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
Unincorporated Bay County does not require a business license; however, they do suggest that you register your business name with www.sunbiz.org.
Callaway – 850.871.6000
If you are opening a new business you will need to apply for a license by submitting a Business License Tax Application. This may be for a commercial business or a residential business. Those wishing to apply for a license should visit the Callaway City Hall building located at 6601 East Highway 22, Callaway, FL 32404. For more information, including a link to the online copy of the application, visit the City of Callaway’s Website.
Lynn Haven – 850.265.2121
The City of Lynn Haven City Code Chapter 113 Ordinance number 583 requires that all business, professionals, independent contractors, and individuals who accept compensation for goods or services obtain a City of Lynn Haven business tax certificate. Please note all independent contractors required their own business tax certificate. Those wishing to apply for a license should visit the Service Center next to the City Hall building located at 825 Ohio Ave, Lynn Haven, FL 32444. For more information, including a link to the online copy of the application, visit the City of Lynn Haven’s Website.
Mexico Beach – 850.648.5700
Mexico Beach requires a license from every person engaging in business within the City limits (see City Code Section 110 for details). It is the duty of all officers and agents of all corporations to see that they comply with this requirement. hose wishing to apply for a license should visit the Mexico Beach City Hall located at 201 Paradise Path, Mexico Beach, FL 32410. For more information, including a link to the online copy of the application, visit the City of Mexico Beach’s Website.
Panama City – 850.872.3033
Those wishing to operate a business in the City of Panama City should hold a valid business license from the City. Those wishing to apply for a license should visit the Panama City City Hall located at 819 E. 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401. For more information, including a link to the online copies of the applications, visit the City of Panama City’s Website.
Panama City Beach – 850.233.5100
Those wishing to operate a business in the City of Panama City Beach should hold a valid business license from the City. Those wishing to apply for a license should visit the Public Services Building next to Panama City Beach City Hall located at 116 S. Arnold Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32413. For more information, including a link to the online copies of the applications, visit the City of Panama City Beach’s Website.
Parker – 850.871.4104
Those wishing to open a business in within the city limits of Parker will need a receipt from the City showing you paid a license fee to do business in the City, but some businesses also need additional information or permits from the State. Those wishing to apply for a license should visit the Parker City Hall located at 1001 West Park Street, Parker, FL 32404. For more information, including a link to the online copy of the application, visit the City of Parker’s Website.
Springfield – 850.872.7570
Those wishing to operate a business in the City of Springfield should hold a valid business license from the City. Those wishing to apply for a license should visit the Springfield City Hall located at 3529 East 3rd Street, Springfield, FL 32401. For more information, visit the City of Springfield’s Website.
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
The Bay County Chamber of Commerce believes that small business is the backbone of our economy and community. With offices located in Panama City Beach, the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of West Florida brings no-cost business consulting services to Bay County and surrounding areas!
The SBDC offers NO COST consulting services and educational workshops in the following areas:
- Business Continuity and Disaster Planning
- Start-Up Assistance
- Capital Access
- Strategy Review
- Financial Analysis
- Sales and Market Growth
- Business Planning
- Government Contracting
- International Trade
- and more!
Located in TechFarms at:
7506 Holley Circ, Panama City Beach, FL 32408
To request consulting services call (850) 407-0681 or visit:
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
Grow your business with LinkedIn
There are over 30 million small businesses in the United States, but only half of them will make it past five years. Ensure your small business is in the successful half and capitalize on how LinkedIn can evolve your business. Here are three ways to grow your business using LinkedIn:
- Create & Promote a LinkedIn Company Page
LinkedIn members are 50% more likely to buy once they’ve engaged with your business on LinkedIn. But they can’t connect with you if you don’t have a LinkedIn Company Page. Personal profiles don’t have the same marketing, advertising, and recruiting features as Company Pages, making them less effective at promoting your business. As you create your page, think about the kind of impression you want to create among potential customers and employees.
Here are some simple ways to get the word out:
- Announce the launch of the Company Page on your personal LinkedIn profile
- Link to your Company Page in the footer of your marketing emails or newsletters
- Embed a Company Follow button onto your website so visitors can easily follow your LinkedIn Company Page
- Build an All-Star Team
LinkedIn has helped 75% of job switchers make informed decisions about their careers, making LinkedIn a top recruiting network for entrepreneurs.
Career Pages allow you to target audiences with a personalized look into your company, culture, and job postings. They give you dedicated Life and Job tabs on your Company Page that attract and engage relevant applicants.
In addition to creating Career Pages, have employees share job postings and “day in the life” content as well. This gives visitors a genuine idea of what it’s like to work for you and adds to your authenticity. If you have a few employees who lead the pack in sharing content, consider linking them to your Company Page’s Life Tab. Watch our video below on how to use the Life Tab to attract the right talent for your company:
- Hire Freelancers
You’ve probably had an employee who took on a task outside of their domain. You might have even done it yourself a few times. While the effort is commendable, learning on the fly can also be detrimental.
Finding the right talent for the task isn’t as tricky as it once was, even if you can’t afford the average salaries of full-time employees.
LinkedIn ProFinder lets you post projects, get free proposals, and hire trustworthy professionals all in one place. ProFinder pairs you with local professionals to ensure you have the best freelance experience. With 172 professional services available on ProFinder, it’s easy to find the perfect professional. LinkedIn vets all the professionals on the platform to ensure they are qualified and leverages your network to find freelancers your connections have used.