Starting or growing your own business on the Nature Coast is an exciting time. We also know you might feel uncertainty or  anxiety if this is your first venture.

With considerations like start-up costs and talent recruitment, you might not know where to start. You’ve come to the right place here.

To begin, this how-to guide can answer the typical questions you might have about the process involved, and explain the permitting and construction steps to fast track you on the path of prosperity.

From there, you can contact us to work with you from start to finish — from zoning changes, career fairs, funding and incentives — allowing you to open your doors quickly.

Learn more about our non-profit organization, or contact our offices to start or grow your business on the Nature Coast. Email director@naturecoast.org, or call (352) 447-4107 ext. 108.

Town Hall Contact Information
Town of Bronson
Town Hall/Building and Zoning
(352) 486-2354

Cedar Key
City Hall
(352) 543-5132
Building Department.
(352) 422-5491

City Hall
(352) 493-6711
Building and Zoning
(352) 493-6827

Fanning Springs
City Hall
(352) 463-2855

Town Hall
(352) 447-2203
Zoning & Code Enforcement
(352) 447-4107

Otter Creek
Town Hall
(352) 486-4766

City Hall/Planning & Zoning
(352) 528-3060

Town Hall/Zoning
(352) 447-2511

Starting/Expanding Your Business Frequently Asked Questions

We have created the following FAQ to answer the most common questions you will likely have when starting or expanding a business, from permitting and construction steps, to financing and other needs you might have. Just like your business, processes evolve and change over time, so this guide will change to keep up with current trends.


Certify my business as a “small business”:  Being your own boss can be exciting; it can also be advantageous. Remaining competitive with other businesses is critical and if you are certified by the Small Business Administration as a small business, this can open more doors of opportunity. Certified small businesses can get exclusive bidding opportunities for government contracts; in order for this to occur, you must first register and seek certification.

You can check here to make sure you meet the criteria to apply.

Start a business in an unincorporated area of Levy County: To begin the permitting process for such a location, you must first submit an application for building permit. The County Building Department now accepts online applications which can be emailed to levypermitting@gmail.com. From there, you can complete your commercial or industrial permitting checklist. If you have permitting or zoning questions, call (352) 486-5198; zoning questions can be emailed to romero-grace@levycounty.org

Start a business in an incorporated area of Levy County: There are eight incorporated cities/towns in the county: Bronson, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Inglis, Otter Creek, Williston and Yankeetown. In most cases, permitting/zoning is handled by the building/planning department of the respective municipalities. Where applicable, click on the link for further instructions.


Open an outdoor firing range/gun range
To operate an indoor or outdoor firing/gun range, you must apply for a conditional use permit. There currently are no zoning districts that allow such an enterprise strictly by matter of right or special exception.

Open a race track
To operate a racetrack, you must apply for a special exception. In order for such an exception to be considered at standard public hearings, current zoning requires a classification of Agricultural Rural Residential, Forestry Rural Residential, or Rural Residential.




When considering a start-up, the Small Business Administration (SBA) says there are 10 common matters to consider. We’ve got you covered with links to tips on getting started:

  1. Your business plan: A well-written plan will lead to quicker approvals for many steps, such as permitting and financing.
  2. Business assistance and training: You’re not alone in this; there is assistance out there for your critical needs.
  3. Location: You know the expression: location, location, location. It’s one of the most important determining factors in business success.
  4. Financing:  Loans are often needed for operating costs in the initial business phases.
  5. Legal: Taxes aren’t a fun topic, but a necessary one to consider.
  6. Registering your business: What’s in a name? A lot; it’s your character, your vision, your creativity, your identity.
  7. Taxes: They’re a necessary part of doing business.
  8. Permitting: Knowing what permits and licenses you’ll need to operate is essential.
  9. Knowing your roles: You can only do so much. At some point, you might have to throw in the towel and hire some help.
  10. Here for you: Find your local SBA office for more help. You can also contact our office, (352) 447-4107 or director@naturecoast.org, CareerSource at (352) 493-6813 or the Small Business Development Center.