Congratulations! You're interested in starting a business in the City of Kissimmee. Our goal is to help you open your doors as quickly and smoothly as possible.
The Business Startup Guide also includes information on numerous resources at your disposal, such as financial assistance, business networking opportunities, and available economic incentives.
Whether starting a business for the first time, relocating an existing business, or just maintaining a business--working in the City of Kissimmee should always be a stress free and pleasant experience.
The Development Services Department has created the guide to starting a business in Kissimmee, which provides tips and regulations all business owners need to know before opening their operation in the City.
The City of Kissimmee has a detailed set of zoning requirements in place which determine appropriate locations for different business types. Before deciding upon a property location, it’s best to determine if the zoning of that property is appropriate for your business. The City of Kissimmee Planning Division will be the best place to look for information about zoning.
Note: Checking the zoning of a property prior to signing a lease or purchase will help minimize any possible delays, costs, or the inability to use the property due to improper zoning. Read about the City's zoning districts for more information on each classification.
As you are searching for potential locations for your business, you will notice that each zoning district in the City of Kissimmee is accompanied by a list of specific uses that have been determined as suitable for that district. These permitted uses refer to the business types that are most appropriate for the area according to the amount of traffic they generate, the surrounding uses, and the type of density.
The regulations for each zoning district within the City of Kissimmee also contain a list of conditional uses. These are uses that, though not particularly well suited for that zoning, may be allowed on a case-by- case basis under certain conditions established by the Planning Advisory Board. This process requires an application for conditional use to be submitted, review by the Development Review Committee and a public hearing by the Planning Advisory Board in order to be approved. Here is a list of the business types that most often need a Conditional Use:
- Automobile sales
- Gasoline service stations
- Temporary labor services
- Secondhand merchandise
- Outdoor activities
- Offices in a RB-2 district
- Outdoor storage
- Car washes
- Self-storage facilities
- Day care facilities
- Communication towers
Sale of Alcoholic Beverages
Follow these rules if you’re planning on selling alcohol at your business.
- Obtain an application for an alcoholic beverage license from the State of Florida. MyFloridaLicense.com
- Get approval from the City of Kissimmee Planning Division prior to making an appointment with the State for permit issuance. This process can take a minimum of 4 business days.
- Consumption of alcohol on premises is only allowed in motels, hotels, specialty retail establishments, and restaurants with a minimum of 50 seats (30 seats in the B-1 zoning district) and serving full course meals.
- The sale of packaged alcohol, other than beer and wine is only allowed in major shopping centers with more than 12,000 square feet that are in the B-2, B-3, B-4, HC, B-5, or MUPUD zoning districts and that have open to a collector or arterial road.
- Any establishment selling alcohol must be more than 500 feet from any school, public or private, and over 300 feet from any established church, unless in the downtown (B-1) Business District. Motels, hotels, and restaurants may be exempted from this requirement.
Commercial Real Estate
Osceola County Economic Development - Provides a listing of commercial properties for rent and sale in Osceola County.
Florida Virtual Agent - Search a listing of commercial properties for rent and sale, and a directory of local agents for convenience.
CCIM Institute - Experts in Commercial Investment Real Estate with information related to commercial mortgage rates and investments, local real estate and realtor listings, monthly newsletters, networking opportunities, and online business seminars.
After you've done some research and understand the resources that are available to you, it’s time to register your business. Since the Florida Division of Corporations requires all business entities to be registered in order to do business in the state, this should be your first step. Registering with the State of Florida is an easy process and may be done online at Sunbiz.org
Obtaining a State License
Some professions are required to be licensed by the state in order to do business. It’s important to note that some state licenses require a business location prior to approval. Contact the City of Kissimmee Development Services Department to determine if the zoning of your location is appropriate for the type of business you wish to open. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Real Estate Agents
- Alcohol and Tobacco Retailers
For more information on what types of businesses need a license, visit MyFloridaLicense.com
Obtaining a Permit From the Health Department
Any business engaging in food service, child care, or health care services must obtain a permit from the State Health Department. For more information on how to obtain a permit, visit their website.
You may be required to provide worker’s compensation coverage to your employees. For more information, contact the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Site Plan Review
If your business location requires construction then you will most likely need a Site Plan Review to be performed by the Development Review Committee before you receive a building permit.
The review process is implemented in the following instances:
- If any new construction is being performed.
- If changes are made to an existing development and meet the following criteria:
- When single family, duplex, or triplex homes are converted to non-residential uses.
- When town homes, condos, or multiple-family housing are proposed.
- Any use requiring Conditional Use Permit approval.
- Any non-residential modifications including an increase in square footage, an increase in parking spaces, or a change in traffic circulation.
Site Plan Review requires a site plan application and 15 copies of the site plan, drawn to scale. The Building and Planning Division staff will assist you in developing your project and are available to answer any questions you have concerning the processes. Please note that the length of the review process varies.
Mobility and Impact Fees
Mobility and Water/Sewer Impact Fees are required for new development or circumstances that would call for intensified use for existing property. These fees may also apply to certain changes in business for existing structures. These fees fund the capital improvements necessary to absorb increases in traffic and serve residents or users of these developments. Within City limits, the impact fees for commercial development vary depending upon specific use. For questions about specific mobility fees you can contact the City of Kissimmee Planning Division and Toho Water Authority.
If you are planning a new construction or alterations to an existing site, including renovation, a Building Permit must be obtained prior to beginning work. Building Permits may be obtained through the City of Kissimmee’s Building Division.
Certificate of Occupancy
Once building construction for your property has been completed, impact fees have been paid, and a final building inspection has been performed by a City of Kissimmee Building Inspector, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued for your building. This allows you to legally occupy the building.
Obtaining a Business Tax Receipt
Obtaining a Business Tax Receipt (BTR) is the final step needed in order to open your business to the public. All businesses inside the City must obtain a BTR from Osceola County and the City of Kissimmee prior to conducting business. These licenses must be renewed annually by September 30 and a license tax must be paid. You will be required to obtain a new license if the business is transferring location or ownership, or if a separate branch location of the same business is opened. The application process will assist you in ensuring that all requirements have been met for your location, including the appropriate zoning for your type of business.
The following information is required to apply for a City of Kissimmee Business Tax Receipt:
- Application, signed and notarized.
- Osceola County Business Tax Receipt.
- Copy of lease agreement or proof of property ownership.
- Fictitious name registration (if applicable).
- Sales Tax Number (Certificate of Registration) if business will collect sales tax.
For certain businesses, additional documentation may be required. There is more information on each Business Tax Receipt on the following websites:
Osceola County BTR
City of Kissimmee BTR
When the time arrives for you to open your doors to the public, it’s important to realize that there are certain rules regulating how you can advertise your business. Before choosing permanent signage for your establishment, please consult the City of Kissimmee’s sign ordinance.
You are allowed to put up certain temporary signs for your business before and after your business opens. Each sign will require a separate building permit submitted to the City of Kissimmee Building Division. Acceptable temporary signs include:
- One 21-square foot banner sign
- One 21-square foot feather banner
- One cold air balloon
- One human sign
- “Future occupant” sign
- One 8-square foot pedestrian-oriented sign (A-frame sign) *
- Temporary window signs*
*These signs are only allowed after a business is open.
Signs that are not allowed in the City of Kissimmee include, but are not limited to:
- Portable signs
- Roof signs
- Snipe signs
- Animated or flashing signs (except those for message centers)
- Bunting, pennants, or streamers
When looking for the property best suited for your church, there are several important factors to consider. To assist in this research, this reference guide offers a summary of the procedures required for establishing a church within the City limits.
For more information, please contact the Development Services Planning Division at 407.518.2140.