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Each year more than 200,000 new businesses open their doors in South Florida. Starting a business is an exciting venture requiring careful planning. One of the first and most important considerations is finding the right location.

The City of Coral Gables is committed to promoting and helping new businesses by creating a business-friendly environment consistent with the City's character and the quality of life of its business and residential communities. The following is a step by step guide to assist you in starting your business. We are here to assist you every step of the way.

To open a business, applicants must apply for and receive:
Starting a Business 

CERTIFICATE OF USE [Application] [Flow Chart]
Before signing a lease or purchasing property in the City of Coral Gables, prospective business owners should first apply for a Certificate of Use. This will ensure that the proposed use at a specific location complies with the City's zoning, parking and concurrency requirements. Certificates of Use must be renewed annually via web by clicking this link or visiting the office below.

Where to Apply or Renew:
Concurrency Administrator, Planning and Zoning Division, Second Floor of 427 Biltmore Way.

Office Hours:
7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, excluding holidays.

Certificate of Use Fees:
$114.19, checks made payable to “City of Coral Gables”

What You Will Need to Provide on the Certificate of Use Application:

  • Name of your business
  • Brief description of the proposed business
  • Address of the property
  • Square footage of the space you will be occupying
  • Name of the prior tenant of the space
  • Contact person and phone number

For More Information:
For questions regarding Certificate of Use contact the Concurrency Administrator at 305-460-5236.

If the application does not involve a change of use or occupancy, it will be reviewed by the Concurrency Administrator. Once approved, the Development Services Department and the Fire Department will conduct fire, mechanical, electrical and plumbing inspections to check for compliance with the Florida Building Code. The application needs to pass all final inspections and requires final approval by the Building Official. The process takes an average of seven to ten working days.

If the application involves a change of use or occupancy (from a retail to restaurant use, for example), it will be reviewed by the Development Review Committee. Composed of staff members, the Committee meets monthly to review plans for technical sufficiency and will advise you whether other city boards will be involved such as the Board of Architects (for proposed signage and exterior building change), the Planning and Zoning Board and City Commission (for a conditional use), or Board of Adjustment (for a variance). For more information about applying for review by the advisory boards, contact the City Planner at 305-460-5214.

Local Business Tax and Building Permits will not be issued before the applicant has been issued a Certificate of Use.

LOCAL BUSINESS TAX [Application] [Renewal]
Anyone starting a new business must pay an annual local business tax from both the City and Miami-Dade County.

Where to Apply for a City Local Business Tax:
The Finance Department, Local Business Tax Division, First Floor of City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way.

Office Hours:
8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday - Friday, excluding holidays.

The fee varies by classification. Click here [Fee Schedule Ord. No. 2015-17] for a list of all Local Business Tax fees.

What You Will Need to Provide on Local Business Tax Applications:

  • Social Security Number
  • Federal employer I.D. number
  • State License/Bar number
  • Owner/Corporation Name
  • Trade Name/Doing Business As (DBA)
  • Name of corporate officers
  • Cost value of stock carried
  • Number of chairs/seats (for restaurants and movie theaters)
  • Number of employees

For More Information:
For questions regarding local business taxes contact the Local Business Tax Clerk at 305-460-5302.

Where to Apply for a County Local Business Tax:
Applications for Miami-Dade County Local Business Taxes  are made through the Miami-Dade County Tax Collector's Office, Local Business Tax Division, 200 NW 2nd Ave., Miami. For more information call 305-270- 4949 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.

When interior only [Building Permit Application]; for signage and both interior and exterior changes to a building [Board of Architects Permit Application

When the new business requires exterior change to the building or signage, a building permit is required to be approved by the Board of Architects.

The Board of Architects meets every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way. The application deadline is 12:00 noontime on the Friday prior to the Thursday meeting. Applications submitted after the Friday 12:00 noontime deadline can still be reviewed on that Thursday if a late fee of $152.25 is paid on the Monday prior to the Thursday meeting. Attendance is mandatory for the scheduled meeting. Applicants must pay the appropriate fee and submit the application along with the specified accompanying materials.

If the structure is a historically designated one, the application also requires the approval of the Historical Resources Department. They can be reached at 2327 Salzedo Street, Third Floor, Tel: 305-460-5093.

Where to Apply:
The Board of Architects Application must be filed with the Board of Architects, Second Floor of 427 Biltmore Way.

Interior changes or modifications to a building, including all work exceeding $500 in labor and materials, and all electrical, plumbing and air conditioning work, also require a building permit [Building Permit Application] but are not subject to review by the Board of Architects. Cosmetic changes such as interior painting do not need to be reviewed. All permits require a Final Inspection.

For more information about pulling building permits in the City of Coral Gables, visit the Building Division page or call 305-460-5235.

Office Hours:
7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, excluding holidays.

The fee varies, click here for the Development Services Department Fee schedule.

What You Will Need to Provide:

  • Description of the proposed structure
  • Estimated cost
  • Address of the property
  • Project Architect/Phone number

Applicants will also need to provide plans, drawings, photographs, etc. A complete checklist for Board of Architects submittal is available with the application form.


Contact Us

427 Biltmore Way, 2nd Floor
Concurrency: 305-460-5236
Public Walk-Ins: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.


Last updated: 8/28/2015 11:14:25 AM