License Department

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 St.
Suite F
Panama City, FL 32401

The office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is 850-785-9508.

Florida Tax Certification
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 Parkway
Suite A
Panama City, FL 32404

The office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 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 visit the Florida Division of Corporations.

Planning & Land Use & Code Enforcement
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 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located at:
9 Harrison Ave.
2nd Floor
Panama City, FL 32404

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 800-749-6368. For bars, lounges, and establishments, contact the Bay County Health Department at 850-872-4720 at
597 W. 11th St.
Panama City, FL 32401

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 Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395. The customer contact center's hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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 Ave.
Panama City, FL 32405

You can reach them by calling 850-872-4124. If you are looking to obtain an 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 800-435-7352. The hotline number for complaints about new cars (Lemon Law Information) is 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 at
9 Harrison Ave.
1st Floor
Panama City, FL 32401

This office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can reach them by calling 850-872-3033.

Garage Sales
A permit must be obtained before holding a yard and / or garage sale. Permits can be issued for a maximum of 7 days, with only 3 permitted in a year. Permit applications may be downloaded (PDF).

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 Application (PDF) can be downloaded.

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. Download our Merchant License Application (PDF).

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 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 10% for the month of October plus an additional 5% penalty for each month of delinquency thereafter until paid. The delinquency payment shall not exceed 25% 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 our Occupational License Application (PDF). An application for an occupational license should be completed and returned not later than 2 days prior to the opening of the business.