When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it is important for you to understand the laws in Panama City. As a platform and marketplace, we do not provide legal advice, but we want to give you some useful links and information that may help you get familiar with the new rules. If you have more questions after reviewing these resources, we recommend visiting Panama City’s website, contacting the city’s licensing agencies directly, and/or consulting a local lawyer or tax professional. Please note that this page concerns Panama City not Panama City Beach. For information about “Panama City Beach,” visit this help page.
Anyone who hosts short-term stays (fewer than 181 consecutive nights) in Panama City is required to register their short-term rental with the city.
Step 1: Check your eligibility
Start the registration process on the City’s website. Panama City allows properties in certain city zones to register and host short-term rentals.
To check your zone, use this map and layer for "Panama City" and "Zoning", then click the "Legend" icon on the map so district names are visible. Short-term rentals are permissible in the following zoning districts:
- Residential-1 (R-1)
- Residential-2 (R-2)
- Urban Residential-1 (UR-1)
- Urban Residential-2 (UR-2)
- Manufactured Home-1 (MH-1)
- Mixed Use-2 (MU-2)
- Mixed Use-3 (MU-3)
- Downtown District (DTD)
- St. Andrews District (StAD)
- Cultural Heritage District (CHD)
If any of your properties are not eligible as a short-term rental, you can switch to long-term stays.
A few listing types are exempt from registering as short-term rentals. If your listing is exempt, you don’t need to register, but you will still need to claim an exemption through Airbnb to keep hosting.
- Long-term stays (change your calendar settings to 181+)
- Hotels and traditional B&Bs
Step 2: Get a short-term rental license
Apply for a short-term rental license on Panama City’s website. Short-term rental registration has no upfront charge but Panama City imposes a monthly merchant fee of one-percent (1%). Click the "Business License Application Form”, download and print it or email it.
After you’ve filled it out, scan the documents and upload back to your computer and email the City your application: BusinessTaxPC@panamacity.gov. You can also mail your paperwork to the following address:
City of Panama City
501 Harrison Avenue
Attn: Business Services
Panama City, FL 32401
After the city processes your application, you’ll receive your business tax receipt number—it will be 6-digits. This process could take a few days.
Step 3: Add your license number to your listing
Next, you’ll need to add your license number to your Airbnb listing to your listing to finalize your registration with the City.
If you’ve already registered and added your number to your listing, it should be updated, but please go to the Regulations tab on your listing page to confirm.
Other contracts and rules
As a host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that may bind you, including leases, co-op rules, HOA rules, or other rules established by tenant organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your housing authority (such as a community council) or landlord. Your lease (or other contract) might also have specific details.
Our commitment to your community
We are committed to working with local officials to clarify how local rules impact the short-term rental community.