Community Development - Building

New Business Guidelines

Charlotte County Code States:

Charlotte County Code Section 1 10-18 requires that any person who engages in or manages any business, profession or occupation in the County for which a Business Tax Receipt is required, must obtain a Business Tax Receipt prior to the commencement of that business, profession, or occupation.

NOTE: You should check first with Zoning Department at 941.743.1964 to see if your business is a permitted use in the zoning district in which the property is located.

Sewage Disposal Authorization for Business form must be completed by the applicant and the Health Department prior to applying for a Business Tax Receipt or a commercial change permit. The evaluation form may be obtained from the Health Department. IF YOUR PLACE OF BUSINESS IS KNOWN TO BE ON A SEWER SYSTEM, THIS FORM IS NOT REQUIRED. In some cases, it may be necessary to have this form signed off by the Health Department if your business is on a sewer system.

  • Complete the Sewage Disposal Authorization Form,
  • The Zoning Office must initial and specify the zoning district on the form prior to submittal to the Health Department;
  • Submit the completed form to the Health Department which must approve and stamp the form before you can get the Business Tax Receipt or commercial name change inspections;
  • For information regarding the review fee or the form itself, please contact the Charlotte County Health Department at 743-1266;
  • You will need two (2) copies of the SIGNED AND STAMPED form.

Business Tax Receipts  - Prior to obtaining a certificate of occupancy for your business, you must obtain a Business Tax Receipt from the Tax Collectors Office. If you already have a Business Tax Receipt and are changing the location of your business, you are required to submit a new application transferring the license to the new location and include a copy of your current Business Tax Receipt. To obtain a license you are required to submit the following:

  • A Business Tax Receipt
  • A copy of the APPROVED Sewage Disposal Authorization For Businesses form from the Health Department;
  • If you are licensed with the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations or Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a copy of your current license must also be submitted;
  • Contractors must submit a copy of their current competency license;
  • If the establishment handles food, a copy of the Department of Business and Professional Regulations or Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspection report is required, whichever is applicable for your type of establishment. This is required for an ownership change, a location change or a new business;
  • Registration of Fictitious Name: the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations now requires that proof of registration of a fictitious name be submitted with a new Business Tax Receipt.

Commercial Change Permits for certificate of occupancy must be applied for at the Charlotte County Permitting Office. All new occupations or businesses moving into a commercial building are required to obtain this permit prior to occupying the structure. You are required to submit the following:

  • A completed Commercial Change of Occupancy Status form;
  • A copy of the APPROVED Sewage Disposal Authorization For Businesses Form (Health Department approval);
  • Site Plan Review Process fee of $90.00 made payable to the “Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners” (CCBCC);
  • A commercial change inspection consists of inspections for building, plumbing, electrical, zoning and fire compliance. The inspectors must be able to have access to the inside of the building to perform the appropriate inspection;
  • Upon approval by all inspectors, the Inspection Division will notify the Power Company that power may be turned on (make sure you have made prior arrangements with the Power Company to connect your power or you will experience a delay). The Inspection Division will issue a Certificate of Occupancy authorizing occupancy of the building.
  • If an inspection fails, a re-inspection fee will be required to be paid and a re-inspection made when corrections are complete.

Impact Fee Assessments - A change in occupancy of a structure or unit which results in a different type of business occupying the structure (i.e. office to medical or warehouse to retail) may require that an impact fee be assessed. You should contact the Zoning Department (941.743.1964) for information on the assessment of impact fees.

Signs - Signs permitted at businesses vary according to property or building frontage. Please check with the Zoning Department for the type of signage allowed for your business. No portable signs are permitted! Sign permits are required prior to the installation of the signs. In most cases, it is required that a licensed sign contractor make application for that permit.

Temporary Advertising Devices - Flags, pennants, banners, etc., are limited to being displayed twice per year for periods not to exceed 30 days each. Permits are required and should be obtained prior to the displaying of such devices. Contact the Zoning Department (941.743.1964) for more information.

Street Number Required - All commercial buildings are required to have the street number affixed in Arabic numerals no less than 6” in height and placed on a color contrasting that will be easily seen from the street. In addition, each unit must also be identified with either a letter or number. It is required that this street number identification be in place prior to obtaining a certificate of occupancy.

Interior Remodeling - Any alteration to the interior of your building/unit (i.e. electrical wiring, plumbing, wall) requires that you obtain a permit from the Charlotte County Building Division prior to making those alterations. Please call 941.743.1201 for more information).

Off Street Parking Requirements - Due to a change in local ordinances, it may sometimes be necessary to provide additional off street parking for your business. This requirement is usually precipitated when the type of business occupying a building or unit changes (i.e. warehouse to retail or office; office to restaurant). In some instances the change of use may so drastically impact the parking requirements that your proposed business may not be allowed to occupy the proposed location. There is usually no deficiency in parking when the type of business remains the same (i.e. retail to retail; warehouse to warehouse). It is recommended that you contact the Inspection Division determine if a potential parking problem exists.

Additional Information - There may be additional requirements which have not been included in this information. Should you have any questions, you may contact the various departments by telephone: See Department Listing.