Florida is the most business-friendly state in the country, a new report from Wallethub that determined the best large cities to start a business in would indicate, placing four Floridian cities — Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa — in the top ten.
For its report, Wallethub compared over a hundred cities based on twenty metrics in three categories: business environment, access to resources, and business costs. Orlando and Miami took the first and second spots, respectively, citing high average growth rates of small businesses and low labor costs.
The two cities have seen recent booms in the tech and cryptocurrency industries, with governmental backing of granting Floridians the ability to pay taxes and other various administrative fees using cryptocurrency.
“I’ve told state agencies to figure out a way that if a business wants to pay tax in cryptocurrency to Florida, we should be willing to accept that,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “So we’re working through that.”
Additionally, Florida has no personal income tax, a 5.5 percent corporate tax rate, and no payroll taxes. That can be a game-changer for a business that’s just starting up or an established business that’s looking to leave a high-tax state. The latter of which the state has seen an influx of, registering over two dozen large corporations relocating from California to The Sunshine State.
Jacksonville placed sixth in the report, while Tampa followed closely behind at tenth. Both cities were praised for their business environment, a metric in which both metros scored highly.
Miami and Hialeah, which placed sixteenth in the list and marks the fifth out of six Floridian cities in the top twenty, were found to have the most startups per 100,000 residents at 248.31. The figure, which is 3.5 times more than in Toledo, Ohio, the city with the fewest at 70.06, exemplifies the migration of tech entrepreneurs flocking to South Florida, raising more than $1 billion in venture funding last year, according to Crunchbase data.
While some may think that Orlando is just a tourist town, Orlando is busy leading the nation in technologies like advanced manufacturing, biotech, aerospace, defense, and simulation. Home to corporations like Siemens and Lockheed Martin, the Orlando Metropolitan area is only adding to its tech sector repertoire, housing NeoCity technological research and development district, a space for tech startups to operate with connections to major universities.
Earlier this year, DeSantis announced funding to further build up NeoCity, with hopes to establish the district as a semiconductor hub.
“Manufacturing is something that we need to do a better job of. We’ve worked really hard … to expand our manufacturing footprint and we want to continue doing that moving forward,” said DeSantis. “Semiconductors are a huge issue, so I think the more we can do manufacturing semiconductors here, the better off we’ll be.”
St. Petersburg at seventeenth is the sixth and final Floridian city to place in the list, scoring highly in the business environment and business costs metrics.