- The states’s massive economy is fourth-largest in the U.S. and 21st in the world, fueled by a population that tops 19 million and includes four metro areas with a million-plus residents
- Florida ranks fifth nationwide in foreign direct investment and is home to the second-largest free-trade zone in the U.S.
- The state’s business tax policies always rank it as one of highest in the U.S. and help attract nationally ranked and known companies.
With all this in mind, read on to learn the five reasons why Florida is a great place for business.
1. Business Climate
Factoid: Florida has the No. 1 climate in the Southeast, according to the Tax Foundation.
On Taxes: Florida’s zero percent personal income tax ranks it among some of the best places in which to live, work and play.
On GDP: Florida’s GDP ranks 21st among the world’s largest economies, according to Moody’s Analytics.
On Quality of Life: Florida has earned top ranking in Harris Poll’s most desirable places to live since the survey’s inception.
2. Entrepreneurial Environment
Factoid: Florida ranks among the nation’s top 10 on the U.S. Business Policy Index, the Kauffman’s Index of Entrepreneurial Activity and the Business Tax Index – all of which provide a key gauge for entrepreneurial success.
On Education: Florida’s talent pipeline is ranked No. 4 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
On Number of Startups: The Sunshine State is about 30 percent more entrepreneurial than the nation as a whole, according to the 2012 Global Entrepreneurial Monitor U.S. Report. Even better: We’re less afraid of risk and more apt to take our business global.
On Entrepreneurial Activity: South Florida came in third among the 15 largest metro areas when it comes to entrepreneurial activity, according to a Kauffman Foundation study. Florida, as a whole, bested the national rate of number of companies formed per population.
3. Multimodal Infrastructure
Factoid: Florida is home to 19 commercial airports, 15 deepwater seaports and three spaceports, including two of only eight commercially licensed spaceports in the U.S., according to Enterprise Florida.
On Rail: Florida is building out its commuter rail system, with SunRail’s first phase opening on June 1, as well as the existing TriRail network in South Florida. Additional plans have been proposed for the All Aboard Florida rail system that will run from South Florida to Central Florida, as well as a potential magnetic levitation train system.
On Cargo Tonnage: Cargo handled by Florida’s ports in 2013 totaled 105.1 million tons, a 4.4 percent increase over 2012’s 100.6 million tons.
On Airport Passenger Traffic: International airports in Jacksonville, Orlando, South Florida and Tampa currently serve 294 domestic non-stop destinations and 188 international non-stop destinations.
4. Innovative Research and Development
Factoid: Florida is home to two major bioresearch centers – the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Lake Nona – and is the recipient of about $7 billion invested annually in R&D efforts, according to Enterprise Florida.
On Clusters: Florida has a significant and growing presence in industry clusters such as cleantech, life sciences, infotech, aviation/aerospace, logistics and distribution, defense/Homeland Security, financial/professional services and manufacturing.
On Venture Capital Awarded: Venture capitalists invested $421 million in 37 Florida companies in 2013 – double 2012’s amount, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
On High-Tech Workforce: Florida is fifth in high-tech employment in the nation, according to TechAmerica Cyberstates.
5. Global Connections
Factoid: Florida exports about $65 billion in goods made int eh state annually, the seventh-highest among all states, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
On Proximity: Florida is the economic center of the Americas thanks to its geographic location, and multi-cultural and multi-lingual workforce.
On Top Trading Partners: The state’s leading merchandise export destinations in 2013 included Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina.
On Foreign Direct Investment: Total value of holdings by all majority foreign-owned companies in Florida was $35.1 billion in 2007, the last year in which data was available, ranking Florida first in the Southeast and eight in the nation.