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No business is exempt from registering their business operation with the city of Winter Garden but various Religious, Charitable and Educational Institutions are exempt from the annual fee when they are a nonprofit and have provided the necessary documents at time of registration and/or renewal. Certain disabled persons, the aged, widows with minor dependents, disabled veterans are also eligible for discounted fee or exemptions. If you think you qualify for an exemption, please contact us at 407-877-5144 to discuss specific requirements and the amount of the exemption for your classification.
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You will need to determined the address you wish to operate the business from. Once you have the address:
Residential district only allow for Administrative office to operate from the home address.
For Commercial or Industrial districts, please call the Winter Garden Zoning Department at 407-656-4111 ext. 5156 to inquire what type of business is allowed in a particular district?
For a specific address, you may be asked to complete a Land Use Review application for specific details and allowance for that particular address.
All new Commercial businesses coming into the city of Winter Garden to operate at a commercial business location must complete a Land Use Review application.
The City Planning & Zoning Department recommends that you complete and process this courtesy Land Use Review application prior to committing your a lease agreement.
The Land Use Review is a courtesy review by the Building Department, Fire Department and Planning & Zoning Department to insure that the proposed business operation can function and operate in the way that the business owner is proposing on their submitted application. The various department comments are complied into a written report and sent to the applicant via the email address provided on the application to ensure:
Please note that the Land Use Review approval process can take approximately 5-10 business days for response to applicant of the completed review. Once this review has been completed, the response email will include details and next steps, etc.
When creating a new business there are several steps that must be done and the order can be confusing.
After you have completed a LAND USE REVIEW and received an approval, then you are ready to following the below steps:
Here is the order for most business operations:
Yes, all businesses operating within the City of Winter Garden must obtain a Business Tax Receipt before opening.
This applies to:
Each business is required to register using a physical location such as a Commercial Business address or your home residence address in which you can conduct business at the physical location for purposed of an administrative office, etc. You may use the PO Box or Mailing Service Box as your mailing address for the business operation. The City of Winter Garden, will not allow a PO Box or Mailing Service Box to be used as the physical address for the business registration.
You run the risk of being in violation of City Code Chapter 66- Taxation Article IV for Business Tax Receipt (BTR)
If a business operates without a valid Business Tax Receipt, an additional penalty of 25% may be charged for each year in operation without a current, active and compliant Business Tax Receipt.
For details to city code for Business Tax Receipt, see Municode: Business Tax Receipt
Yes, it is the business owner's responsibility to renew the local business tax receipt each year in a timely manner. Renewals are due on or before September 30th of each year. The city will mail out courtesy renewal notices at the end of July each year based on the mailing address that we have on file. The business tax year cycle is from October 1st through September 30th of each year and needs to be renewed annually.
The annual fee is pro-rated after April 1st for a half-year based on date of registering the business and when the business was opened for operation/ lease agreement date.
The renewal period is August 1st - September 30th each year.
There are late penalty fees for past due renewals with the following schedule:
After you pay your business tax, the business must be inspected by the Fire Department to meet all applicable state and city code requirements for Commercial Business location only.
You will be contacted to make arrangements for your inspection. The Fire Inspector receives a listing of new businesses that have registered with the city at the end of each month and your location will be inspected approximately 3-6 weeks after you are open.
This is a tax paid to the City for operating a business within the City limits as right to do business.
This amount is determined by the type of business being operated. Please call 407-877-5144 to describe your business type and obtain the appropriate tax amount.
A business tax receipt expires every year on September 30th. Renewal notices are sent approximately two (2) months prior to expiration.
Many businesses operate under more than one of the nearly 200 business tax receipt classifications and are required to have a business tax receipt for each classification. Each location of a business is considered a separate business and requires a separate business tax receipt. Also, any state licensed professional(s) operating within the business establishment must be registered as a separate individual in addition to the business establishment.
Most businesses must have both City and County Business Tax Receipts. The City Business Tax Receipt must be obtained first with proper zoning approval. The Orange County Business Tax Department is located in the Sun Trust Building at 200 N.Orange Avenue, Suite 1600, Orlando, FL 32801. Their telephone number is 407-836-5650.
Invoices are mailed out at the end of July and are due on or before September 30th to avoid penalties of up to twenty-five percent (25%). Renewal period is August 1st - September 30 of each year that your business is in operation within a City of Winter Garden location. Failure to receive an invoice is not an excuse for nonpayment; the expiration date is on the Business Tax Receipt. The invoices are mailed out as a courtesy and it is the business owner's responsibility to renew in a timely manner prior to September 30th of each year.
Business Tax Receipts may be transferred in one of two ways:
Commercial – Prior to submitting for a Commercial Business Tax Receipt, a Land Use Application must be applied for with the Planning & Zoning Division and upon approval the processed Land Use Review report must be attached to the Commercial Business Tax Application. This review process typically takes between 5 -10 business days. Once the Land Use Review has been approved, issues addressed, and required documents have been submitted, the Commercial Business Tax Receipt can be done right at the counter and issued immediately. Please note that Payment is collected at time of Local Business Tax Receipt is processed and must be paid as either Cash or Check made out to the City of Winter Garden.
Residential – A Residential Business Tax Receipt can be done right at the counter and issued immediately as long as all required documents have been submitted. Please note that Payment is collected at time of Local Business Tax Receipt is processed and must be paid as either Cash or Check made out to the City of Winter Garden.