The Sunshine State is the nation’s best to start an e-commerce business, according to a newly-published study, citing a favorable tax structure and minimal government burden. The burgeoning e-commerce industry is expected to reach a record $1 trillion mark this year.
E-commerce, the industry based on transactions facilitated through online platforms, saw an estimated $204.6 billion in e-commerce retail sales in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2021, a 6.6 percent increase from the third quarter of 2020.
Florida’s tax climate was graded with a perfect score, landing in the top spots for individual income tax rates and unemployment insurance tax rates.
The Florida Legislature implemented reduced corporate income tax rates and increased tax refunds in 2018 and 2019 in response to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
“Florida ranked number one overall in our study,” the report states. “The state’s tax climate scored a perfect 10, landing in the number one spot for individual income tax rates and the number two spot for unemployment insurance tax rates. It also ranked number seven for corporate tax rates and just outside the top 20 states regarding its sales tax rank.”
Florida also ranked in the top 15 states for Small Business Administration loan availability and venture capital financing. Miami has rapidly become a hub for startup companies receiving investments from venture capital firms, receiving an unprecedented $831 million in investments during the second quarter of 2021. This registers a 142 percent jump in financing from pre-pandemic levels.
“Florida’s economic outlook and financial resource scores also ranked highly,” the report continues. “The state scored the third-lowest on the Small Business Policy Index (SBPI)—the lower the index number, the lighter the governmental burdens, and the better the environment for entrepreneurship—out of all 50 states in 2019, just behind Texas and Nevada.”
Florida was recently ranked as the second-best for business as a whole by Chief Executive magazine, ranking highly in metrics spanning taxation to education, quality of life, and population growth.
This year the rankings noted several major business investments in Florida over the past 12 months, including IT consulting firm Synergy Technologies adding 300 new jobs in Jacksonville, Scotlynn USA opening a new U.S. headquarters in Fort Myers, Pfizer announcing plans in February 2021 to open a global capacity hub in Tampa, KPMG doubling its investment in its Orlando operations along with 350 additional jobs in May of last year.
Also, InnovaCare moved its headquarters from New York to Orlando in July 2021, Grant Thornton established a center of excellence and created 60 new jobs in Orlando in July 2021, Terran Orbital announced in September 2021 a $300 million investment and 2,100 new jobs at its Commercial Spacecraft and Constellation Facility in Merritt Island.