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Local Business Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Who Needs a Local Business Tax Receipt?
The St. Johns County Ordinance 72-2 requires all individuals or organizations doing business which is located and/or operating in St Johns County to obtain a Local Business Tax Receipt.

St. Johns County is one of the counties in Florida which elected to collect Local Business Taxes (formerly known as Occupational License)  when the state turned it over to local government level in 1972. (County Ordinance 72-2)

Payment of the Local Business Tax allows you the right to do business in St. Johns County and is paid annually with the fiscal year beginning October 1 through September 30.  This is a tax and shall not give any person the right to violate any other law or ordinance.

How to get a County Local Business Tax Receipt?
A County Local Business Tax Receipt can be obtained at any Branch office of the St. Johns County Tax Collector’s office or by mail. Applicants at a Branch office or by mail will need to provide the following information along with the applicable payment amount due. Click for Local Business Tax Application online.

  • Business name
  • Owners(s) or Corp/LLC name
  • Mailing address
  • Physical Location Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Email address
  • Owner’s Social Security or Business Federal ID Number
    Social Security or Federal ID Numbers are obtained from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The toll-free number for the IRS is 1-800-829-1040 or www.irs.ustreas.gov.
  • Florida Sales Tax Number (when applicable)
    To obtain a Florida Sales Tax Number or resale number, contact the Florida Department of Revenue at 1-800-352-3671 or www.dor.myflorida.com.

Municipal Receipt Requirements
In St. Johns County, a business located within the city limit requires both a municipal receipt and a county receipt to operate; a city receipt must be obtained before a county local business tax receipt can be issued. You must first determine where your business will be located; and then you must contact one of the following St. Johns County Zoning Departments for a written approval (even if you have a home based business):

  • St. John County Zoning:        (904) 209-0675
  • City of St. Augustine:              (904) 825-1065
  • City of St. Augustine Beach:  (904) 471-2122
  • Town of Hastings:                  (904) 692-1420

If you are within the City of St. Augustine, City of St. Augustine Beach, or the town of Hastings, a copy of the Local Business Tax Receipt must accompany the St. Johns County Local Business Tax Receipt Application.

Fictitious Name Registration, Corporation Registration, Proof of Name Filing With the State of Florida
If you are not using your full legal name within the name of the business name and you do not plan to incorporate or operate a LLC with the State of Florida you will need to file a Fictitious name with the State. You can register for the Fictitious Name at www.sunbiz.org, or you can come into any one of our branches to pick up the application. The filing fee is $50.00 with the State. 

If you are a Corporation or LLC we will need to see your Copy of Articles of Incorporation or Organization filed with the State of Florida. If you are a Corporation or LLC from another state you will need to file your Corporation or LLC with the State of Florida as a Foreign Corporation at www.sunbiz.org.

Nothing has to be filed if you are operating under your full legal name.

County Certifications
If you are a licensed contractor for St Johns County we will need to see your Contractor’s License issued by St. Johns County Building Department. If you are a contractor (not state certified) coming in from another county or state you will need to be registered with the Building Department as a licensed contractor. You can reach them at (904) 827-6820 if you have any questions to obtaining a Contractor’s License.

State Certifications
If your occupation is one which requires a state certification, such as contractors, attorneys, physicians, real estate agents, restaurants, and etc. You will need to provide a copy of your current state certification with your application for the Local Business Tax Receipt. For a complete listing of occupations that require state certification you may visit:

  • Department of Business and Professional Regulations
    Restaurants, Hotel, Motel, Bed and Breakfast, Cosmetology,
    Barbers, Real Estate, State certified contractors, etc.
    www.myfloridalicense.com or call them at 1-850-487-1395.
  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
    Dance Studios (Ball Room Dancing only), Health Studio (Athletic
    Clubs), Motor Vehicle Repairs, Pawn Shops, Sellers of Travel,
    Telemarketing, etc.
    www.800helpfla.com or call them at 1-800-435-7352.
  • Department of Children and Family Services
    Childcare and Nursery
    www.dcf.state.fl.us/childcare
  • Department of Health
    Physicians, dentists, and all Medical Professions.
    www.doh.state.fl.us

How much does a Local Business Tax Receipt cost?

  • State Licensed Professionals:  $30.00
  • Sales:                                    $30.00
  • Service Trades:                       $22.00
  • Construction:                          $18.00

Some professional offices require two (2) business tax receipts, i.e.

  • Physician Office
  • Attorney Office
  • Beauty Salon/Cosmetologist

For other trades or classifications not noted here please contact your local Tax Collector’s Office for more information.

What if I change the location of my business?
The Local business tax receipt may be transferred upon application and fee. Prerequisites for new location must be satisfied (i.e. Zoning Approval, City Receipts).

Upon Sale of a business, is a business tax receipt transferable to the new owner? Or What do I need to do if I buy an existing business?
Except for individual professional and exempt tax receipts, a tax receipt may be transferred to a new owner upon application and payment of fee. Any regulatory prerequisites must be met by the new owner. The current Local Business Tax Receipt must be returned, new application completed, bill of sale provided, and the regulatory prerequisites such as the Department of Agriculture Consumer Services, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and etc, must be transferred to the new owner’s name before we can process the transfer.

Are there any exemptions from Business Tax Receipts?
There are some fee exemption (business tax receipts and prerequisites are still applicable) for disabled veterans (up to $50.00); full exemption for 65 years or older ($1000.00 less in capital and resident of St. Johns County), widows with dependent children, handicapped or blind. The applicant for the exemption must be conducting the actual business, and not an “absentee owner”. There is an application that must be completed and notarized.  Please call the St Johns County Tax Collector’s office for more information.

What should I do if I go out of business?
If your business closes or relocates to another county, it is your responsibility to contact our office in writing to close your business tax submitted with a copy of the business tax receipts to be closed. Failure to immediately contact the Tax Collector’s office at (904) 209-2250 and the Property Appraiser’s office at (904) 827-5500 will result in additional Tangible Personal Property Tax Bills. Failure to pay your annual renewal notice fee on your Local Business Tax Receipt will not be sufficient to notify this office or the Property Appraiser that you are no longer in business.

What if I want to conduct a “Going out of Business/Fire Sale?”
Any individual or business that wishes to conduct or advertise a “Fire Sale” or “Going out of Business Sale”, or any other liquidation sale is required by the State of Florida (Florida Statute 559.20) to apply, and purchase a Going out of Business Permit. The Going out of Business Permits is available at the Tax Collector’s Main office.

  • Included with the application shall be a copy of the proposed advertising, the current county local business tax receipt, and a copy of the current inventory, listing goods to be sold. 
  • The fee required is $50.00.
  • Prior to the issuance of the permit, all tangible personal property, and real estate taxes (if applicable) must be paid. 
  • The permit is valid for a period of not more than 60 consecutive days, counting Sunday, and any legal holiday, following the issuance thereof.

How long does it take to get a local business tax receipt?
Most local business tax receipts can be issued the same day you come to the office as long as all the necessary requirements are met to obtain the business tax receipt. Therefore, some tax receipts may take longer to meet issuance requirements.

Is there a reciprocal agreement with other neighboring counties?
No, St. Johns County does not reciprocate with any other counties.

What are the important business tax dates?

  • July: Business Tax Receipt Renewals begin July 1st
  • September: Business Tax Receipts expires September 30th
  • October: Business Tax Receipt becomes delinquent Oct 1st
  • October: Delinquent penalty for October 10%
  • November: Delinquent penalty for November 15%
  • December: Delinquent penalty for December 20%
  • January: Delinquent penalty for January 25%

How do I renew the Local Business Tax Receipt? 
You can renew by mail, at one of our branches, or you can renew online.

Related Links

For further information on St. Johns County Local Business Tax please call the St. Johns County Tax Collector’s office at (904) 209-2250.

Business Resources

  • Agency for Health Care Administration
    www.fdhc.state.fl.us    |    1-888-419-3456
  • IRS Liaison
    (Small business resource guide)
    www.sbrg.irs.gov
  • Better Business Bureau                                     
    www.bbbnefla.org    |    1-800-HELP-FLA
  • Business Assistance-Enterprise Florida
    (Grants, assistance for new & existing Business owners, etc)
    www.eflorida.com    |    1-850-298-6620
  • Charitable Organizations                       
    www.800helpfla.com    |    1-800-HELP-FLA
  • Consumer Complaints                                        
    www.800helpfla.com
  • Department of Environmental Protection          
    www.dep.state.fl.us
       |    1-850-245-2118    |    (904) 807-3304 (NE District)
  • Department of Law Enforcement                       
    www.fdle.state.fl.us     |    1-850-410-7000
  • Department of Transportation                           
    www.dot.state.fl.us    |    1-850-414-4100
  • Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco
    www.myflorida.com   |    (904) 727-5550
  • Financial Assistance for Business  Owners                      
    www.cfda.gov
       |   www.grants.gov   |    www.sba.gov
  • Florida Bar
    (To Verify Attorneys)                                    
    www.floridabar.org    |   1-850-561-5600
  • Florida Small Business 
    (Detailed Information for New Businesses)
    www.FloridaSmallBusiness.com
  • Governor’s Office                                               
    www.flgov.com     |   1-850-488-7146
  • Office of Financial Regulations                          
    www.flofr.com     |    1-850-410-9800
  • Worker’s Compensation Compliance Unit        
    www.fldfs.com/wc     |    1-850-413-1601

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