How do I get a Florida independent dealers license?

Posted on Nov 29 | by Mr. William Stephen

Are you interested in starting your own auto business in Florida? This guide is something that you must read before starting your journey as an auto dealer. How do I get a Florida Independent Dealers License? What does it take to qualify for one? These are the common questions we usually hear from people who want to kick-start their auto business in Florida.

The process of obtaining a Florida independent dealer's license is not as simple as it seems when you are first starting out. There are many things to consider when looking for an independent dealer's license in the state of Florida, and we will discuss them all in this article.

Let's begin!

Who Needs a Florida Auto Dealer License?

Before moving on to obtaining a dealership license in Florida, it is important to know who must obtain the license in the state. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV), the following are the people who must obtain a dealership license:

  • If you are involved in a transaction of 3 or more motor vehicles within one year, you must obtain the license. The transaction encompasses everything from buying vehicles to selling and leasing them.
  • If you wish to sell or lease out 3 or more motor vehicles at a given time, a Florida auto dealer is a must for you.

Here is how you can obtain this license!


Step 1: Obtaining the FL Dealer Training License Is Mandatory

The first thing you need to do before wasting any time is to get yourself registered with any approved dealer training school. The requirement of law in Florida is that dealers must obtain a dealer training class before applying for the license.

The training school will award you a completion certificate upon completion of the training with a validity of 6 months. This pre-license certificate is a must if you want to proceed to the next step of the license registration process.

Step 2: Declaration of Business Location

The second thing you should consider when you apply for a Florida auto dealer license is securing a permanent location for your dealership business. There are many things to consider while selecting the structure or type of residence for your dealership business.

  • The location for your dealership business must be in a permanent structure approved by the state government.
  • You cannot use your home or anyone else's home as a desired location for your business.
  • A minimum space requirement of 100 feet for the interior floor is also important to consider in this regard. This 100-feet space does not contain the area of hallways, restrooms, and any other related thing.
  • There is also a requirement for the height of the ceiling. The site for your dealership business does not have a ceiling height of anything less than 7-feet.

It is ideal to consider the requirements mentioned above while selecting a space for your auto dealership business. Moreover, the law requires you to submit the proof of ownership or lease agreement for the site you select for your dealership business.

Step 3: Requirements for Documentation

There are certain documents that you need to submit to obtain the dealership license in Florida. These documents include;

  1. Registered Name
    You must provide the registered name of your business to the competent authority while applying for the licensing process. The registered name is the one you file with the Florida Division of Corporations.
  2. Corporate Documents

For Public Corporations:

Suppose you want to apply for an auto dealer license for a public corporation. In that case, you must submit the company's documents, including Articles of incorporation, charter (or memorandum) of the corporation, and documents verifying the board of directors.

For the board of directors, you can submit the minutes of the meeting in which they were selected.

For Limited Liability Corporations:
However, you will require articles of association and operating agreement if you wish to apply for a Limited Liability Company license.

For Partnerships:
The only required document for partnership businesses during a Florida auto dealership license is the partnership deed or agreement, which clearly states the details of the partnership.

  1. Sales Tax Number
    The next big thing you need to do is to obtain a Florida Sales Tax Number that is mandatory for every business operating in the state. Finally, you will need to contact Florida's Department of Revenue to complete the process of sales tax numbers for your dealership business.
  2. Employer Identification Number
    The registration process for the Florida auto dealership licensing also requires businesses to submit the Federal Employee Identification Number. In some states, people also refer to them as the social security number.

    However, there is no need to submit the employer identification number if you are an owner of a sole proprietorship. In that case, you can provide any proof of identification as an alternative to this requirement.

Step 4: Submission of Fingerprints Data

The next thing you are going to do is get your fingerprints from any of the fingerprinting services registered with the state. After getting your fingerprints from the registered service provider, you will submit them along with the submission fees of $54.25 for the fingerprints.

Note: This fee is for the submission of fingerprint data for a single individual. In case there is more than one individual involved in the process, the fees will increase accordingly.

Step 5: The Submission of Insurance Documents

There are two possible choices for dealership businesses regarding the insurance documents. The law requires either garage liability insurance or general insurance coverage covering multiple aspects of the business, including the insurance coverage for the automobile business.

The insurance policy needs to cover the following aspects of your business regardless of what business policy you buy:

  • $25000 worth of single-limit coverage that covers damages related to the property and body.
  • $10000 worth of personal injury protection.

Step 6: The Auto Dealer Bond

The next thing you will need regarding the Florida auto dealer license is the auto dealer bond of $25000. The actual price of this bond is only a small fraction of the amount mentioned on it($25000).

However, the cost of this surety bond depends on your previous financial transactions, financial strength, etc. The submission of this surety bond acts as an ensure against any misconduct during the course of the auto dealership business.

Step 7: Submission of the Application

Once you have gathered all the prerequisites for a Florida auto dealer license, it's time to fill and submit the official application for the license. This application form is termed HSMV 86056, and you can submit it to the Motor Vehicle Field Operations Regional Office.

There is also an application submission fee of $300 and $340 for motor vehicles and recreational vehicle dealers, respectively.

Final Words
After following the process, I hope that you will obtain your license without any hassles at the earliest possible time. However, if you still require any Florida auto dealer license information, we are always here to help!


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