Where your business is physically located can be the determining factor for whether you have access to the skills, facilities, and other vital resources you need to thrive. As it turns out, one of the best places for businesses to start or relocate is Florida.
When you think of Florida, you might think of warm weather, a vibrant culture, and beautiful beaches. The Sunshine State has all of that and more. According to Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship, Florida had the highest rate of new entrepreneurs among all states in 2019, and a startup early survival rate of nearly 78 percent.
“All of those factors add up to a mix of business and lifestyle that really can’t be found in any other state,” says Jamal Sowell, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida and Florida’s Secretary of Commerce. Here, Sowell shares the top five reasons Florida is the best place for business.
1. State leadership
Florida’s Governor and Legislature support innovative public policy to encourage research and development of new products, Sowell says. That includes things like creating legal options for testing unmanned vehicles, simplifying access to certifications and professional licensing, and enabling the testing of new fintech products without the usual, prohibitive regulations.
“It’s small, incremental innovations that are making Florida a hot commodity right now,” he says.
2. Low tax structure and business climate
Florida has no personal income tax, a 5.5 percent corporate tax rate, and no payroll taxes. That can be a game changer for a business that’s just starting up or an established business that’s looking to leave a high-tax state.
“Enterprise Florida fields calls from across the country and the world every day of the week right now — and those calls are from businesses looking to relocate here,” Sowell says.
3. Workforce and talent attraction
Florida’s highly regarded public university system has been ranked the best in the nation and is “well-positioned to offer a trained workforce right now,” Sowell says.
Home to the nation’s third largest workforce — one that is culturally and linguistically diverse — Florida’s labor force is also more affordable than other leading high-tech states, thanks to a favorable tax structure and lower business costs.
Florida’s infrastructure is an asset that can’t be overlooked. The state is home to more than 130 public-use airports and 20 commercial airports. This wealth of airports has “given Florida the edge we have in the aviation and aerospace manufacture and maintenance industries,” Sowell says.
Additionally, Florida’s network of 15 deep-water seaports support nearly 900,000 jobs across the state and contribute $117.6 billion to the economy each year. “These jobs and the economic impact are critical to the state, but also at local and regional levels,” Sowell says.
5. Quality of life
What really sets Florida apart from other states, Sowell says, is that it is “the ideal place” to work and live. Besides the beautiful weather, Florida’s cost of living is below that of other states with similar economic growth and in-migration rates. State analysts recently reported that Florida is expected to see its population increase by an average of more than 303,000 residents a year.
In other words, it’s a desirable and affordable place to live — and do business. “Add to that a myriad of cultural amenities, world-class theme parks, and sporting events and you have a clear recipe for a well-rounded and rewarding lifestyle,” Sowell says.
Find out more about how you can find a future for your business in Florida. Visit EnterpriseFlorida.com.