Overview

This industry comprises businesses primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of biological and medical products; botanical drugs and herbs; and pharmaceutical products intended for internal and external consumption. It also includes businesses primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of professional medical equipment, instruments, and supplies (except ophthalmic equipment and instruments and goods used by ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians).

Business types included in this category:
  • Drugs and Druggists' Sundries Merchant Wholesalers

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of biological and medical products; botanical drugs and herbs; and pharmaceutical products intended for internal and external consumption in such forms as ampoules, tablets, capsules, vials, ointments, powders, solutions, and suspensions.

  • Medical, Dental, and Hospital Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of professional medical equipment, instruments, and supplies (except ophthalmic equipment and instruments and goods used by ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians).

  • Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of professional equipment, instruments, and/or goods sold, prescribed, or used by ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians.

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 will need to get a license from one of these Florida agencies:

  • Department of Business and Professional Regulation – wholesale distributors of prescription drugs, medical gas, and diethyl ether
  • Department of Health – counterfeit-proof prescription vendors

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.

 

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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.


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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)

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

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.

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

DBPR’s Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics and Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco provide licensing and registration for the wholesale of prescription drugs under this category.


Division of Drugs, Devices, and Cosmetics

  • Prescription Drug Wholesale Distributor Permit
  • Prescription Drug Wholesale Distributor Broker Only Permit
  • Veterinary Prescription Drug Wholesale Distributor Permit
  • Medical Gas Wholesale Distributor Permit
  • Retail Pharmacy Drug Wholesale Distributor Permit
  • Limited Prescription Drug Veterinary Wholesale Distributor Permit
  • Restricted Prescription Drug Distributor – Health Care Entity Permit
  • Restricted Prescription Drug Distributor – Charitable Organization Permit
  • Restricted Prescription Drug Distributor – Reverse Distributor Permit
  • Restricted Prescription Drug Distributor – Destruction Permit
  • Restricted Prescription Drug Distributor – Institutional Research Permit
  • Restricted Prescription Drug Distributor – Blood Establishment Permit
  • Veterinary Prescription Drug Retailer Permit
  • Complimentary Drug Distributor Permit
  • Certification as a Designated Representative Permit
  • Freight Forwarder Permit
  • Diethyl Ether Distributor Permit

Visit: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/drugs-devices-and-cosmetics/apply/

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.

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.floridahealth.gov/about/sunshine-info/public-records-requests/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.

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. Drug Enforcement Administration, Diversion Control Program

Many of the narcotics, depressants, and stimulants manufactured for legitimate medical use are subject to abuse and have, therefore, been brought under legal control. Under federal law, all businesses that import, export, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances; all health professionals licensed to dispense, administer, or prescribe them; and all pharmacies authorized to fill prescriptions must register with the DEA. Registrants must comply with regulatory requirements relating to drug security and recordkeeping. The DEA is also obligated under international treaties to monitor the movement of licit controlled substances across U.S. borders and to issue import and export permits for that movement.

Visit: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugreg/index.html

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.