A Florida hotel license is required by law if you have purchased an existing lodging establishment. You will also need to get one if you have built a new establishment that is going to provide lodging accommodations. In the state of Florida, a lodging establishment is any public building that can accommodate 25 or more people and provides services that are generally provided by a hotel.

What Must Be Completed to Get a Florida Hotel License?

You can apply for a hotel license by completing the Public Lodging License Application Packet. You can obtain the packet in Microsoft Word, or if you prefer, you can complete it using the fill-in PDF version. The two forms included in the packet that you must fill out are:

  • DBPR HR-7027 Application for Public Lodging Establishment License
  • DBPR HR-7020 Certificate of Balcony Inspection

How Is the Annual License Fee Determined?

In addition to completing the packet and submitting it to the appropriate entity, you will have to pay annual license fees. The fees themselves are determined by the county your hotel is going to operate in as well as when you open the hotel. The state of Florida is divided into seven licensing districts. The expiration date on licenses is determined by the district:

  • District 1 expires on Oct. 1
  • District 2 expires on Dec. 1
  • District 3 expires on Feb. 1
  • District 4 expires on April 1
  • District 5 and District 6 expire on June 1
  • District 7 expires on Dec. 1

If you plan to open your establishment up for business within six months or less of your district's license expiration date, you only have to pay half of the annual fee.

To help remind you that you need to renew your license each year, you will receive a reminder in the mail about 60 days before the license expires. If you are applying for a hotel license in Florida during this time period, you can purchase a license that gives you the ability to operate a full 14 months without having to renew the license. However, you will have to pay one-and-a-half times the regular annual license fee.

If you choose to apply online during this period, it's very important to remind yourself of when your license is going to expire; this also applies if you choose not to take advantage of the 14-month license. You will need to set a reminder because the division will not send a reminder because you are applying within the 60-day time period in which the reminder would normally be sent.

If you are applying for a Florida hotel license and there are more than six months until the license is set to expire, you will still have to pay for the full year. In addition to the annual license fee that you must pay, you will also have to submit a $50 payment to cover the application fee.

The license fee itself is determined by the services your hotel is going to offer as well as the number of people it can accommodate. You can visit the Division of Hotels and Restaurants website to use the online calculator to calculate your license fees. This calculator can be found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/hotels-restaurants.

Furthermore, you may be required to pay city and county fees along with various local costs. You will need to contact the county and city government to determine which fees you have to pay and how much they are.

Before you will be granted a Florida hotel license, your lodging establishment will have to pass a sanitation and safety inspection. This inspection can only take place once you have submitted the application and fees for licensure. You can contact the inspection office at 850-487-1395.

How to Open a Hotel With a Restaurant

There are other steps that must be taken to obtain licensure for opening a restaurant in Florida. You will need to apply for the appropriate license to open a hotel with a restaurant by submitting an application to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

To obtain this type of license, you will need to create a food service plan review. This applies to both new and remodeled restaurants, as well as ones that are being reopened after having been closed for at least 12 months. It also applies to restaurants that are being opened after having served a different purpose.


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