Opening A Business in St. Cloud, Florida

Certificate of Use (COU)

The method by which the City grants approval for a business to occupy any office, industrial, commercial, or residential building. All businesses that require a Business Tax Receipt also require a Certificate of Use. 

Business Tax Receipt (BTR)

  • Home Occupation: An occupation conducted entirely within a dwelling unit providing it complies with the conditions of City Code.
  • Mobile Occupation: An occupation where the physical location is a dwelling unit used for office purposes only and whereby the actual business operation is performed somewhere other than the dwelling unit provided it complies with the conditions of City Code.
  • Commercial Occupation: An occupation that occupies any office, industrial, or commercial building and is not a home or mobile business. A New Business Inspection to ensure compliance with all zoning regulations, Life safety Code requirements, property tenant separations, and all applicable city, county and state regulations is require prior to opening any non-residential business. 
  • Exempt Business: A Business Tax Receipt and Certificate of Use are still required. The fees for the BTR are exempted if qualified pursuant to Florida State Statue Chapter 205. This exemption does not apply to the fees for the Certificate of Use. 

Landlord Business Tax Receipt (Property Manager/Owner)

Any person or entity owning property within the city limits of St. Cloud who rents or leases said property shall obtain a Local Business Tax Receipt. The Local Business Tax Receipt fee will be assessed per property owner. 

Construction Service Registration

Each person or entity who is not regulated by Florida statue that contracts or subcontracts, or engages in the business of construction work requiring a permit, must first register with the City and pay a registration fee as currently established. 

How to apply

1. If you are a first time applicant wishing to operate a business out of a commercial, residential or mobile location, the following items may be required to complete you application:

  • Proof of Ownership: If you are not the property owner, a copy of the lease agreement is required for both commercial and home occupations. 
  • Proof of Business Name Registration: Completed through the Florida Division of Corporations 
  • State License: Only when required for State Regulated Professions
  • Federal Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number

2. Select the appropriate Business Tax Receipt application type from the left hand menu applicable to your business.

Application Status Update

Once your application has been approved, an email notification will be sent and both the Business Tax Receipt and Certificate of Use will be attached to your account. The certificates will be emailed to you once the New Business Fire Inspection (if necessary) has been completed and approved. Please print the certificates and post them in a conspicuous location to public viewing for commercial businesses. 

Renewals

All Business Tax Receipts, Certificates of Use and Construction Service Registrations expire on September 30th of each year. Although the city normally mails a courtesy renewal notice during July of each year, the tax is due on or before September 30th regardless of whether your have received a renewal notice or not. Payments not received in our office by September 30th will be subject to penalty fees. Please contact us at businesslicenses@stcloud.org for the current amount to be paid anytime after September 30th. 

NAME, ADDRESS, OR OWNERSHIP CHANGE

Any changes to an existing business must be reported to the City's Community Development Department. If a change of ownership has taken place, a notarized bill of sale must be presented to change the ownership of an existing business. If you discontinue (close) your business, please notify the Community Development Department in writing to inactivate your account.