Licensing Department

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Contact Information

Contractor Licensing

Contractor licensing for work performed within the City of Key West applies to all local contractors, out-of-town contractors, and all subcontractors. There are basically four categories of licensing levels available with limited exceptions. Listed below are the minimum requirements required for procurement of necessary licensing.

1. State Certified Contractors (performing work for more than 30 days)

a. License fee of $275 per year.
b. Copy of State of Florida Contractor's License.
c. Proof of established business address. Property listed as business address must be properly zoned for office use. Proof of occupational license for home offices must be provided.
d. Copy of Liability Insurance Certificate listing The City of Key West as certificate holder.
e. Copy of Workers Compensation Policy listing The City of Key West as the certificate holder.


2. State Certified Contractors (performing work for less than 30 days per year)

a. No registration fee.
b. Copy of State of Florida Contractor's License.
c. Proof of established business address. Property listed as business address must be properly zoned for office use. Proof of occupational license for home offices must be provided.
d. Copy of Liability Insurance Certificate listing The City of Key West as certificate holder.
e. Copy of Workers Compensation Policy listing The City of Key West as the certificate holder.
f. Letter indicating intended work days

3. State Registered Contractors

a. License fee of $275 per year.
b. Competency card.
c. Copy of State of Florida Contractor's Registration Certificate.
d. Proof of established business address. Property listed as business address must be properly zoned for office use. Proof of occupational license for home offices must be provided.
e. Copy of Liability Insurance Certificate listing The City of Key West as certificate holder.
f. Copy of Workers Compensation Policy listing The City of Key West as the certificate holder.
g. Proof that the licensed qualifier has successfully passed the trade, business and law sections of a proctored exam as given by either Block and Associates or Experior Assessments, LLC.


4. Specialty Contractors (painting, drywall, tile, aluminum,
demolition etc.)

g. License fee of $85.00 per year.
h. Proof of established business address. Property listed as
business address must be properly zoned for office use. Proof
of occupational license for home offices must be provided
i. Copy of Liability Insurance Certificate listing The City of Key West as certificate holder.
j. Copy of Workers Compensation Policy listing The City of Key West as the certificate holder.
k. Proof that the licensed qualifier has successfully passed the trade, business and law sections of a proctored exam as given
by either Block and Associates or Experior Assessments.
l. Competency card.

Competency cards
Testing required to acquire competency can be scheduled with local building authorities.

a. Cost of testing $100.00 each exam (testing given three times a year).
b. Competency card fee is $75.00 for the first year and $15.00 per year for subsequent years.
c. Failure to renew shall result in the holder to be retested and possibly go before the Contractors Board.
d. Proof of experience, w-2 forms, affidavits, etc. required.

* Contact Kim Pita or Carolyn Walker at 305-292-8131 for testing information.




Rental Licensing

Non-Transient Rental Unit Occupational License  (rental of 30 days or more)

Pursuant to Chapter 91 of the Key West Code of Ordinances a Non- Transient Rental Occupational License is required for the rental of real property.   The cost of this occupational license is $17.00 per year. This licensed is required if property is rented or made available for rent for any period during the year.

Transient Rental Unit Occupational License   (rental of less than 30 days)

Pursuant to Chapter 91 of the Key West Code of Ordinances a Transient Occupational License is required for the rental of real property.  The cost of such license is $23.00 per year. 

Note that new transient licenses are no longer available.  Only properties with existing transient licenses may be rented for periods of less than 30 days.  The City adopted a transient transfer ordinance, which allows very limited transfer of transient units from property to property.  For further information or questions please contact the Licensing Department at 305.292.8250.

Transient Regulatory License


Ordinance 02-06

Pursuant to Ordinance 98-31, Transient Rental Occupational License holders are also required to obtain a new transient regulatory license. The fee for this license is $125.00 per unit per year. This license is regulatory in nature and the governing ordinance contains several requirements related to the rental of the unit.



FAQ's

1. How do I get a vending license?

The City of Key West permits only 25 vending licenses, for selling products and services from public roads. There are presently no licenses available. Anyone interested in obtaining a vending license should contact the licensing office the first week of November (of any year). If a license is available, a registration period will be held the last two weeks of November, and the license will be awarded by random selection shortly thereafter. Licenses fees average $1,000 for mobile vending.

2. What about selling or performing at Mallory Square during the sunset celebration?

The City of Key West does not require licensing for sunset performers, however, a permit/permission is required by the Cultural Preservation Society (CPS). Please call (305) 292-7700 for more information or check out the web site at www.sunsetcelebration.org.

3. What is required for having a retail business or food service business on private property?

Proper zoning, a certificate of occupancy for the structure for the intended use, adequate off-street parking (or a parking variance), lease/deed, commercial solid waste account, Florida sales tax number, Federal ID/Social Security number, Articles of Incorporation/Fictitious Name Registration, state license if applicable, insurance if applicable, and any other requirements specific to the application.

4. What if I just want to set up a booth or cart on private property?

All the above requirements must be met, plus there must be handicapped-accessible commercial restrooms on the property. If retail goods are sold from the booth or cart, special permission must first be granted from the City Commission (application fee of $100).

5. Am I allowed to have a business from my home?

Yes. In all districts in the city where residential uses are permitted, a home business license is allowed, however, certain conditions must be met, including: the business must be conducted within the principal structure, not outside or in a detached structure such as a garage or shed; no more than 20% of the total floor area of the house may be used for the business, any employees of the business must live in the home, and the business must not create any impact which would detract from the residential nature of the neighborhood.

6. What type of license do I need for contracting?

The City has many contractor classifications, and recognizes three levels of licensing: state certified licenses, state registered licenses, and specialty licenses. The state tests for certified licenses, and contractors licensed in this manner may work anywhere in the state.

Municipalities and counties hold testing for registered and specialty licenses. The City of Key West tests all contractors, and conduct the tests three times a year. After passing the required tests, contractors must apply for and receive a state registration and/or local competency card, obtain liability insurance and worker's compensation coverage, and acquire a business location.

7. Can I come to Key West and buy a building and convert it to a guesthouse or B & B?

The City has very few zoning districts in the historic district which allow transient use, and the City has very strict off-street parking and density (units-per-acre) requirements. These restrictions coupled with a current cap on new transient licenses makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to convert a residential property to transient use.

8. Can I come to Key West and start up a transportation business?

Key West has several ordinances pertaining to transportation businesses. The Vehicle for Hire Ordinance regulates and caps taxi services. The Entertainment Ordinance caps pedicab and other "entertainment" type licenses. The Sightseeing Ordinances caps sightseeing vehicle businesses. Limousine licenses are available, but are very strictly defined and regulated.

9. What other licenses and or fees do I need to pay to start a business in Key West?

Occupational License fees in the City of Key West range form $15.75 (rental unit) to $1,000 (utility company) per year, most averaging $100.00. Businesses licensed in the City also need to obtain a Monroe County Occupational License (call 295-5000 for more information). Businesses using a d/b/a, also called fictitious name, need to register that name with the State of Florida, which costs $50.00.

10. Where are you located and what are your hours?

Location: 604 Simonton Street, first counter inside the door.
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Phone: (305)292-8131 fax (305)292-8278

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