All businesses (including home-based businesses) within the city limits must have a local business tax receipt before opening, as described in the Code of Ordinances Section 66-101 through 118 . Tax receipts are issued according to the fiscal year, beginning October 1 and ending September 30. Only business with a physical address inside the city limits need to apply. Contractors that operate within the city, but do not have a physical business address within the city, do not need to apply for a business tax receipt, but should check with the Building Division for contractor registration.
All businesses are subject to zoning approval. Speak with a Planner in Planning and Zoning before entering into any contractual obligations to ensure that the business is a permitted use at a location, even if a similar business previously occupied the location. After filing for a local business tax receipt, business owners will be notified of any inspections needed. Grand opening signs or coming soon signs also subject to zoning approval.
To confirm if a business is inside the City of Venice limits, receive a fee quote, or to apply for a business tax receipt contact Roger Clark at (941) 486-2626 ext. 7432 in the Planning and Zoning Division. You can also visit the Sarasota County Property Appraiser and search the address of the location you are planning to open a business at to see if the location is within the city limits. Business tax fees vary depending on the type of business, the number of employees, etc. Payment is made after the business tax receipt has been processed.
A business using any name other than the legal name of the owner must register a fictitious name, LLC, LLP, or a profit/non-profit corporation with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. There is a cost for registering the name with the state. To register online visit Sunbiz.org. For advice on how or what to file through the state, consult with an attorney or certified public accountant.
When submitting an application to the City of Venice for a local business tax receipt be sure to include the following:
- Business Tax Receipt Application
- New Tenant Occupancy or Home Occupation Application
- Document from Sunbiz Division of Corporations that reflects an active business.
- For a home occupation only, if the home is being rented, approval in writing from the landlord must be submitted.*
- If applicable, any specialty licenses issued by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (i.e., restaurants, CPA's, Architects, hair/nail salons, and more).*
- For the Venice Farmer's Market only, approval in writing from the Market Manager must be submitted. Visit the Venice Farmer's Market website for more information.*
- If applicable, the business EIN issued by the IRS.*
*May not be required for all businesses.
In addition to having a City of Venice local business tax receipt, businesses need to obtain a Sarasota County business tax receipt. Apply online at the Sarasota Tax Collectors Office or call (941) 861-8300, Option 3 for information.
Some businesses may need to register with the Florida Department of Revenue as well. For advice on how or what to file through the Florida Department of Revenue, consult with an attorney or certified public accountant.
To learn about economic incentives for establishing a new business in the City of Venice, call Finance Director Linda Senne, (941) 486-2626, Ext. 7421.
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