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  7:22:55 AM 4/20/2014
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Apply for a New Catering License Only

Florida law requires owners of new public food service and new owners of existing establishments to obtain a license from the division before operating. The application process described below is for NEW CATERING LICENSES ONLY.

Application Requirements:
 
  • ELIGIBILITY: If your operation does not meet the following definition, please return to the previous page to select the correct one.

    Caterers are public food service establishments where food or drink is prepared for service elsewhere. The term includes catering kitchens and commissaries. The term "caterer" does not include those establishments licensed pursuant to Chapters 500 or 381, FS, or which exclusively prepare or serve traditional bakery goods such as cakes, pastries, bagels, or confections. If a licensed establishment provides catering services, it is not required to hold a separate catering license from the division. Caterers must meet all applicable standards of a public food service establishment as provided in rule. Separate independent caterers utilizing the equipment or premises of a licensed establishment are deemed operators as defined by subsection 509.013(2), FS, of such public food service establishment and subject to all applicable requirements of law and rule, including a separate public food service establishment license. [Rule 61C-1.002(5)(a)3., Florida Administrative Code]

  • PLAN REVIEW: The operator of each public food service establishment to be newly constructed, remodeled, converted or re-opened shall submit properly prepared facility plans and specifications to the division for review and approval in accordance with provisions of law and rule prior to the start of the construction or change. See our plan review webpage for more information. If you wish to apply for your license online, please be sure to read the last bullet below before starting the licensing process.

  • USING A DBPR LICENSED FACILITY FOR YOUR CATERING OPERATIONS: We strongly recommend a cover letter be included with your license application if you will be using an existing DBPR licensed establishment as the location for your catering operations. The cover letter should include the DBPR license number of the establishment and a brief explanation stating that you will operate your catering business from this licensed establishment.


  • APPLICATION: Obtain and complete the Public Food Service License Application Packet in Microsoft Word or Fill-in PDF (also referenced at the bottom of this page). The application packet includes instructions for making application and the following form:

    • DBPR HR-7007 Application for Public Food Service Establishment License - Word / Fill-in PDF

  • LICENSE FEES: Annual license fees are listed on our food service fee website and are based in part on the county your establishment is located and when you wish to open. The division divides the state into 7 licensing districts according to county. Licenses expire each year at the following times:

    • District 1 - October 1
    • District 2 - December 1
    • District 3 - February 1
    • District 4 - April 1
    • District 5 - June 1
    • District 6 - June 1
    • District 7 - December 1

  • If you wish to begin operation within six months or less of your expiration date, you are required to pay only a half-year fee.

    The division mails renewal reminder notices about 60 days prior to expiration. Therefore, if you are applying within this period, we allow you to purchase a license that will authorize you to operate for up to 14 months for 1.5 times the license fee. (Unfortunately, this option is NOT currently available for online applications). If you apply online within 60 days, or do not opt for the 14-month license, you need to be mindful when your license expires so you can renew before expiration, since the division may not send a reminder.

    If you are applying more than six months prior to the expiration date, the full-year fee must be paid.

    All new and change of ownership applications must include a $50 application fee. This fee is in addition to the annual license fee.


  • To assist you in determining the correct fee, the division has provided a license fee calculator. This calculator requires Microsoft Excel®. To download software to use the calculator, please go to Excel Viewer.


    The appropriate license fee must be paid to the division before a license will be issued. If plan review is required, the plan review fee must also be paid and the plan approved before a license will be issued. Please make checks payable to the Division of Hotels and Restaurants. For assistance in determining the correct license fee, please contact the department at 850.487.1395.

  • OPENING INSPECTION: All new licensees are required to pass a sanitation and safety inspection prior to opening. After meeting all requirements of the plan review (if applicable) and submitting your license application and fees, contact the department at 850.487.1395 to schedule an opening inspection.

  • MORE INFO: For more information about our licensing process and other government requirements, please see our website. Use the Back button or arrow to return to this screen.


  • PLEASE READ BEFORE APPLYING ONLINE

    To be eligible to apply for this license using our online services, you MUST have completed the plan review process first. If you completed plan review using online services, you must choose the related license link to find the prompt to apply for the license. If you completed plan review through our manual or e-mail process, you will need to link to the existing record using the license number provided in your approved plan review paperwork before you can access the licensing process. If you have not yet completed plan review, you may still apply for your license through regular mail, or choose another online process from the previous page to apply. We encourage you to review our walk-thru before starting the online process.


If you have questions or need assistance in completing this application, please call the Customer Contact Center at 850-487-1395.


Apply Using Online Services


Apply Using a Printable Application
1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee FL 32399 :: Email: Customer Contact Center :: Customer Contact Center: 850.487.1395