In partnership, the City of Melbourne and Melbourne Regional Chamber have prepared this toolkit for starting a small business in Melbourne to assist individuals and small businesses with expansion or relocation in the City. With the primary goal of promoting a prosperous and diverse economy, the city and chamber are focused on streamlining the process for business owners and entrepreneurs. This toolkit may not be all-inclusive for every type of business, but it aims to give the basic steps needed to open a business in the City of Melbourne.
Step 1There are many resources available to assist you in starting your own business. We recommend contacting one of the following organizations for guidance:
Small Business Development Center
(Funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration; most of their services are free.)
Eastern Florida State College
3865 North Wickham Road
Building 10, Room 117
Melbourne, FL 32935-2399
Melbourne Regional Chamber
Excellent resource for new and existing businesses. The Chamber’s mission is to develop and promote the business interests of its members through representation, advocacy, education and support while contributing to the growth and prosperity of a vibrant business community.
1005 East Strawbridge Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32901-4782
Phone: (321) 724-5400
SCORE - Space Coast
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Free service.
1600 Sarno Road, Suite 205
Melbourne, FL 32935
Phone: (321) 254-2288
The mission of weVENTURE is to accelerate sustainable business growth for women entrepreneurs. The organization offers a wide range of programs and services, including a customized business mentoring program called IGNITE 360, business coaching and one-on-one counseling sessions, business education workshops, technical assistance, and networking opportunities.
2202 S. Babcock Street, 1st Floor
Melbourne, FL 32901
Phone: (321) 674-7007
CareerSource Brevard offers many services to businesses, including helping find and hire qualified employees.
297 Barnes Boulevard
Rockledge, FL 32955
Phone: (321) 504-7600
Groundswell is a nonprofit incubator and co-working space whose mission is to build an ecosystem where Space Coast innovators, creatives and technologists can thrive.
2412 Irwin St. Melbourne, FL 32901
Contact the City of Melbourne’s Planning and Zoning Division to determine the required zoning district that will allow you to operate your proposed business type within the city limits of Melbourne. We can also check the address of your proposed business location to assist in determining if your business would be permitted at the proposed location and whether there are other required site improvements that would be necessary at the proposed location. The Planning and Zoning Division office is on the third floor of City Hall (900 East Strawbridge Avenue, Melbourne, FL 32901). Phone: (321) 608-7500. City Hall is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
If you are planning to complete a tenant build-out or renovate an existing unit or building, you will be required to obtain building permits and we recommend you also contact the City’s Code Compliance Division, located on the second floor of City Hall. Phone: (321) 608-7902.
Once you have determined the type of business you wish to open, contact Brevard County and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to determine if you need a state license or certification of competency. There are more than 50 regulated professions requiring state licensing.
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Determine the legal structure of your business. The most common structures are Sole Proprietorships, General and Limited Partnerships, C and S Corporations and Limited Liability Companies. You are encouraged to research each thoroughly and consult a tax accountant and/or attorney prior to making your decision. If you incorporate or have employees, you will need to establish a Federal Employer Identification Number. Call 800-829-3676 to obtain the number.
Internal Revenue Service
431 N. Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
Step 5Register the name of your business. If your business will use any name other than the owner's legal name or a properly registered corporate name, a fictitious name (also referred to as a DBA) must be registered with the State of Florida. Contact the Division of Corporations at 850-245-6059.
There are many types of licenses, both state and local, as well as professional, depending on the type of business you plan to operate. A Business Tax Receipt with the City of Melbourne is required for all businesses operating inside the city limits of Melbourne. A Business Tax (paid annually) is levied on each business operated within the city limits. In some states, it is called an occupational license. The fee varies per city and per occupation but it is a requirement by most municipalities nationwide. There is one application that will need to be filled out and depending on location and occupation additional forms may be required.
City of Melbourne Business Tax Receipts Division
City of Melbourne City Hall
900 East Strawbridge Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32901
Step 7Once you have obtained a City of Melbourne Business Tax Receipt, you must obtain a Brevard County Business Tax Receipt. Complete the Business Tax Receipt / Zoning Use Permit application and submit it to the Brevard County Tax Collector. To minimize delays, contact the Brevard County Tax Collector's Office for prerequisites applicable to your classification and location. A tax receipt may be issued upon application and presentation of required prerequisites and payments of applicable fees.
Brevard County Tax Collector
400 S Street
Titusville, FL 32780
Brevard County Tax Collector Website
Other agencies you may need to contact:
- Contact Brevard County Environmental Health Services at 321-633-2100 if you have a business that could possibly pose a hazard to the public - eating / drinking establishments, use of chemicals, on-site disposal, and treatment systems, including industrial manufacturing permits.
- For hazardous material disposal, contact the Office of Natural Resource Management at 321-633-2017.
Step 9You may be required to collect and remit taxes. Contact the Florida Department of Revenue for more information.
Florida Department of Revenue
Melbourne Taxpayer Service Center
6300 North Wickham Road, Suite 133A
Melbourne, FL 32940-2028
License / Inspections ComplianceYou may be subject to other licenses or inspections depending on your type of business. It is in your best interest to fully disclose your proposed operation so that you are in compliance. Disclosure after you have opened your business could result in a shut down or unforeseen expenditures to become compliant.
You may need to be in compliance with the offices listed below:
- Certificate of Competency or State of Florida Certification: 850-487-1395
- Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Alcohol, Beverage, and Tobacco Division: 850-487-1395
- Certificate and/or Field Inspection Sheet from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: 850-488-2221
- Motor Vehicle Repair Registration from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: 850-488-2221
- Secondhand Dealer's License (Brevard County Sheriff Pawn Compliance): 321-504-0950
Step 10Our Economic Development Division offers various programs and incentives to assist new businesses locating or expanding in Melbourne. Call 321-608-7500 to determine if you are eligible. View a list of programs and incentives.