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  6:38:22 AM 4/18/2014
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Apply for a Change of Ownership (with or without Plan Review) of an Existing Catering License

Florida law requires new owners of existing public food service establishments to obtain a license from the division before operating. In addition, plan review is required when the establishment is: 1) newly built, 2) converted from another use, 3) extensively remodeled or 4) re-opened after being closed at least 1 year. Usually, we recommend you apply for plan review prior to building or remodeling your establishment, and then apply for license at least 30 days before you begin operations. The application process described below is for CHANGE OF OWNERSHIPS 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]

  • APPLICATION WITHOUT PLAN REVIEW: If you are exempt from the plan review requirement, or have already completed it, please obtain and complete the Public Food Service License Application Packet in Microsoft Word or Fill-in PDF. 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

    If you wish to file plan review now, use the following forms instead.

  • APPLICATION WITH PLAN REVIEW: If you are applying for your change ownership license with a plan review, please obtain and complete the Public Food Service License with Plan Review 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 forms:

    • DBPR HR-7030 Application for Public Food Service Establishment License with Plan Review - Word / Fill-in PDF
    • Onsite Sewage (Septic) and Water Supply Evaluation -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.

    If you are filing for plan review, there is an additional $150 plan review fee to complete this transaction.


  • 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. If you are filing for plan review, make sure to add the $150 plan review fee to the calculated license fee by checking question 4 on the calculator.


    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.

  • 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 are filing for plan review, please include:

    • SCALED DRAWINGS: At least two (2) scaled drawings. The division will keep one set and return any additional sets to the applicant. You may submit additional sets required by local authorities. Click here for additional information.
    • MENU: All applicants are required to submit a copy of the proposed menu.

  • OPENING INSPECTION: If your facility has passed a sanitation and safety inspection within 120 days prior to the change of ownership, we do not require an inspection. If not, after meeting all requirements, 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.

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