Starting a business
It's easier than you think! This short guide puts you in contact with the planning, permitting, and business tax functions of the City, and gets you on your way to opening your doors. Check out the menu items on the left side of this page for more detail on various stages of the approval process. Not all parts of the process apply to every project, but we hope this is a good resource to get you started. You can start here with the Chamber of Commerce's Guide to starting a business and move to starting a business in Florida. Our Business & Investment Assistance and the modules below will provide more information relative to Longwood. Please call or email Tom Krueger in our Economic Development Office for any questions (407-260-3430, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Though there’s a federal program designed to help small businesses weather the Covid-19 storm, it’s proving inadequate as many are facing what feels like inevitable downsizing, closures, and bankruptcies. Knowing that the survival of these businesses are vital to the community, we wanted to offer a resource for businesses to quickly and easily find available short and long term loan options that can help during these difficult times. Digital.com spent over 40 hours researching 90+ business loan companies from across the web, to develop this comprehensive guide that can help small businesses and startups find the best business loans for their situation. You can learn more about it here: The 9 Best Business Loans
Pre-Development Inquiry Sessions (PDIs)
Whether you are building, renovating or opening a new business in the City of Longwood, a Pre-Development Inquiry session is an important first step. PDIs are an informal opportunity for you to meet with City Staff to discuss your project on an informal, preliminary basis. There is no fee charged for a PDI and these meetings help save business owners and developers time and money by allowing the review team to identify requirements and propose solutions early in the process. For more information, and to schedule a PDI, click here to visit the Pre-Development Inquiry Session page.
Building permits are required for changes of use, new construction, additions or alterations of commercial space, multi-family or single-family residences, as well as, changes to an interior or exterior that will require construction, demolition, or rehabilitation of the space. This includes any electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, heating, or other work. Obtaining permits assures that the work meets the Florida Building Code and all applicable regulations. The permit process offers the opportunity to have the plans reviewed by professional staff and includes inspections by certified experts who will make sure that the work is safely and professionally completed. The Building Division is here to answer your questions and can be contacted at (407) 260-3464 or click here to visit the Building Division's webpage.
Register Your Business (State Licensing)
Register your business in the State of Florida. Once you have determined the type of business you wish to open, contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations to determine if you need a state license or certification of competency. There are more than 50 regulated professions requiring state licensing.
Contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations at (850) 486-1395.
Business Tax Receipt
To operate a business in the City of Longwood, you are required to apply for and obtain a local business tax receipt. Whether your business operates in a commercial location or is home-based, a business tax receipt is required pursuant to both State and local laws. Staff is available to assist you with your local business tax receipt inquiries including, but not limited to, business classification, estimated license fees, how to apply for a local business tax receipt license, and other State or County licensing/certification requirements you may need prior to obtaining your license. To learn more about Business Tax Receipts, contact Kevin Cyman at 407-263-2337.
Any complaints concerning business practices, however, should be addressed, if they are licensed by the state, to the board that regulates them. For all other businesses please contact the Better Business Bureau at 407-621-3300.
Home Occupation Regulations & Handyman Notice
If your business is located within your home, you must read and submit a signed copy of the Home Occupation Regulations. If you are a handyman, please read and submit the Handyman Notice with your application. For more information concerning Home Occupation, Handyman Notice and Business Tax Receipts and their respective applications contact Kevin Cyman, Economic Development Coordinator at 407-260-2337 or email at email@example.com.
Building permits are required for all exterior signs. Signs must meet color, size and location requirements as outlined in the City’s Land Development Code.Temporary signs including grand opening banners, development signs, and real estate signs require a permit as well. A downloadable permit application may be found at the Building Division's website, and the Building Division may be contacted at 407-260-3464 for questions on permitting or construction. For questions regarding design and location standards for signage, please contact the Planning Division at 407-260-3462.
Click here to view the Planning Division's webpage and request a paint permit application. A permit is required to paint the exterior of your business.