Panama City License Department ~ 9 Harrison Avenue Panama City, Florida 32401 ~ PH: 850-872-3033

License Division

Starting A New Business

If you are going into business for the first time there are several agencies that you will need to contact for various permits prior to opening your business.If your business will require the employment of individuals other than yourself and immediate family members you are required to obtain a Federal Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. 

The Internal Revenue Service is located at 651 West 14th Street, Suite F, Panama City, Florida. The office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The phone number is (850) 785-9508. 

Prior to opening your business you must obtain a Florida Sales and Use Tax Certificate. To obtain a certificate, contact the State of Florida Department of Revenue. The Panama City office is located at 210 N. Tyndall Pkwy, Suite A. The office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The phone number is (850) 872-4165. 

To register a fictitious name for your business, or file papers for a corporation for your business, please see the following web site www.sunbiz.org 

The following agencies should be contacted for information on specific licenses and permits needed for Panama City businesses within Panama City. 

The Panama City Planning and Land Use Division and Code Enforcement Department review all applications for Occupational and Merchants Licenses to determine if the proposed business location and business activity complies with the City's Land Use Regulations. If your proposed location does not comply with the City's land use regulations, the Planning and Land Use Division will advise you of any zoning and/or land use change that would be required before you could be issued a business license at the proposed location. The Planning and Land Use Division is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and is located on the 2nd floor of the City Hall building, 9 Harrison Avenue. For additional information please call the Planning and Land Use Division at (850) 872-3025. 

If the new business is a restaurant, you will need to contact the Florida Hotel and Restaurant division for your inspection at 1-800-749-6368. For bars, lounges, and establishments, contact the Bay County Health Department at (850) 872-4720 at 597 W. 11th Street. This will be required prior to the issuance of a City License. 

If your business occupational profession requires a Florida State License, or to be registered with the State, we require a current copy of the license or registration. For information on obtaining your state license, contact the Dept of Business and Professional Regulation at (850) 487-1395. The customer contact center's hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm EST. Or you can use the Dept's online service at www.myflorida.com 

We hope all this has been helpful and want to congratulate you on your new business, and wish you much success.

Alcoholic Beverage License 

For information on obtaining an Alcoholic Beverage License in Bay County, contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.The Alcoholic Beverage Division is located at 2601 Jenks Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32405. You can reach them by calling 872-4124. If you are looking to obtain a Alcohol Permit for a special event in Panama City, please contact the Panama City Police Department

Consumer Complaints

The State of Florida Department of Agriculture Services receives complaints about businesses in Florida. The hotline number for consumer complaints about health studios, dance studios, travel agents, telemarketers, charitable organizations, motor vehicle repair shops and information about landlord/tenant rights is 1-800-435-7352. The hotline number for complaints about new cars (Lemon Law Information) is 1-800-321-5366.

Door to Door Solicitations

The City of Panama City Municipal Code, Section 20, outlines the procedure to register as a door-to-door solicitor within the City of Panama City. For information regarding registering as a door-to-door solicitor, please contact the License Division located on the 1st floor of the City Hall building, 9 Harrison Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can reach them by calling 872-3033.

Garage Sales

A permit must be obtained before holding a yard and/or garage sale. Permits can be issued for a maximum of seven days, with only three permitted in a year. Applications may be obtained from our Applications page. 

Home Occupation License

The City of Panama City allows home occupations in mixed use and commercial areas. A home occupation is an occupation or business activity that is service oriented. A license is required before a business can begin operation. The fee is based on the type of business and must be renewed every year. A Home Occupation License can be obtained below.

Merchant License

Merchant Licenses are required for those individuals who have a business location in the City of Panama City and engage in retail and/or wholesale sales from that location. 

A zoning officer will review your application for a merchant license and once the location is approved, the merchant license will be issued. 

A merchant license is automatically renewed by the City and mailed by the License Department on October 1st of each year. An application for a Merchants License should be completed and returned not later than two days prior to the opening of the business. 

You can download the application below.

Occupation License

Occupational licenses are required for those individuals who offer a service and charge a fee for the service. License fees range from $25.00 to $2,500 depending on the type of occupation. 

A zoning officer will review your application for an occupational license and once the location is approved and the fee paid, the occupational license will be issued. Occupational licenses expire at midnight on September 30th of each year. On August 1st of each year, a statement is mailed to each license holder. The license must be renewed by September 30th. 

A license that is not renewed by October 15th will be considered delinquent and subject to a delinquency penalty of ten percent for the month of October plus an additional five percent penalty for each month of delinquency thereafter until paid. The delinquency payment shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the occupational license fee. 

An occupational license application may be picked up at the License Division or one can be faxed or mailed on request to you. You can also download the form located below. An application for an occupational license should be completed and returned not later than two days prior to the opening of the business. 

An application can be obtained below. 


Subpages (1): License Dept Application