Starting A Business

Welcome to our Town’s Business Community

Congratulations!  The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea welcomes you and wishes you good fortune as you pursue your business endeavors.  We are glad that you chose to conduct business in our Town and look forward to guiding you through our processes as you establish your business.

Business Tax Receipt Process 2020

Business Tax Receipts

The State of Florida requires all local governments to tax businesses in their communities.  Therefore, to conduct business within the Town’s municipal limits, a local Business Tax Receipt (BTR) is necessary.  Please keep in mind that this requirement applies to all businesses, including the rental of docks and residential properties.

Town staff is ready to help you navigate each step in our BTR process, listed below.  We encourage you to contact staff at or 954-640-4210 with all questions.  We remain at your service and strive to ensure that our interactions with you reflect our Town motto, “Relax…You’re here.”

1) To get started, email with the intended business use and potential site.  Staff will evaluate whether the Town’s zoning code allows the type of business you wish to open in the desired location.  After we have all of the required information from you, we will email you to communicate if your business is eligible to apply for a BTR for that location.  Please save your eligibility email! You will need to submit it to us with your application.

2) Staff has curated several different comprehensive BTR application packets to make your personal experience as easy as possible.  Each package includes the correct application, as well as a list of additional information necessary to successfully submit your BTR application.  Once your proposed business is confirmed as a permitted use,  Staff will tell you which BTR application packet to complete.

Commercial Business Application

Home Office Application

Long Term Rental Application

Vacation Rental Application 

Short Term Rental Application 

Condo Rental Application 

3) Mail your completed application, with all accompanying documents and information, to the Development Services office at 4501 N. Ocean Drive, Lauderdale –By-The-Sea, FL 33308.  Staff will review the application, ensure that it is complete, and calculate your associated business tax payment amount.

4) You’re almost done!   After payment is received, Staff will schedule the required inspections from Code, Fire, Building, and Zoning personnel.  If you have specific questions to help you properly prepare for the inspections, you may contact the various departments directly at:

Code Compliance: 954-640-4210 or

Building Department: 954-640-4215 or

Fire Department:  954-640-4251 or

Zoning Department: 954-640-4210 or

 Passing the inspection on the first time is important, as there is an additional fee for every re-inspection required.  So, please be sure to contact staff for questions before we arrive!

5) Hurray!  You have completed the application requirements and have been approved.  Enjoy a beautiful day in our sunny Town as you wait for your Business Tax Receipt to be mailed to you.  Don’t forget to review the Town’s guidelines and secure your building and sign permits before beginning construction or ordering your sign!


All signage, including window signs, requires either a building or zoning permit.  The zoning sign application is available here Version OptionsStarting A BusinessHeadline Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage and building permit application here Version OptionsStarting A BusinessHeadline Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage Signage. Town Staff is able to review and issue a sign permit in advance of your potential Business Tax Receipt being finalized.  However, issuance of a sign permit does not indicate a BTR approval; nor does it permit any business to begin operating in in advance.  Many businesses are interested in advertising before they officially open, or while waiting for permanent signs to be approved and installed.  The Town has a quick and easy, special “temporary banner” permit exactly for that situation!  Please contact Staff before ordering your temporary banner so we can help you ensure it will meet the temporary banner requirements in the code.

For further information, please contact us at or 965-640-4210.

Building Permits

Almost all construction work requires you to obtain one or more building permits from the Building Division of the Development Services Department.  Because restaurants have additional regulations that must be addressed, the Town has developed a fact sheet that is available here Version OptionsStarting A BusinessHeadline Building Permits Building Permits Building Permits Building Permits Building Permits Building Permits Building Permits Building Permits Building Permits Building Permits.

For further information, please contact us at or 954-640-4215.

Closing of Business

If you plan on closing your business, we ask that you make staff aware by emailing  If the Town is not informed that your business has closed, we will continue to send notices to your business and/or directly to you.

Change of Property Agent 

Many businesses either choose to, or are required to, have a local agent assigned to the property.  Should you need to change a previously assigned agent, you may complete the corresponding form and send it to

Commercial Property Agent Change

Long-Term Residential Rental Agent Change 

Vacation and Short-Term Rental Agent Change 

Condo Association Agent Change 

Annual Fire Inspections

A Fire Inspector visits your business annually to ensure the property is maintained per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes.  For more information, please visit our Fire Department’s webpage or contact the Fire Marshal directly at  954-640-4251