Peddlers, also known as street vendors, are portable businesses that roam the streets of a municipality in order to sell goods or services. Examples of peddlers include ice-cream trucks and food carts. Though this type of business does not permanently occupy a space like a traditional business, peddlers are still subject to the same laws as other businesses in Florida. A number of counties and cities in the state have special laws that apply specifically to peddlers.
Florida law requires all businesses that sell goods, perform any services, or advertise any goods and services, to obtain a business tax receipt prior to starting the business. In Florida, a business tax receipt gives the business a licensed right to conduct sales within the state's borders. The business does not have to hold a permanent occupancy, as is the case with most street vendors and peddlers. Depending on the location where the peddler is operating, county and city municipalities may require separate business tax receipts. In addition, certain areas of Florida call the business tax receipt an occupational license. The business tax receipt must be visible in the peddler's cart or display.
Any peddler or street vendor who collects money for the sale of a product or service must collect sales tax on the item. Peddlers register with Florida's Department of Revenue. The state then sends the business owner a Certificate of Registration and an Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax. The peddler must display the business's registration certificate so that others can easily view it. In addition, registering with the Florida Department of Revenue means that a business must report its income, pay taxes and collect sales tax on all sales, with the exception of sales to non-profit and government organizations.
According to Florida law, street vendors and peddlers must move continuously. Stopping is only allowed when a customer wants to browse items offered by the peddler or purchase a product from the vendor. Many municipalities, like Miami Dade County, require that the peddler refrain from selling items within 500 feet of a park or school. Peddlers selling food are also subject to the same food inspection laws of permanent restaurants. Other laws vary according to the county or city, but may include restrictions on grilling and cooking. Some places in Florida also forbid street vendors and peddlers from using any tables and chairs.