What is a Hotel?

A hotel is any public lodging establishment containing sleeping room accommodations for 25 or more guests and providing the services generally provided by a hotel and recognized as a hotel in the community in which it is situated or by the industry.

What is a Motel?

A motel is any public lodging establishment which offers rental units with an exit to the outside of each rental unit, daily or weekly rates, off-street parking for each unit, a central office on the property with specified hours of operation, a bathroom or connecting bathroom for each rental unit, and at least six rental units, and which is recognized as a motel in the community in which it is situated or by the industry.

Is a Separate Food Service Establishment License Needed?

If food is prepared, served or sold a separate Food Service Establishment license can be required. Many hotels also have food service licenses. For more information on what requires a separate food service license see our Definitions web page. And for information on applying for a food service license see our Licensing Guides web page.

Steps to Getting a Hotel or Motel License

  • Create your DBPR Online account
  • Apply for a license and pay the license fee – Apply Online
  • Schedule and pass the licensing Inspection

Common Issues That May Delay a Hotel or Motel Application:

  1. On a new license – Not including the number of rental units. License fees are partly based on the number of units; if the number is incorrect or missing the fees are likely to be wrong. If the application is for a change of ownership we’ll use the previous number of units if none are noted.
  2. On a change of ownership – Not including the previous license number in section 2 of the paper application. Please verify the previous license number and include it on the application.
  3. On a change of ownership – Providing a location address that does not match the previous license location. We cannot process a change of ownership if the location address does not match. Please verify the previous license location address including suite or unit number.
  4. On any application – Payment is incorrect or no payment is submitted with the application. Please review the fees section below.

Verify the license number and location address of any DBPR license on our website and search the status of license applications in progress here.

Hotel & Motel License Fees

Lodging license fees can be determined by visiting our lodging fees page. An explanation of the fee schedule for Hotels & Motels is below.

Remember to add the $50 APPLICATION FEE when making NEW and CHANGE OWNER applications.

Capacity Full Year Fee 1/2 Year Fee
Single rental unit $190 $100
2-25 rental units $200 $105
26-50 rental units $215 $112.50
51-100 rental units $230 $120
101-200 rental units $255 $132.50
201-300 rental units $285 $147.50
301-400 rental units $315 $162.50
401-500 rental units $340 $175
501 or more rental units $370 $190

Fee Examples:
Hotel with 99 Rooms, New application, Prorating Full-Year: $230 + $50 = $280
Motel with 12 Rooms, Change of Ownership, Prorating Half-Year: $105 + $50 = $155
Hotel with 450 Rooms, Annual renewal: $340

Additional Requirements for Buildings of Three Stories or More

Each building three or more stories must file a Certificate of Balcony Inspection with the division every three years.

Opening Inspection

All new licensees are required to pass a sanitation and safety inspection prior to opening except vacation rentals and ownership transfers that previously had a satisfactory inspection within the past 120 days. After meeting all requirements and submitting your license application and fees contact the department at 850.487.1395 to schedule an opening inspection. For more information about inspections view the inspections page.

Human Trafficking 

In 2019 section 509.096 was added to Chapter 509, Florida Statutes. This section requires all public lodging establishments to provide annual training on human trafficking awareness to employees of the establishment who perform housekeeping duties in the rental units or who work at the front desk or reception area where guests check in or check out. The training must be provided for new employees within 60 days after they begin employment in a housekeeping or reception area role, or by January 1, 2021, whichever occurs later. For more information please visit our Human Trafficking Awareness page.

Fire Safety

The division records readily observable fire safety items during inspections. The division reports any item that may violate fire safety requirements to the State Fire Marshal and to local fire safety authorities. Please contact them to ensure your establishment meets fire safety requirements.

General Fire Guidelines are:

  • Install smoke detectors in every living unit.
  • Have at least one hearing impaired smoke alarm available for every 50 rooms or units up to a maximum of 5.
  • All units must comply with the requirements of NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code.
  • Boiler safety inspection guidelines, certification requirements, and owner/operator responsibilities can be found on the State Fire Marshal’s Boiler Safety webpage.
  • Have accessible fire extinguishers.
  • If a majority of the rental units within a single building of three stories or more with interior means of egress or greater than 75 feet in height, hotels require automatic fire sprinklers installed according to NFPA Chapter 13.

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
Email: dhr.info@myfloridalicense.com