In recent years, Miami and other Florida cities have gained recognition as prime locations for newly formed businesses and for businesses relocating from other states. In fact, according to U.S. Census data, Florida was the top location for newly formed business entities. Out of the 5.8 million new business applications filed nationally from January 2021 to January 2022, 683,680 – 12% – were in Florida.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many established companies of all sizes have decided to make Florida their home, including the real estate investment group Blackstone, global investment bank Goldman Sachs and autonomous vehicle technology company Argo AI, along with hundreds of smaller businesses.
Rising costs and oversaturation in areas such as Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach and New York City make them prohibitively expensive, leading many business owners to consider relocating. Here are six reasons they’re choosing Florida.
The pandemic prompted many business owners to rethink their locations. Many decided to leave behind dense, cold and expensive urban areas in favor of a more laid-back lifestyle in sunny Florida. After being cooped up inside small apartments during social distancing periods, people understandably find the idea of single-family homes with year-round outdoor access extremely attractive.
Florida cities, particularly Miami, draw young people because of the beaches, climate and vibrant entertainment scene. Companies all over the U.S. track the movement of young people seeking more affordable living situations, and plenty of them are moving to Florida.
For example, thousands of millennials have moved to Cape Coral, about 20 minutes from Fort Myers, since 2019, accounting for 18% of the city’s population. Additionally, with a large international airport, multilingual population and a reputation as the gateway to the Americas, Miami is attractive to businesses that operate internationally.
Florida offers various business incubators and accelerators to attract and encourage business innovation. Some examples include the Tech Runway in Boca Raton, the Goldstein Business Accelerator in Orlando, and The Launch Pad in Miami.
When startups flock to an area, more businesses tend to follow, since money typically follows opportunity. In a WalletHub study, Florida ranked fourth in the country for the highest average growth in the number of small businesses.
Florida is attractive from a financial perspective. It doesn’t have state income tax, inheritance taxes or intangible tax. Additionally, its corporate and sales taxes are lower than those of most other states, and the cost of living is much lower than it is in states such as New York and California, giving employees greater financial freedom.
As more young people flock to Miami and other Florida cities, they form a talent pool of educated, young go-getters excited to start their careers. Growing companies are eager to tap this talent pool, and it’s easy to hire for a cultural fit.
Likewise, millennial and Gen Z workers are energized by joining forces with startup companies, especially in growing industries such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and other tech businesses.
Florida’s climate and beaches are big draws, especially for people who live in the snowy climes of the Northeast and Midwest. Cities such as Miami are increasingly cosmopolitan, with world-class restaurants, cultural attractions and nightlife, creating a vibrancy missing in some other cities.
Residents embrace creativity through art, music, museums and festivals. The area is also an international melting pot and has a consistent influx of tourism that helps create an evolving cultural identity.
If your current workforce is unionized, you may be able to lower your wages by moving to Florida; it’s one of only 10 states with a “right to work” provision in its state constitution.
If you’ve decided to relocate to Florida or another state, follow these best practices:
When you’re starting a new business in Florida or relocating a business to Florida, be sure to do the following:
Don’t do the following in Florida:
Nick Hastreiter contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.