Is this the only license needed to open a business?
No, before you can obtain your City license, you must first get a Polk County license. The County office is at 430 East Main Street, Bartow, Florida. Since this is a separate agency, we suggest calling the Occupational Licenses-Polk County Tax Collector's Office at (863) 534-4700 to see what information is required.
Can I have my business in my home?
It depends. The use of your home as a business location is limited to office space only. In a home occupation, no walk-up trade, signage, advertising of the home address or storage of vehicles and equipment is allowed. Our Planning Division staff reviews all applications and will advise if there are zoning restrictions to prevent issuance of a home occupational permit.
What is the cost of a business tax in Winter Haven, Florida?
License fees vary depending on the type of occupation. We accept cash, check, or credit card for payment.
How long will it take to get the license?
Business Tax Receipts are issued immediately upon receipt of a completed application.
Is this license good for as long as I have my business?
A business tax is issued for a fiscal year beginning October 1 and ending September 30 of the following year. Renewal notices are mailed in August to allow time for processing payments, printing and mailing renewed licenses.
What if I am late renewing my business tax?
Business taxes not renewed by October 1 are subject to a penalty of up to 25 percent of the total cost of the license. This is pursuant to § 205.0535. The fee schedule follows:
October 15: a 10 percent penalty will be added.
November 15: a 15 percent penalty will be added.
December 15: a 20 percent will be added.
January 15: a 25 percent will be added.
What if I relocate my business within Winter Haven, change the name or close my business?
If you move, change the name or sell your business, you need to follow the same requirements as you would for a new business tax. Bring in the current receipt, supporting documents and complete a new application showing all new information. There is a $3.00 transfer fee for processing. If you are closing your business, notify the City in writing to inactivate the license to avoid additional fees.
How many lakes are there in Winter Haven?
There are 50 lakes inside or touching the city limits of Winter Haven.Lakes Map
How many public boat launches are there in the Winter Haven area?
There are 28 public boat launches. Lakes Map
Who owns and or maintains public boat launches and parks?
There are numerous boat launches available for public use throughout the Greater Winter Haven Area. The City (C), Lake Region Lakes Management District (LR) and Polk County (P) maintain these facilities for public use. Please exercise caution when launching and boating as water levels fluctuate based on rainfall. Always know your vessel, trailer and abilities to ensure the most enjoyable experience possible.
Please contact the City with any questions or concerns about boat launches and accessory structures by calling (863) 291-5600.
Where are the boat launches located in the northwest area?
Boat launches in the northwest area are located:
Lake Pansy (located on W shoreline, 21st St. NW) (C),
Lake Jessie (located on W shoreline, Lk. Jessie Dr.) (P),
Lake Hartridge (located on SW shoreline, Shore Rd.) (C),
Lake Blue (located on the S shoreline, N. Lk. Blue Dr.) (P) and
Lake Cannon (located on the W shoreline, Lk. Cannon Dr.) (P).
Where are the launches located in the southwest area?
Launches in the southwest area include:
Lake Deer (located on the NW shoreline, 33rd and Ave. G NW) (P),
Lake Howard West (located on the W shoreline, Lk. Howard Dr. NW) (LR),
Lake Howard East (located on the E shoreline, Lk. Howard Dr. SW) (C),
Lake Thomas (located on the E shoreline, Lk. Thomas Dr.) (P),
Lake Sears (located on the NE shoreline, 100 Lk. Sears Dr.) (P),
Lake Shipp West (located on the SW shoreline, Lk. Shipp Dr. S) (C) and
Lake Shipp East (located on the E shoreline, WG Roe, 7th St. SW) (C).
Where are boat launches located in the northeast area?
Launches in the northeast area include:
Lake Haines (located on the NW shoreline, Haines Blvd. E) (LR),
Lake Rochelle (located on the W shoreline, Hwy. 17/92 N/E) (LR),
Lake Conine (located on the E shoreline, Hwy. 544 E) (LR),
Lake Fannie (located on the NE shoreline, Hwy. 544 E) (LR),
Lake Hamilton (located on the E shoreline, Hwy. 27 S) (P),
Lake Maude (located on the S shoreline, Ave. O NE) (C),
Lake Buckeye (located on the SE shoreline, Buckeye Rd. NE) (LR),
Lake Silver (located on the SW shoreline, Lk. Silver Dr. S) (C),
Lake Martha (located on the NE shoreline, Lk. Martha Dr. E) (C) and
Lake Elbert (located on the NW shoreline, Lk. Elbert Dr. NE) (LR).
Where are boat launches located in the southeast area?
Boat launches in the southeast area are located:
Lake Otis (located on the W shoreline of Little Lake Otis, Lk. Otis Dr. between Avenues L and M) (LR),
Lake Miriam (located on the N shoreline, Lk. Mariam Dr. N) (LR),
Lake Roy (located on the E shoreline, S. Lk. Roy Dr.) (P),
Lake Summit (located on the SW shoreline, W. Lk. Summit Dr.) (P),
Lake Ned (located on the W shoreline, Lk. Ned Rd.) (LR) and
Lake Daisy (located on the W shoreline, 280 Coleman Dr. E) (P).
Where can I find information about lake water quality and trends?
The Polk Water Atlas provides a comprehensive data resource that helps citizens and scientists alike make informed decisions concerning our vital water resources.
Polk Water Atlas
Do I need a permit before doing lakefront work?
Lakefront owners may hand clear 50 feet or 50%, whichever is less, of shoreline vegetation without an aquatic plant control permit. If herbicides or mechanical tools will be used and/or if more than 50 feet or 50% might be cleared then a FREE aquatic plant control permit (linked below) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is required. The FWC Invasive Plant Management Section may be reached by calling (863) 534-7074.
FWC Aquatic Plant Permit Application
Do I need a permit to install a sand beach on my lakefront?
The Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Dredge and Fill Office, handles permits and enforcement actions related to filling lakefronts with sand or debris. The Dredge and Fill Office may be contacted to inquire about a permit by calling (813) 632-7600.
How do I get a freshwater fishing license?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) oversees the fishing license program for all waters within the state of Florida.
Follow the link below to the FWC Freshwater Fishing Licenses FAQs. For instant licenses dial 1-888-FISH FLORIDA.
How do I report a nuisance alligator?
A nuisance alligator, generally, is when they are at least 4 feet in length and pose a threat to people or their pets or property and if an alligator approaches people, does not retreat if approached and/or is in a location that is not natural. Alligators reside in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and some small standing puddles. Alligators that are captured, once reported as nuisance, are not relocated. The Nuisance Alligator Hotline is 1-866-FWC-GATOR (1-866-392-4286).
What is the Sustainable Water Resource Management Plan?
Meeting the water resource needs of people and the natural environment today and tomorrow.
Summary with Maps and
Final Sustainable Water Res Mgmt Plan Nov 2010 (low res)
Rain Gardens: What are they and how do I create one?
A rain garden is a type of landscaped area with appropriate flowers, grasses adn other vegetation that catches rain water from a roofline or gutter system and filters it back into the ground, where it can recharge groundwater resources.Rain Garden Manual 2010 Nov