Starting A Business

Town Hall

If you plan to start a business in the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, or conduct business within the Town’s municipal limits, you must first obtain a Business Tax Receipt. You can do so by completing a BusinessTax Receipt Application and submitting it at Town Hall, 4501 N. Ocean Drive.

Florida and Town business regulation requirements state that no person shall engage in, manage, or be in charge of any business, profession, or occupation until a Town Business Tax Receipt has been obtained for the current year. Note: All rental property owners and owners renting docks must also obtain a Business Tax Receipt.

Before submitting an application, the following steps should be followed to determine whether a proposed business can be started in the Town. Contact the Development Services Department’s Zoning Division at 954-640-4210 to determine the following:

✔The zoning district of the area where you plan to start your business. For that zoning district, does the Code allow your business use at your planned location?

✔If the business use is allowed in the zoning district, determine whether there is adequate parking onsite to accommodate your proposed business use.

If the zoning district allows the use and there is adequate parking to accommodate the business, you can then apply for a Business Tax Receipt.

Business Tax Receipt Information

✔The application must be completed by the individual business owner or one of the partners of the corporation.

✔Business Tax Receipts may be obtained throughout the year.

✔Business Tax Receipts must be renewed each year prior to October 1.

✔Business Tax Receipt renewal notices are mailed prior to August of each year and payable by mail.

✔All Business Tax Receipts must have a permanent address. Please note: Post Office Box addresses will not be accepted.

Obtaining your Business Tax Receipt

✔Applications can be picked up at Town Hall. The form is also available on our website.

✔Contact the Town Manager’s office at 954-640-4203 to determine the amount of business tax and the fire inspection fee required.

✔Pay the tax and submit the completed, notarized application.

✔The applications will be reviewed by the Code Compliance Division for approval.

✔Once your application is approved, the Code Compliance Division will contact you to schedule an inspection time and date. Fire and code inspections are required for all new businesses. Vacation rentals, multifamily rentals with more than two units and condominium common areas also require fire and code inspections. Single family, duplex, and single condominium unit rentals require only code review.

✔Your Business Tax Receipt will be mailed to you within one week after the successful completion of the required inspections.

Not Enough Parking

If there is not enough parking to accommodate your proposed business, you must meet with the Town Planning Department to discuss alternatives to obtain parking.


All signage requires either a building or zoning permit depending on the type of sign proposed. No signs are allowed until a business tax receipt is issued. Businesses involving any sign changes should secure Development Services Department approval prior to lease execution or purchase.

Building Permits

If you intend to alter, remodel, relocate or install any structural, electrical, plumbing or mechanical portions of the building, you will need to obtain building permits from the Building Division of the Development Services Department. Tel: 954-640-4215. 

If your business uses or stores hazardous materials (including paints, thinners, solvents, acids, compressed gases, etc.), you may be required to obtain a Hazardous Materials Permit. Contact the Town’s Fire Marshall at 954-640-4251 for more information.

Other Resources

It may also be necessary for you to obtain other information or approvals prior to operating your business. Below is a partial list of agencies you may need to contact

Broward County Business Tax Receipt: 954-831-4000       

Hotel/Restaurant (State License):  850-487-1395       

Florida Division of Corporations: 850-245-6000       

Fictitious Name Registration: 850-245-6059       

Department of Business & Professional Regulation: 850-487-1395     

Home Based Businesses

Businesses operated in residential homes must comply with Home Occupation Regulations in the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s Municipal Code. The following requirements apply:

✔Home offices must be a secondary use of the residential dwelling for purposes.

 ✔Only the owner or occupant may operate a home office.

✔ There shall be no display of goods or machinery.

✔No traffic shall be generated in greater volume than normally expected in a residential neighborhood.

✔All pick-ups and deliveries to the home office shall be done from a vehicle that can park in the driveway and shall be limited to no more than three per day.

✔A home office may not exceed 20 percent of the living area of the dwelling.