Florida is committed to increasing its global competitiveness as a destination for business, capital, talent, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Department of Economic Opportunity utilizes public and private sector expertise to attract, retain and grow businesses and create jobs in Florida. The links on this page will connect you with those partners and opportunities that will assist you in locating, retaining and growing your business in Florida or for easy access see the index of programs and services.
Why Florida? - Florida has developed a business-friendly environment where an entrepreneurial spirit, competitive costs and streamlined regulations are the drivers that enable businesses like yours to innovate and grow. Learn how to benefit from Florida's business advantages. Florida understands your business needs and stands ready to welcome you with its creative workforce, global connectivity and high quality of life.
Locate Your Business in Florida
Locate To Florida - Florida has a large economic market, great infrastructure, vibrant industry sectors, smart workforce, and geography perfect for easy global connectivity, in addition to its business-friendly climate and high quality of life.
- Florida Industry Specific Resources are available for film, sports, logistics and tourism and for Florida's leading industry clusters. The leading industry clusters include clean technology, life sciences, information technology, aviation and aerospace, logistics and distribution, homeland security and defense, and financial and professional services. The State is also focusing economic development efforts with the strategic areas of emphasis being manufacturing, locating corporate headquarters and emerging technologies.
Expand Your Florida Business
Expand Within Florida - Florida provides many opportunities for large and growing businesses. The state's robust support tools for business expansion and extensive international trade resources provide timely and practical assistance. To expand your small business, please see the small business resources provided below.
Export From Florida
Export From Florida - Florida offers a variety of programs and services to help Florida companies expand globally, including seven Enterprise Florida Trade Offices, located throughout the state, to provide export counseling and advice to Florida manufacturers, export intermediaries, and services companies.
Start / Expand a Florida Small Business
Wanted: Entrepreneurs! Florida small business owners have the support of an extensive network of state, federal and local financing opportunities and resources ready to assist with everything from business plan writing to accounting and marketing. Florida's principal provider of business assistance, the Florida Small Business Center Development Center has over 35 years of experience helping businesses start, grow and succeed.
Programs and Incentives
The following programs and incentives are available to Florida's businesses and communities to spur investment and fuel job growth.
- Community Contribution Tax Credit Program - The Community Contribution Tax Credit Program provides a financial incentive (up to 50% tax credit or sales tax refund) to encourage Florida businesses to make donations toward community development and housing projects for low-income persons. The tax credit is easy for a business to receive. Businesses located anywhere in Florida that make donations to approved community development projects may receive a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the value of the donation.
- Florida's Brownfield Area Loan Guarantee Program (see Section 376.86, Florida Statutes - Brownfield Areas Loan Guarantee Program) - Florida's Brownfield Area Loan Guarantee Program is just one of the Brownfield incentives available for developers of Brownfield sites. The limited state loan guaranty applies only to 50 percent of the primary lender's loan for redevelopment projects in Brownfield areas with two exceptions for healthcare facilities or affordable housing provided they meet the Additional information:
- Florida Enterprise Zone Program - The Florida Enterprise Zone Program offers an assortment of tax incentives to businesses that choose to create employment within an enterprise zone, which is a specific geographic area targeted for economic revitalization. These include a sales and use tax credit, tax refund for business machinery and equipment used in an enterprise zone, sales tax refund for building materials used in an Enterprise Zone, and a sales tax exemption for electrical energy used in an enterprise zone. The Florida Enterprise Zone Program will expire on December 31, 2015.
- Florida New Markets Development Program - The New Markets Development Program was established to encourage capital investment in rural and urban low-income communities. It allows taxpayers to earn credits against specified taxes by investing in qualified community development entities that make qualified low-income community investments in qualified active low-income community businesses to create and retain jobs.
- GrowFL: Florida's Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Program - GrowFL provides strategies, resources and support to second-stage companies for next level growth. By supporting companies with Strategic Research and peer-to-peer CEO Learning, GrowFL helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. Based on the philosophy of Economic Gardening - to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state - GrowFL at the University of Central Florida is a critical component to the state's economic development strategy and Florida's entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Minority-Owned Business Assistance - Florida assists developing and expanding minority-owned business enterprises by evaluating their unmet needs for capital, providing technical assistance and creating partnerships between state and local governments and private enterprises to aid in business development. Find out more about the Black Business Loan Program and other resources available to minority businesses.
- Research and Development Tax Credit Program - Florida provides a corporate income tax credit for eligible businesses for certain qualified research expenses. The Florida Corporate Income Tax Credit is contingent, in part, on the eligible business having received the federal research and development tax credit. The law providing for the federal credit has expired. If the federal government authorizes the federal research and development credit for the 2015 tax year, taxpayers will be able to apply to the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) for an allocation of the Florida Research and Development Credit beginning on March 20, 2016.
- Rural and Urban Job Tax Credit Programs - The Rural and Urban Job Tax Credit Programs offer a job creation incentive for eligible businesses located within one of the 36 designated rural areas or within one of the 13 designated urban areas.
- State Small Business Credit Initiative - The State Small Business Credit Initiative programs include the Florida Capital Access Program, Florida Venture Capital Program and the Small Business Loan Support Program. These programs will provide Florida's small businesses access to debt and venture capital financing that may not otherwise be available.