Florida Business Climate Published February 19, 2019 | By Achim Neumann, President Florida has always been known as a “tax haven” for many businesses, but the sunshine state has many other advantages, which can be attractive for new investors. Corporate headquarters set roots in Florida because it has no corporate income tax on S-corporations and limited partnerships. It waives corporate franchise taxes and taxes on corporate inventories. It doesn’t collect personal income taxes nor slap property taxes on goods that are in transit for up to six months. Florida always ranked among the top states in the country in terms of business climate. It’s not as simple as adopting a tax-friendly environment because there are other states with the same policy that are not doing as well. Consider Wyoming, Alaska, and South Dakota, for instance. The major drivers of growth in Florida are tourism, agriculture, global trade, and aviation and aerospace. For example, in the first half of last year, the state registered 65.5 million tourist arrivals and is set to hit the 125 million mark by the end of 2018. Orlando, by far, cornered domestic and foreign tourist arrivals and for good reason because of its white sandy beaches and considering that it is home to the happiest place on earth. Not many people know it but the aerospace and aviation industry is one of the top contributors to the state economy, employing over 103,000 workers. By 2017, there were more than 1,700 companies in the industry in Florida. Its strategic location also makes Florida a natural destination for major international trading companies. The state is the gateway to the Caribbean, South America, and Latin America. In fact, 40% of outbound shipments to Latin America and South America pass through the Florida ports making it a top place for people to either sell a business or buy a business as you have easy access to international trade. It’s no wonder that Florida is the top 8th exporting state in the US after Texas, California, Washington, New York, Illinois, Michigan, and Louisiana. Aside from waiving some personal and corporate taxes, Florida also offers incentives to new and established businesses. Among these is the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund, Quick Response Training Incentive, Rural Subsidies to decongest the urban areas, and the Brownfield Incentives to encourage companies to relocate to Brownfield locations. The state also benchmarks state regulations in terms of expediting business permit applications. Transparency in policy also boosted business confidence in the state. Businesses hate unpredictability and inefficiency, and the state managed to create an environment conducive to growth without resorting to bureaucratic shortcuts. Despite the low-tax environment, Florida still managed to earn an AAA bond rating, which speaks a lot about how sound its policies are. So if you’re looking to buy a business in Florida, sell a business in Florida, or have a business valuation in Florida done, reach out to the Florida business experts at Neumann Associates and let us aide you in the process.