Overview

This industry comprises businesses primarily engaged in operating gambling enterprises, such as pari-mutuel wagering facilities, slots, cardrooms, sweepstakes, game promotions and lottery.

Business types included in this category:
  • Gambling Industries

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating gambling facilities, such as casinos, bingo halls, and video gaming terminals, or in the provision of gambling services, such as lotteries and off-track betting.

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, many businesses will need to get a license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation licenses and regulates pari-mutuel professionals and wagering facilities in Florida, including horse racing, harness racing, dog racing, jai alai, card rooms and slots. This department does not license or regulate Florida Indian Gaming, bingo, cruises to nowhere, Internet cafes, arcades, lottery, or sweepstakes.

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.

For gaming venues, if you wish to prepare food, or sell alcohol or tobacco, on the premises of your establishment, you will need to obtain an additional license for that purpose.

A game promotion is defined as a contest, game of chance, sweepstakes, or gift enterprise, conducted by an operator within or throughout the state and other states in connection with and incidental to the sale of consumer products or services and in which the elements of chance and prize are present. Game promotions offering prizes totaling more than $5,000 must file with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Some businesses in this category will need to apply with the Department of Environmental Protection for air resource or emissions permits.

Business owners in this category may also wish to explore assistance offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the advantages of becoming a Florida Lottery retailer.

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.


  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit 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.


  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

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.

  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

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.

  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

Apply for a pari-mutuel 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.

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: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/instant-public-records/.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering

This division licenses and regulates pari-mutuel professionals and wagering facilities in Florida, including horse racing, harness racing, dog racing, jai alai, cardrooms and slots. The division only regulates activities within its permitted facilities. They do not license or regulate Florida Indian Gaming, bingo, cruises to nowhere, Internet cafes, arcades, lottery, or sweepstakes.


Business Licenses

  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

Professional Licenses

  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

Register with 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


  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

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


  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

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.


  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

Become a Florida Lottery retailer (optional)

Florida Lottery

The Florida Lottery was established by the Florida Legislature in 1987 to maximize revenues for the enhancement of public education in Florida and to enable the people of the state to play the best Lottery Games available.

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.flalottery.com/openGovernment.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

The Florida Lottery was established by the Florida Legislature in 1987 to maximize revenues for the enhancement of public education in Florida and to enable the people of the state to play the best Lottery games available. The Florida Lottery offers fun and excitement for all who play, with new games, bigger prizes and more winners. Becoming a Florida Lottery retailer can add a new and exciting dimension to your business. Retailers earn a commission on each ticket sold, and a cashing bonus on every prize paid valued under $600. Retailers can also earn extra cash through various incentive programs.


  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Sweepstakes and the Florida Lottery

Visit Website

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


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:

  • Horse Boarding/Racing
  • Exhibitors

Visit Website

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.