuncture
  • Athletic Training
  • Audiologist
  • Certified Respiratory Therapist
  • Clinical Laboratory Personnel
  • Dietician/Nutritionist
  • Electrologist
  • Electrology Facility License
  • Hearing Aid Specialist
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Midwifery
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist

Visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html

Emergency Medicine

  • Emergency Allergy Treatment Certification
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) CE Programs 
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Providers
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Training Programs
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Paramedic
  • Trauma Systems License

Visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html

Chiropractic, Occupational & Physical Therapy

  • Certified Chiropractic Physician Assistant
  • Chiropractic Physician
  • Registered Chiropractic Assistant
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Physical Therapist

Visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html

Dentistry and Optical Establishments

  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Laboratories License
  • Dentist
  • Apprentice Optician
  • Optical Establishment License
  • Optician
  • Optometrist

Visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html

Nursing

  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Nursing Education Programs License
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Registered Nurse

Visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html

Orthotics and Prosthetics

  • Orthotic Fitter Assistant
  • Orthotic Fitter
  • Orthotist
  • Pedorthist
  • Prosthetist

Visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html

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.