Hotels & Restaurants

Welcome to Hotels & Restaurants

MISSION: Protect the health and safety of the public by providing the industry with quality inspections and fair regulation.

The Division of Hotels and Restaurants (H&R) licenses, inspects and regulates public lodging and food service establishments in Florida under Chapter 509, Florida Statutes (FS). The division also licenses and regulates elevators, escalators and other vertical conveyance devices under Chapter 399, FS.

Getting Started With Hotels & Restaurants

Click on the license type below for more information:

Permanent Food Service (Seating)

A restaurant with seats for dining in. Permanent Food Service licenses are sometimes referred to as ‘fixed food service’ licenses as they generally are a structure with walls, floors, and ceiling that are permanently fixed to the ground.

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Permanent Food Service (Non-Seating)

This is a restaurant that offers take out or delivery but doesn’t have seats for customers to dine in.

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Catering

A food service that only provides catering services and nothing else. Note – Any public food service establishment licensed by the division may also provide catering services without holding a separate catering license.

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Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicle or Hot Dog Cart

A food truck or hot dog cart where food is prepared or served.

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Vending Machine

This is a self-service device that dispenses servings of food and doesn’t need replenishing between each operation. Generally food items served from vending machines are pre-packaged (milk cartons, packaged sandwiches, etc…).

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Theme Park Cart

This is a specialty food service license for carts that operate within a theme park or entertainment complex meeting criteria defined in 509.013, F.S. (Florida Statute).

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Culinary Education Program

This is a specialty food service license intended for educational institutions meeting the criteria defined in 381.0072, F.S. (Florida Statute).

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Temporary Food Service Event

A temporary license for preparing food at fairs, carnivals, festivals, or other temporary community events.

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Click on the license type below for more information:

Apartment - Non-Transient
  • Five or more units in a building or complex.
  • The rental periods are for at least 30 days or 1 calendar month (whichever is less) – OR – the rental unit is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.
  • 75% or more of the units in the apartment building or complex are available for rent as nontransient occupancy – meaning the rental unit is considered to be the renter’s sole residence and the stay is not temporary.

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Apartment - Transient
  • One or more units in a single complex of buildings.
  • The unit is rented more than 3 times in a calendar year and the rental periods are less than 30 days or 1 calendar month (whichever is less) – OR – the rental unit is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.
  • More than 25% of the units in the apartment building or complex are available for rent as transient occupancy – meaning the rental unit is not considered to be the renter’s sole residence and the stay is only temporary.

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Bed and Breakfast Inn
  • No more than 15 sleeping rooms (bedrooms).
  • The sleeping rooms are attached to a family home structure (e.g., home, house, or dwelling occupied by a family) that is recognized by the community as a bed and breakfast.
  • You provide meal services along with the lodging accommodations.
  • Please note that by definition Bed and Breakfast Inns also require a food service license (Permanent Food Service (Seating)).

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Hotel
  • Rents transiently (temporary – not the sole residence).
  • Has sleeping room accommodations for 25 or more guests.
  • Provides the services generally provided by a hotel and is recognized by the community as a hotel.

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Motel
  • Rents at least six units transiently (temporary – not the sole residence).
  • Has exits from each unit that exit outside the building (not into an inside hallway).
  • Offers daily and weekly rates.
  • Provides off-street parking for each unit.
  • Has a central office on the property with specific hours of operation.
  • Provides a bathroom or connecting bathroom for each unit.
  • Is recognized by the community as a motel.

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Timeshare Project
  • You have a time-share property (an arrangement where several joint owners have the right to use a property as a vacation home for an allotted period of time).
  • You rent to guests outside the timeshare owners for temporary stay occupancy.

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Vacation Rental - Condo
  • You have a single unit or group of units that you rent transiently (temporary – not the sole residence).
  • The unit or group of units is located in a condominium or cooperative (a building where the units are individually owned).

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Vacation Rental - Dwelling
  • You have a single unit or group of units that you rent transiently (temporary – not the sole residence).
  • The unit or group of units are single-family homes, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes or quadruplexes.

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Need Help?

All requests for public records, complaints, forms, and applications for licenses can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Rick Akin, Director 

Division of Hotels and Restaurants
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1011

Telephone: 850.487.1395
Email: dhr.info@myfloridalicense.com