Starting a New Business

Welcome to the City of Port St. Joe!

We are eager to help the small business owner, entrepreneur or corporate executive succeed in opening a business in our city and obtain the necessary local Business License required to operate within the City of Port St. Joe.

Business Licenses

To conduct business in the City of Port St. Joe, you must have a city-issued business license, even for those businesses which are based from your home, online sales, vacation rentals, or out-of-state contractors. Occupational/business tax receipts are enforced by the City of Port St. Joe, Ordinance No. 1. If you have general questions, please call 850-229-8261, option 6.

Getting Started

If you are going into business for the first time, there are several entities that you will need to contact prior to opening your business. For helpful information, please visit . All required state licenses for your business will need to be obtained prior to the issuance of your business license with the City of Port St. Joe.

Once you submit your application and all required documents for your business it will be routed to several departments for approval. This process can take 5-7 business days. Once approved, we will issue the license and contact you.

Hotels and Short Term Rentals

Before starting a hotel or short-term rental be sure to verify your property is in an allowable zoning district. You may view the City Zoning Map or call 850-229-8261 for more information. To apply for a business license for a hotel or short-term rental you must be registered with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Gulf County Tax Collector to collect a 5% Tourist Development Tax, and the Department of State, Division of Corporations. For more information, please see the Short-Term Rental Fact Sheet.

Application Process

Applicants can apply online or in person at City Hall, 305 Cecil G. Costin, Sr. Blvd. at the front desk. View the checklist below for more information on the required documents needed to apply for your City business license.

Business License Application Checklist
This checklist contains information to be submitted when applying for a Business License in the City of Port St. Joe.
  • Completed Business License Application
  • Location Lease Agreement
  • Proof of registration with "active status" from the Florida Division of Corporations (SunBiz)
  • Proof of fictitious name registration and/or articles of incorporation from the Florida Division of Corporations
  • Proof of required State License(s), if applicable
  • Proof of State Exemption from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, if applicable
  • Proof of Zoning Approval(s), if applicable
  • Proof of Sign Permit(s), if applicable
  • Fee payment method (Methods accepted: Cash, Check, VISA, MasterCard, and Discover) Depending on your business type, an inspection of the property may be necessary.


The fees vary for a business license. The average cost is $25.00 - $50.00. Some state exemptions apply to certain business types.

Code Enforcement

As part of the business license application process, Code Enforcement reviews applications to determine the proposed business location and business activity comply with the City's land use regulations. If the business does not meet the land use regulations business may not be conducted in that location.

Renewal of Business License

AAnyone conducting business in the City of Port St. Joe is required to have a current Business License, which expire on September 30 of each year. Renewals will be mailed out August 01 of each year and will be due by September 30. You are required to submit proof that your business is current with State registrations and licenses upon renewing your license. Licenses will not be renewed without this information. To renew, mail payment to P.O. Box 278, Port St. Joe, FL 32457, pay in-person at City Hall, 305 Cecil G. Costin, Sr. Blvd., or call Utilities at 850-229-8261, option 1. Do not include your payment with your utility bill. Please call Accounts Payable (850) 229-8261, option 6 if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The business will be located within the City of Port St. Joe, but the customers are in the County. Do I still need a business license? Yes.
  • Does the business need a license from the City if it already has a license with Gulf County? Yes, if you are conducting, operating, or managing any business within the city limits.
  • What happens if the business was recently purchased, moved or name was changed? A business license change/cancel form will need to be completed and you will need to provide proof from the Division of Corporations of the changes.
  • How long will it take to get my license? Approximately 5 - 10 days from the time the completed application packet is received.
  • The business manages properties in several locations. How many licenses do I need? Each license is issued for a specific location. A license is required for each place of business and for each separate classification at that location.
  • Where are applications taken for a business license? Apply at the City of Port St. Joe City Hall located at 305 Cecil G. Costin, Sr. Blvd. between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or send the completed application packet by email to
  • What if my business is run out of my home, mobile or online, is a license really needed? Absolutely. Please see Ordinance No. 1, Sections 24 and 25.
  • How much does it cost? Business licenses vary depending on the nature of the business, the number of chairs, equipment, seating capacity and other factors. The average cost is between $25.00 - $50.00.
  • When does the business license expire? All licenses expire on September 30th of each year regardless of when you purchased it.

Useful Contact Information

City of Port St. Joe Building Department: (850) 229-1093
City of Port St. Joe Health Department: (850) 227-1276
Internal Revenue Service: (800) 482-8293
Florida Department of Revenue: (850) 488-6800
Florida Division of Corporations: (850) 245-6000
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation: (850) 487-1395
Gulf County Tax Collector: (850) 229-6116
Gulf County Tourist Development Center: (850) 229-7800