Have you always wanted to open a small business in Florida because the prospect of living and working in the Sunshine State appeals to you? This is something many budding entrepreneurs think about when weighing their options on where to launch a new business. Whether you are interested in starting a retail outlet or a small-scale construction company, you will obviously want to look at the advantages and disadvantages of doing business anywhere you are considering. It is no different in Florida, so here are a few points to consider.
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Let’s Start with the “Bad News”
It all depends on how you look at this. Did you know that there are so many lawyers in Florida that it averages out to about one attorney for every 200 people? With such an abundance of lawyers, the state has gained a reputation as being a paradise for those stereotypical ambulance chasers discussed here. Because of this, you may find that you can get hit with a false or fraudulent personal injury claim.
However, the good news is that general liability insurance in Florida is extremely affordable and you will have your own team of top-level lawyers defending you against fraudulent or frivolous claims. Insurance companies don’t want to lose money either, so the right provider is there to back you all the way. Although you are not required by state law to carry general liability insurance, some counties require it for occupational licenses and landlords almost always will as well. So, the ‘good’ side of the issue is that you can have cheap coverage that will keep you in business for years to come.
What You May Not Know About General Liability Insurance Coverage
Sadly, this is something that many new business owners don’t know about just how important general liability insurance really is: did you know that it covers you and your employees sometimes when you are not even on your property? If you can be found to be the ultimate cause of injury to a person as well as damage or loss of property on a client’s premises, your general liability coverage would kick in.
Altogether too many times employees are at a customer’s place of business, acting within the scope of their duties, when some mishap transpires. For the sake of example, perhaps they inadvertently back into a costly piece of equipment, knocking it to the floor. That client can file a claim for the cost of that item against your general liability insurance. Not only can a client file a claim if they are injured on your premises, but they can also file a claim if through your actions they are injured on their own property. This is something many business owners fail to realize until it’s too late and they have a major lawsuit on their hands.
This leads you to wonder just why so many commercial landlords require you to carry general liability insurance. If a customer should get hurt on your premises, would their property and liability insurance have a claim filed against them? What if they were injured in a slip and fall incident because of a loose tile on the floor? It just could be that the landlord would be held at fault. They’d rather have you take the hit, wouldn’t they? Therefore, if you want to rent in the ideal location, general liability insurance is a small price to pay for the higher sales potential.
Florida Is a Highly Seasonal State
This is something that, contrary to popular opinion, just might interest you! With so many snowbirds coming down for their winter residency, you will find that the cooler, more comfortable months, are those where you will see higher levels of sales. This appeals to so many entrepreneurs migrating south to open a business because the heat and humidity of those summer months can be oppressive, to say the least.
With the bulk of your business being done in cooler months, you will actually find a space on the beach to ‘chill’ for just a bit in July and August. That’s not something you are likely to enjoy in the winter, but why would you? You can be back in the shop raking in the bucks that enable you to kick back in the summer.
With that said, there is something else to think about as well. If you are yet undecided what kind of business to start in the Sunshine state, it might be worth your while to consider something in the hospitality sector. This can be quite profitable if you are willing to work long and hard during the winter months with the understanding that business may slack off during those hot summer months mentioned above.
However, that is also going to be dependent upon where you are thinking of opening your business. If you are thinking about residing anywhere near the Orlando area and all those theme parks, it may be different. Those areas are busy throughout the summer months as well because of all the families taking their kids to Disneyworld and many other attractions.
Attractive Tax Advantages
One of the leading attractions for opening a business in Florida is the low tax burden. There is no state personal income tax, indeed being only one of nine in the country. For this reason, you may find that you have the advantage of picking from the very best talent when hiring. Just as the low business and corporate taxes are appealing to you, the thought of not paying state personal income tax is appealing to workers. When asked, many new residents say that it was the fact that they didn’t need to pay state income tax that lured them to Florida, not the weather as you might assume.
Also, the state’s sales taxes are relatively low in comparison to many states, so that should appeal to you as well. It certainly appeals to many northerners who are paying high taxes at the cash register. Sometimes it’s close to 10%. Imagine paying state and federal tax on your income and then being hit again for sales tax. When calculated that could add up to over 30% of your income going to one government agency or another. Is it any wonder why Florida is so appealing to the average hourly worker? They simply don’t make enough to pay that high of a percentage in taxes!
The advantages of opening a small business in Florida are many, so maybe the Sunshine State is where you can finally see the light of day!