Florida is the third most populous state in the United States. The Sunshine State also has the 4th largest state GDP in the country at $1.1 trillion. In fact, if it was a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world.
However, the state's economy is seasonal as it’s heavily dependent on tourism. During Spring and Summer when the weather is warmer in the northern states, fewer tourists are present.
This means that micro-enterprises have to prepare for the lean months by wisely allocating their earnings from the busy season, typically regarded as the time between Thanksgiving and Easter.
Below are statistics on small businesses in the state of Florida:
- There are 2.5 million small businesses, that’s 99.8% of all businesses in the state.
- Micro-enterprises employ 41.6% of all private-sector employees.
- 88% of employer businesses are small firms that employ fewer than 20 people.
- There are 3,494,174 people employed by micro-enterprises.
- SME exports account for 63% of all state exports.This is higher than the national average which stands at 33%.
- According to WalletHub, Florida ranks 6th in the country among the best states to start a business.
- Since the 3rd quarter of 2014, the state ranked 1st in the number of new business applications in the United States.
- Florida has a 50.2% start-up success rate.
- The accommodation and food services industry has the largest share (14.9%) of small business employees in the state, a total of 520,601.
- The mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction sector has 1,598 small business employees making it the smallest industry in the state.
- Florida state law requires that every new Florida LLC designate a Florida registered agent that will be available during regular business hours at a physical address within the state.
- The cost for acquiring a business license is $125. It can be higher if you need additional permits.
- Processing time for forming a Florida LLC is between 6 to 8 business days.
- The current minimum wage for small business employees is $8.56.
- If a business owner wants to change the name of their business, they are required to file for a DBA (Doing Business As). DBAs are valid for 5 years, renewable thereafter.
- Small businesses are mostly classified as S Corporations which means they are not subject to the state’s 5.5% corporate tax.
- S corporations are very popular as they protect small firms from paying any state income tax whether on individual income or on business income.
- Small businesses that are LLCs are classified as partnerships or disregarded entities and are exempted from paying the state income tax because they are not corporations.
- In the rare case that a small firm is also an incorporated LLC, it is liable to pay a state income tax of 5.5% or the alternative 3.3% minimum income tax.
- Mom-and-Pop businesses support an estimated 50% of the state’s economy and create 75% of net new jobs.
- Micro-enterprises in the professional, technical and scientific services sector make up the largest percentage (12.5%) of all small businesses.
- The mining, quarrying, gas and oil extraction sector is the smallest industry in the state with 0.04% of small firms engaged in it.
- US Census Bureau
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Florida Small Business Development Center
- U.S Small Business Administration 2020 Small Business Profiles