Do You Need a Business License for Pet Sitting in Florida?

by Mary Jane; Updated September 26, 2017

A pet sitter takes care of people’s pets while these people are at work or elsewhere. The sitter takes dogs out for walks, feeds them and provides them with water. If you want to start a pet sitting business in Florida, you must get a business license from the Florida Division of Corporations.

Pet Sitting Business License

If you are opening a pet sitting business in Florida, you must contact the Divisions of Corporations, which is a subdivision of the Florida Department of State. Regulations state that all business owners despite size or structure must register to get a business license. In this regard, business owners are defined by offering a service or product in exchange for monetary gain. Fill out the online name registration form under the division of corporations. Pay the registration and processing fee ($50 as of this article's publication).

Licenses and Considerations

As of this article's publication, Florida has no license requirements for pet sitting services other than the standard business registration license. However, you may be subject to local permits depending on how you plan to operate your pet sitting business. If you plan on marketing your business with signs around your community, you must get a signage permit from your county. You need a zoning permit if you plan on expanding part of your property for dogs to run around and play. Also get insurance to protect yourself and your business. A customer may seek legal action toward your business if her pet was injured under your supervision.

Paying Taxes

Since you are earning an income for taking care of people’s pets, you are required to pay federal taxes on a quarterly basis. You also file an annual tax return. You must have an employer identification number from the IRS if you have employees (not including independent contractors), operate the pet business with a partner or as a corporation and have a Keogh plan.

Employees

If you have people working for you in your pet sitting business, you must complete employee authorization checks with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This department is a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You do not have to file the form if you use independent contractors instead of true employees.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.