Business Tax Receipts, or BTRs, are permits for conducting business within Escambia County and are administered through the local tax collector’s office. BTRs are renewable during July, August, and September of each year, with September 30 marked as the expiration date of each. Fees for these BTRs are $26.25 annually. Businesses that do not maintain a current Escambia County BTR are subject to a $250.00 fine by the tax collector.

While the requirement for obtaining most BTRs is to fill out a simple application, there are sometimes other conditions of City, County, State, or Federal agencies to be met before a receipt can be issued. The following information should be helpful in determining how to start a business in Escambia County.

Businesses located in Escambia County (whether inside or outside the city limits) need an Escambia County BTR obtained from the tax collector.

Businesses located within the City of Pensacola limits require a city BTR as well as an Escambia County BTR. If the nature of the business takes owners or employees inside the city limits to conduct business, even though the business establishment is in the county, it may be necessary to obtain a city BTR also.

Information on the city BTR is available from:

City Business Tax Receipt Department
City Hall, Fifth Floor
Government and Spring Streets
P.O. Box 12910
Pensacola, FL 32521
Phone: 850-436-5693

Sales and tax exemption numbers are acquired from:

Florida Department of Revenue
2205 La Vista Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32504
Phone: 850-471-6970

Certain businesses require inspection before a BTR can be issued in Escambia County. The following businesses are inspected by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Hotels and Restaurants, Panama City Beach District #6.
Phone: 850-487-1395

  • Restaurants
  • Food Concessions
  • Mobile Food Units
  • Take-Out
  • Catering

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspects the following:
Phone: 1-800-435-7352

  • Grocery Stores
  • Bakeries
  • Food Processing Plants
  • Bottling Plants
  • Ice Plants
  • Seafood Vendors
  • Juice/Sno-Cone Concessions

Contracting businesses should check with the Escambia County Contractor Competency Board to see if a test is required for their particular type of contracting. For information, contact:
Escambia County Contractor Competency Board
3363 West Park Place
Pensacola, FL 32505
Phone: 850-595-3550

Some businesses require State licenses. For information regarding Department of Business and Professional Regulations licensing and other Florida State requirements, call the local State information number.
Phone: 850-487-1395

Information on how to establish a corporation is available from:
Department of State
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Phone: 850-245-6052

Income tax and employer identification numbers may be obtained from:
Internal Revenue Service
7180 North 9th Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32504
Phone: 800-829-1040

Any business owner operating under a name other than his given legal name must register for a fictitious business name. Contact:
Fictitious Name Registration
P.O. Box 1300
Tallahassee, FL 32302
Phone: 850-245-6059

Some businesses may need to obtain a Solid Waste Management Permit. For information, contact:
Solid Waste Management
13009 Beulah Road
Cantonment, FL 32533
Phone: 850-937-2176

For an alcoholic beverage license, apply to:
Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco
4900 Bayou Blvd., Ste. 210
Pensacola, FL 32503-2532
Phone: 850-494-5970

In addition to the information provided here, an excellent source of new business information is the Small Business Development Center. Consulting services and workshops are available, and most are free. For information contact:

UWF Small Business Development Center (UWF SBDC)
11000 University Parkway
Building 76, Suite 109
Pensacola, FL 32514
Phone: 850-474-2528

Going out of Business

The tax collector is responsible for the issuance of permits to conduct fire and goin- out-of-business sales. The permit is good for 60 days with no extensions, and the fee is $50. Applications must be filed with a complete inventory listing at the downtown office.