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Starting a Business

Startup Okaloosa

SUO_horizontal_stack_logo_color.pngThe Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County has created a new, on-line resource tailored to assist aspiring entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners. Dubbed Startup Okaloosa, the virtual incubator can now be found at www.startupokaloosa.com.  Structured as an information portal, the site links to traditional and non-traditional funding partners, key advisory organizations, real estate options (including local co-working spaces) and educational resources. The site also includes curated news articles featuring timely information deemed relevant to entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as announcements of local networking and educational events.

As Startup Okaloosa evolves over time, targeted video content including interviews with local entrepreneurs will be added, along with other features designed to be of benefit to the intended audience.  Community partners and organizations who interface with existing and aspiring entrepreneurs are encouraged to share the resource freely with their respective networks.  

Starting a Business in Florida

We encourage you to go through the provided document on the right to review the various types of State and Local licenses, permits and regisrations that you will need to start your business.

Florida’s Business Information Portal 
The State of Florida established the portal to help individuals seeking to start and operate a business in our state. By entering the type of business you wish to start, the portal will create a checklist to help you understand governmental requirements for your business category. www.OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov

The eGuide will provide you the basic tools to open your business in Florida, and provide supplementary resources to the business-specific checklists available on the portal.

Business Tax Receipt for Okaloosa County

The following is a basic guideline of information you will need to begin a business in Okaloosa County. Additional information or requirements should be addressed with the appropriate agencies.

A Business Tax Receipt (formerly County Occupational License) is issued by the Tax Collector for the privilege of operating a business. Anyone providing merchandise or services to the public, even though a one-person company or home based occupation, must obtain a county business tax receipt to operate. The Business Tax Receipt fee is $35 per location, regardless of the nature of the business. The Okaloosa County Business Tax Receipt application and appropriate fee information may be obtained at www.okaloosatax.com or by visiting one of six County-Wide Okaloosa Tax Collector Locations

Before an Okaloosa County Business Tax Receipt can be obtained, a business must meet all conditions required by city, county, state or federal agency regulations which apply to that business or occupation. Many businesses will be subject to zoning codes. Information about permits or inspections can be found at www.co.okaloosa.fl.us

Do I need a permit to operate a business out of my home?
Yes, you need a home occupation permit from the Growth Management Department to operate a business out of your home. You may operate a business out of your home if you meet certain criteria that basically requires that you not change or alter the outside appearance of your home from a residence to a commercial use, no employees outside the family, all business activities are within 25% of the home and not in any detached buildings, and that traffic and noise is not beyond normal residential limits. Get the application

Certificate of Occupancy

After you have selected the location of your business, a certificate of occupancy must be obtained from the proper building inspection division. This also applies to zoning permits (Certificate of Use).

Okaloosa County Building Inspection Department
1250 N. Eglin Pkwy, Suite 301
Shalimar, FL 32579
850-651-7180


You may need to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from the respective municipality instead.


 

Okaloosa Building and Sites Database

Okaloosa County has a website dedicated to powerful business information research and access to available properties and sites. This economic development tool is a partnership between the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County and the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) Software, the website provides immediate access to in-depth information that previously took weeks to research. Now, data including dynamic real estate, demographic, and industry breakdowns are available free and instantly for all cities in Okaloosa County, along with a database of available properties with images.

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