The Division of Hotels and Restaurants licenses and inspects public food service and lodging establishments in Florida. The division also regulates all elevators, escalators and related people movers. Some regulatory functions are shared with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Health.

The Office of Compliance in the Division of Hotels and Restaurants is responsible for handling enforcement activity.

The following information is provided as a general guide. It is not intended as legal advice. Anyone receiving an Administrative Complaint can choose to seek legal counsel. Applicable statutes or administrative rules supersede the information herein.

The following situations may lead the division to begin a compliance action:

  • Violations which resulted in an Emergency Suspension of License or Emergency Closure.
  • Operating without a required license or certificate.
  • Failing to correct violations by the time given on a warning notice.
  • A history of repeated violations.
  • Interfering with division employees performing their assigned duties.

To understand the enforcement process, it is helpful to understand the following inspection terms and definitions.

Next Routine Inspection

The inspector has documented violations and requires them to be corrected by the next routine inspection. If a pattern of violations continues, the inspector may request enforcement action and penalties without the benefit of a warning notice.


The inspector documented violations that must be corrected by a certain date or within a specified number of days from receipt of the inspection report. To speak to the inspector or supervisor before that date, call the Customer Contact Center at 850.487.1395 and leave a message including your license number, inspector name and inspection date.

At the time of the re-inspection, the inspector may issue a time extension if all high priority violations are corrected, significant progress is made on all other violations, and no history of repeated violations exists.

If all violations are not corrected on time and a lack of progress is observed, the inspector may recommend enforcement action.

Administrative Complaint

An Administrative Complaint is a form of legal action taken by the division against licensees. The administrative complaint process must follow the requirements in Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

Insufficient compliance with a warning, a pattern of repeat violations, or existence of serious conditions that warrant immediate action may result in the division initiating an Administrative Complaint against the establishment. Correcting the violations is important, but penalties may still result from violations corrected after the warning time was over.

If you have received an Administrative Complaint or want to learn about the compliance process, see our What to do if you receive an Administrative Complaint page.

Emergency Closure or Suspension of License

Based on an immediate threat to the public, the Division of Hotels and Restaurants director has determined that the establishment must stop doing business and any division license is suspended to protect the public health, safety or welfare.

Reopening After an Emergency Closure or Suspension

  • The division will perform an inspection within 24 hours of the emergency closure
  • The establishment can request this inspection earlier than 24 hours
  • Establishment may reopen when a division inspection shows all of the violations that cause the emergency closure are corrected

Need Help?

All requests for public records, complaints, forms, and applications for licenses can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Steven von Bodungen, Director

Division of Hotels and Restaurants
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1011

Telephone: 850.487.1395