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. Please visit the Open My Florida Business website for helpful tips and checklists for starting a business in Florida. All required state licenses for operation of your business will need to be obtained prior to the issuance of a Business License with City of Panama City.
Development Services and Code Enforcement
As part of the New Business Application Process, the City of Panama City's Development Services and Code Enforcement Department, in conjunction with other city regulatory departments, review all applications to determine if the proposed business location and business activity comply with the City’s land use regulations. If your proposed location does not comply, the Development Services Department will advise you of any zoning and/or land use changes that would be required prior to the issuance of a business license by the Business Services Department.
The Development Services Department is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at:
501 Harrison Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401
For additional information please call the Development Services Department at (850) 872-3025.
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 Business Services Department.
A permit must be obtained before holding a yard and / or garage sale. Permits can be issued for a maximum of 7 days, with only 3 permitted per location in a year. Permit applications may be downloaded through this link..
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. Please review and sign the guidelines for for Home Occupation Home Office of Convenience Statement from Zoning (PDF) and complete the New Business License Application (PDF).
If you rent your home, you must provide a signed statement from your landlord that gives you permission to use the home address for your home based business, as this will affect the water rates.
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.
Merchant Licenses are required for those businesses located in the city limits of Panama City who engage in retail and/or wholesale sales from the business location.
Once you submit your application for a merchant license it will be routed through several departments for approval. This process can take 5-7 business days. Once approved, your merchant license will be issued by Business Services.
A merchant license for each new fiscal year is issued annually beginning October 1 and expires September 30. For the Merchant License to remain active, the 1% merchant payment must be remitted monthly to the City's Business Services Department.
Occupational licenses are required for businesses located in the city limits of Panama City that provide a service and charge a fee for the service. Annual license fees range from $25.00 to $2,500.00 depending on the occupation/service type. Some occupations/services are regulated by a state agency and a copy of the current state license is required at the time of application and prior to a local occupational license being issued.
Your application for a local occupational license will be routed through several departments for approval. This process can take 5 to 7 business days. Once approved, your local occupational license will be issued by Business Services.
Occupational licenses expire at midnight on September 30th of each year. On August 1st of each year a renewal statement is mailed out to each occupational license holder and must be renewed before October 1st. An occupational license that is not renewed by October 15th will be considered delinquent and subject to a delinquency penalty of 10% for the month of October plus an additional 5% penalty for each month of delinquency thereafter until paid. The delinquency penalty shall not exceed 25% of the occupational license fee.