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Important Information

Business Tax/Certificate of Use Application



Read First!!! Occupational Licenses are now known as Business Tax Receipts.


General information regarding Business Tax Receipts and Contractor Registrations for the City of Boca Raton is provided below. City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County application forms and Contractor Registration forms are included and may be downloaded using Adobe Acrobat viewer.


Starting a Business in Boca Raton:


The City requires a Business Tax/Certificate of Use for the privilege of engaging in or managing any business, profession or occupation within its jurisdiction, pursuant to the classifications and rates as provided in the City Code.


Evidence of Being in Business. . .


  • Anyone who sells any goods or service or solicits business or offers goods or services for sale or hire in the City shall be required to obtain a Business Tax/Certificate of Use. Non-profits must supply a 501(c)(3) for tax exemption.
  • Displaying a Sign
  • Each business advertising in any form of media.
  • Filed as a business entity with the State of Florida Division of Corporations, shall be evidence of engaging in business.
  • If any person operates a business at more than 1 location, each location shall be considered a separate business and a Business Tax/Certificate of Use shall be required for each location.


Before Applying for a Business Tax/Certificate of Use:


Check these items before applying:

Location. . . Before leasing space, call the City Zoning Office at (561) 393-7792 to determine if the site you have selected for your business is located in the correct zoning district.

Special Licenses. . . Obtain required certification for your profession or business. For Example: Restaurant approval from the Florida State Division of Hotels & Restaurants; professional licenses from the Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulations; attorney’s bar card from the American Bar Association; contractor certification from the Florida State Construction Industry Licensing Board, etc.

Fictitious Names. . . File for a fictitious name registration if the business will be operated under a name that is not a corporation or the person’s legal name.

Permits. . . A permit and plans are required before any interior or exterior alterations, construction, electrical, or plumbing work is commenced.

Sign Permits. . . Sign permits are required before erecting or changing any signs.


Where and When to Apply;


All initial applications for processing a "Business Tax/Certificate of Use" - (formally known as a Business Occupational License) must be submitted in person to our office within 15 days of tenant occupancy or start date on Division of Corporation - "Sunbiz". Any changes to an existing business must be submitted in person to our office within 15 days of the change. All applications must be submitted at the above address by a representative of the business who is knowledgeable with the business operations, location and who is also authorized to make payment for all applicable fees due.


Do not mail in applications - please call (561) 393-7937 if you have any question.


Please come in to the one-stop center at city hall, office hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and on Wednesday till 3:00 PM. Sign in for zoning and business tax (both). This will ensure that all state license requirements have been met; zoning requirements are in compliance and signed off of the Palm Beach County Business Tax Application, inspections required for your "Certificate of Use" are scheduled, further instructions given and all appropriate fees have been collected.


The Business Tax Authority is located at:

City of Boca Raton
City Hall - One Stop Center
201 W. Palmetto Park Rd.
Boca Raton, FL 33432

Any change requires an application to be filed within 15 days of the change(s) to avoid paying a penalty.


Keep the Business Information Current:


If you make any changes to the business; examples: location, expansion, ownership, name, nature of business operated, or add a new type of business at the same or at a different location, a new application must be filed within 15 days of the change in order to keep the account current. Make sure Division of Corporations reflects new address.




  1. If you cease to operate the business, you must return the Business Tax/Certificate of Use to the City of Boca Raton Business Tax Authority and notify the City in writing of the effective date that you went out of business.
  2. The Division of Corporations filing must be inactivated prior to this, including Fictitious Name filings.
  3. Email Division of Corporations all changes of address prior to notifying the city.
  4. All signage for discontinued business must be removed within 10 days.


Charges: Business Tax and Other Fees. . .


Except stated by City Code, the Business Tax for the privilege of engaging in or managing any business, profession or occupation within the City of Boca Raton is $105.00/ year


Other one-time fees include:


  • Application Fee: $28.00
  • Certificate of Use Fee: $45.00
  • Code Inspection Fee: $45.00
  • Code Re-Inspection Fee: $50.00 (upon failure of Code Inspection)
  • Fire Inspection Fee: $45.00
  • Fire Re-inspection Fee $50.00 (upon failure of Fire Inspection)


Business Tax Period:


All Business Tax Receipts are issued for a period of 1 year on a fiscal year basis that begins on October 1 each year, with all Receipts expiring on September 30.


Failure to renew the Business Tax Receipt on or before September 30 each year will result in penalties being applied to the total tax renewal as follows:

Penalty Schedule - Percentage Added to Total Renewal Tax
October November December January March 1
10% 15% 20% 25% 25% + $250


NOTE: Any person who does not pay the required business tax receipt prior to March 1, is subject to an additional penalty of $250.00 and any costs incurred as a result of collection efforts.

Renew your Business Tax Receipt!


NOTE: Renewals requiring proof of current certification may only renew by mail or in person.


Certificate of Use Inspections:


Most applicants who apply for a Business Tax to operate a business in the City of Boca Raton will also receive Certificate of Use inspections of the premises and proof of compliance with all requirements of the City of Boca Raton Code of Ordinances and all applicable laws and regulations.


Inspections will be made by the City of Boca Raton Code Compliance Division Inspectors to ensure that applicable codes are met and also by the City of Boca Raton Fire Rescue Services to ensure that the business location meets all fire life and safety codes. Some of the most common items that will be inspected by Fire Rescue Services are listed below. Other fire and safety codes may be addressed during the inspection. Applicants should try to have all these items up to date to avoid having their Certificate of Use inspection denied and thereby delaying their opening for business until all safety issued are resolved.


  • Fire Extinguishers. . . Current inspection tag by a state approved and licensed fire extinguisher dealer.
  • Exit Signs. . . Exit signs installed and lit. Replace burned out bulbs or dead batteries.
  • Exits Clear. . . Keep exits clear of any blockages. Storage of supplies, furniture and other objects is not permitted in aisles or areas leading to exits.
  • Emergency Lighting. . . Have emergency lighting installed and operating.
  • Sprinkler Heads. . . Keep sprinkler heads free of paint, storage, etc.
  • Storage. . . Storage must remain 18 inches below the ceiling. Keep storage areas, electrical rooms, and stairways free from waste paper, empty boxes
  • Electric outlets. . . Have certified electrician install additional electric outlets to eliminate use of extension cord


Renewal Notices:


As a courtesy, the City mails renewal reminders in August. However, if the renewal reminder notice is not received,  it is the responsibility of the receipt holder to ensure that their Business Tax is renewed prior to September 30 each year. Failure to receive a renewal reminder notice will not exempt the receipt holder from paying any penalties for late payment.


Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt Also Required 


All businesses professional and occupations in Boca Raton must also obtain a Business Tax Receipt from Palm Beach County. Applicant must first apply at the City and obtain zoning approval before applying for the County. A copy of the Palm Beach County application is also included above for the applicants’ convenience.