Thinking about starting a business in Bay County or in any of its cities and need to apply for a license? There are a few things to know and what resources are available.
Determine what type of company you want to form.
Do you want to:
- File a DBA (fictitious name) to create a sole proprietorship or partnership?
- Incorporate as a corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company)?
Which ever you choose, you should register your company with the state (at www.sunbiz.org) and with the city your business will operate in, and obtain a bank account. You are required to do these steps even if you have an online business or an at home business.
Unincorporated Bay County does not require a business license; however, they do suggest that you register your business name with www.sunbiz.org.
If your business will operate within any of the city limits listed below, then you must contact the city for their licensing requirements.
- Callaway – 850.871.6000
- Lynn Haven – 850.265.2121
- Mexico Beach – 850.648.5700
- Panama City – 850.872.3033
- Panama City Beach – 850.233.5100
- Parker – 850.871.4104
- Springfield – 850.872.7570
The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations has all the information you need regarding business licensing for the state of Florida www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr.
The Small Business Development Center offers free assistance with filing your business license, filling out your business plan and more. Contact them at 850-818-0570 or www.sbdc.uwf.edu
The Bay County Chamber partners with many community organizations to provide resources for new and existing businesses. Find a list of our community partners below as well as links to government websites such as the Bay County Commission, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of Court and more.
Small Business Development Center
A non-profit organization designed to deliver up-to-date counseling, training and technical assistance in all aspects of small business management. Services include, but not limited to, assisting small businesses with licensing, financial, marketing, production, organization, engineering and technical problems, feasibility studies and more. The SBDC also offers many workshops, online training and continuing education opportunities.
2196 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
(Panama City Mall)
Panama City, FL 32405
CareerSource Gulf Coast
CareerSource Gulf Coast is the vehicle of the Gulf Coast Board of Directors for providing employment and training services for job seekers, employers and youth. It is their primary goal to engineer solutions for local businesses by providing tools and resources needed to stay competitive ALL FOR FREE. Employer Services include: Recruitment, Applicant Screening, Employed Worker Training, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Incumbent Worker Training, Quick Response Training and Human Resource Assistance.
625 Hwy. 231
Panama City, FL 32405
- Bay County, Florida: www.co.bay.fl.us
- The State of Florida: www.myflorida.com
- The U.S. Government: www.firstgov.gov
- The Florida Legislature: www.leg.state.fl.us
- Bay County Supervisor of Elections: www.bayvotes.org
- Bay County Department of Emergency Management: http://www.co.bay.fl.us/166/Emergency-Management-Division
- Bay County Tax Collector: www.baytaxcollector.com
- Bay County Clerk of Court: www.baycoclerk.com
- Florida Department of Health in Bay County: http://www.floridahealth.gov/CHD/Bay/Index.html