How to Apply for Short-Term Rental Licenses in Orlando

Michael Chen PA, Realtor at La Rosa Realty Celebration
Published on June 11, 2023

How to Apply for Short-Term Rental Licenses in Orlando

Florida law requires owners of new public lodging establishments including short-term rentals such as Airbnb and new owners of existing establishments to obtain a license from the Florida DBPR before renting their establishment.

To operate your vacation home as a “short-term rental” property, you must apply for a Tourist Tax License and a Local business license from the county your property is in and receive a Sales Tax Number from the Florida Department of Revenue.  For this blog, I will only focus on how to apply for your short-term rental licenses in Osceola and Polk counties since most of the short-term rentals are in these two counties. 

Do I need a license for my rental?

From the Florida Department of Revenue:
If renting rooms: Renting a single room or rooms other than the whole unit is not classified as public lodging and would not require a license from DBPR, Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Please be advised your business may still be subject to city, county, or other local authority jurisdiction.

If renting the entire unit: Yes, if you are renting an entire unit more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less, or if it’s advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.

Disclaimer:  I’m not an attorney so the below steps are what I have been doing for the homes I personally own. I’m not providing any legal advice so please consult with an attorney or speak with the license issuing authorities.  The information provided on this website does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The content and materials are from my personal experiences of owning and operating several vacation homes in both Osceola and Polk counties.

Step 1: Apply for a Sales Tax Number from the Florida Department of Revenue

You first start by creating a user profile and then start a new application.  This will take about 30 minutes to complete. Follow the instructions and complete the entire application.

If you have any questions that you are not sure about, please contact the Florida Department of Revenue at 1-850-717-6628.  After completing the application, you can log back into your account in a few days to see if the Sales Tax Number has been issued to you.  You can also wait for it in the mail but it will take 1-2 weeks.   You can move to Step 2 once you have the Sales Tax Number

Step 2: Obtain a Hotel Rental License from the Department of Business & Professional Regulations (DPBR)

In addition to state tax registration, Florida requires all vacation rentals to be licensed through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).  You also need to post this license at a conspicuous place in the rental.  This will take about 15 minutes to complete and 1-2 weeks to receive the license.  I often receive the license within 3 business days by logging into the account and printing the license directly instead of waiting for it in the mail

DPBR Online Application and Resources

Apply here if you have a Dwelling Unit (Single Family Home or Townhome)

Apply here if you have a Condo

Step 3: Local Business Tax/Short term landlord license and Tourist Tax Number


The cost for the Osceola County Tourist Development Application is $5.  You must mail the check because the County has no online payment portal.  You can submit both applications together and both can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to process. 

For more information, you can contact Osceola County at Phone: (407) 742-4000 or by email at [email protected]


Email:  [email protected] Phone: 863.534.4700

About Mike Chen

Thank you for reading my blog post. There are many factors to consider when you purchase a vacation home. Buying a vacation home is a big investment, and you want to make the right choice for you and your family. A good real-estate investment should make money and that’s exactly what a vacation home in Orlando can do. 

When investing in a vacation home in Orlando, Florida, you must ensure you have an effective strategy in place to maximize your bookings and attract guests. Beyond choosing the home itself, there are many considerations that come into play, such as the interior design and functionality – you must consider whether the décor will withstand and attract short-term renters, for example.

We started our vacation rental business in 2017 as newbies in the business. We’ve learned a lot along the way and we would love to share our experiences with you. (Read our blog here on how we got started as vacation homeowners here: Looking to Buy a Vacation Home Near Disney World? Read Our Story!

Let's Talk Real Estate!

label_importantlabel_importantWe are vacation home owners too! HEAR OUR STORY
How it all began...