Business Licenses & Permits

Unincorporated Manatee County does not have a “Local Business Tax Receipt” (also known as “Occupational License”).

While Manatee County does not require business licenses, there are some licensing requirements for certain types of businesses. See below for more information.

Child Care Facilities

In addition to state licensure from the Florida Department of Children & Families, you will need to contact the Reviewer on Call at (941) 749-3070 or [email protected] regarding county regulations and site plan approval.

Contractor Licensing

Contractors licensed through the State of Florida have the option of registering their state certified license with us to work in unincorporated Manatee County. Register as a contractor.

Home Businesses

Manatee County Land Development Code does allow some home occupations without any approvals, with the following limitations:

  • The home cannot take on the appearance of a business. There cannot be any outdoor storage or display of merchandise.
  • There cannot be any retail or wholesale transactions.
  • No assembly, processing or fabrication operations are allowed.
  • No signs advertising the business are allowed.
  • The business can occupy no more than 25% of the home or 200 square feet of the first floor, whichever is less, exclusive of an open porch, attached garage or similar accessory uses.
  • No traffic should be generated in greater volume than normally expected in a residential neighborhood.

Please contact the Reviewer on Call at (941) 748-3070 or [email protected] to see if your proposed business meets the above conditions.

Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicles & Hot Dog Cart Licenses

Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicles (food trucks, etc.) and Hot Dog Carts require licensure by Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Please note: Ice cream trucks must follow a different process with the County, see below.

To apply, call (850) 487-1395 or apply online:

  • Visit and click the "Apply or Manage My License" button.
  • Choose "Hotels and Restaurants"
  • Choose "Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicles or Hot Dog Cart"

Manatee County only has jurisdiction over the unincorporated area of the county and does not issue vending permits or licenses. However, we require the following regulations be adhered to:

  • Food vendor must be located on active commercial property with the approval of the property owner. Food vendor cannot block any drive aisles or parking spaces.
  • Food vendor cannot be located in the County Right-of-Way.
  • Food vendor cannot provide seating. Food is only to be dispensed from the mobile cart/vehicle.

Note: Permanent power supply will reclassify use from Mobile Food Dispensing to Restaurant and will require Final Site Plan approval.

Ice Cream Truck Operator Licenses

Ice cream trucks must apply for an "Ice Cream Truck Operator" license through Manatee County Online Services. See instructions here.

Retail Alcohol Beverage Licenses

Manatee County is only a signatory agent for retail alcohol beverage licenses, to apply for the license you must contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

We will review the state license for zoning compliance. The review fee is $50.