Business Tax Application

Individuals or business entities choosing to start a business, or who have an established business from another county, will need to obtain a Business Tax Account prior to doing business in Lee County.

While exemptions may apply, a Business Tax Application still needs to be submitted along with the affidavit. The Business Tax Affidavit will provide applicable exemptions and must be submitted with your application.

Businesses that begin offering goods or services from April 1 thru September 30 will pay a prorated fee.

All business tax receipts expire September 30 of each year and can be renewed after July 1. BT Express is our online service for initial applications, renewals, or any changes to name, address, ownership, or status of your business. 

New account

There may be state or local licensing required for your business that will need to be submitted with your application. Check any local, state, or federal laws and regulations for the type of business you have before obtaining a Business Tax account. 

You may also utilize the Business Tax Checklist to assist in creating your account.

Information needed to apply for a Business Tax account include, but are not limited to:
  • Business name (You may need to register the business name with the Department of State, Division of Corporations. It is recommended that you verify fictitious name requirements.)
  • Physical location of the business (local zoning requirements)
  • Mailing address
  • Social Security or Federal Employee ID number
  • Supporting license or affidavits if applicable

Zoning Requirements

If the business is based inside the city limits, or you do business within any of the city limits, it may be necessary to obtain a municipal business tax account or city zoning approval.

Contact the appropriate agency to check requirements:

Bonita Springs 239.444.6150

Cape Coral 239.574.0430

Fort Myers 239.321.7990

Fort Myers Beach 239.765.0202

Sanibel 239.472.9615 Village of Estero 239.221.5035

Businesses operating from a commercial location not located within city limits may need to have a use permit application reviewed by county building and permitting.

Review their website for more information on opening a commercial business.

Businesses operating from a residential location in the county do not need zoning approval. If you live in the municipal city limits, check with the local office for requirements.

tangible property tax account

When you operate a business, or rent real property, the furnishings, equipment, signs, etc. are considered business assets and subject to a tax assessment. You will receive a Lee County tangible personal property tax notice for these assets.

A tangible personal property tax is a tax assessed by the Property Appraiser. Filing a Tangible Property Tax Return (DR-405) with the Property Appraiser before April 1 of each year will make sure your assets are assessed correctly or qualify your business for an exemption.

transfer account

If a Business Tax account is already established and any one of the following events occur, the business owner can submit changes through BT Express:

  • A business is sold (requires a Bill of Sale)

  • The owners name changes

  • The business name changes

  • The physical location of the business changes (additional zoning may be required)

  • Supporting license or affidavits if applicable

If an account is transferred due to a change in ownership or location, a transfer fee of 10% of the account amount is charged (minimum charge $3/maximum charge of $25.)

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