BUSINESS TAX GUIDE AND APPLICATIONS
Before applying for your Lee County Local Business Tax account you should view the Lee County Economic Development website for business guidance.
Any person who wishes to start a business or has an established business from another county must obtain their Lee County Local Business Tax Account prior to doing business within Lee County with the exception of specific exemptions. It is the responsibility of the person or business to be sure that local, state and federal laws and regulations have been complied with in regard to their particular business before obtaining a local business tax account.
If you operate a business, or rent real property, you are subject to an ad valorem assessment and will receive a Lee County tangible personal property tax notice. Tangible personal property tax is an ad valorem tax assessed by the property appraiser, based on the Tangible Property Tax Return (DR-405) that must be filed with the Property Appraiser by April 1 of each year. For more information on this process view our Business Owner's Guide to Tangible Taxes.
Businesses that begin offering goods or services from April 1 thru September 30 will pay a prorated fee. Any business operating before obtaining a local business tax account will be assessed a 25% penalty per Florida Statute 205.053.
If the nature of the business takes employees inside a city limit to conduct business, even though the business establishment is in the county, it may be necessary to obtain a city business tax account also. Currently the cities of Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Sanibel have a city business tax requirement. Additionally, the Town of Fort Myers Beach requires accounts for selected businesses.
Before obtaining a county business tax receipt, you may need to register the business name with the Division of Corporations.
A fictitious name is any name used for a business in the State of Florida, other than the owner's legal name or an incorporated name. To ensure compliance with the fictitious name requirements, it is recommended that you contact the Department of State, Division of Corporations.
If a local business tax account is already established and any one of the following events occur, the business owner is required to submit a new application:
- A business is sold (requires a Bill of Sale)
- The owner's name changes
- The business name changes
- The physical location of the business changes (additional zoning may be required)
If an account is transferred due to a change in ownership or location, a transfer fee of 10% of the account amount is charged (minimum charge $3/maximum charge of $25.)
Applications and Instructions Local Business Tax Account Application and Instructions Local Business Tax Account Instructions (Spanish) Checklist for New Businesses Checklist for New Businesses (Spanish)