If you’re looking for the best business to start in Florida, you’re in luck, because there are dozens of profitable ventures that you can start in the state. It’s a highly-regarded market, particularly for small businesses, which is why so many entrepreneurs flock to the state to bring their ideas to life and precisely why it’s considered one of the best states to start an LLC.
Is Florida a Good State to Start a Business?
There are several reasons why Florida is a good state to start a business. It’s the third-largest state in the country with a population of nearly 22 million. The zero state income tax is another big advantage. Starting a new business in Florida is also less expensive compared to other states.
The Sunshine State gets a lot of tourists as well. A record 137.6 million tourists visited Florida in 2022 and this number is projected to grow even further in the coming years. This significantly expands the client base for businesses.
25 Best Businesses to Start in Florida
Florida has businesses in almost every industry that you can imagine. That’s a testament to the versatility of its market. From tech startups to farming and tourism, there’s a wide variety of industries to choose from. Here are the 25 best businesses to start in Florida:
1. Food Business
Food is integral to the Florida experience largely because of its cultural history and ethnic diversity. Those who live here and those who visit know that food from all corners of the globe can be found in Florida. They actively seek out new culinary experiences. You can add to the state’s culinary landscape with your own food business. You don’t even need to invest heavily to open up a high-end restaurant. Even a food truck would be sufficient to tap into the state’s thriving food scene.
2. Grocery Store
As a prospective business owner in the grocery industry, you have the option to choose between opening a franchise grocery store or a conventional supermarket. Florida’s high population density and strong consumer demand for grocery stores make it an attractive market for both options. A franchise grocery store offers the advantage of an established brand and proven business model, while a conventional supermarket allows for greater flexibility and control over operations. However, both options require a significant upfront investment, including real estate costs, inventory expenses, and staffing needs. A prime location with high foot traffic is essential to attract and retain customers and market research can help determine the optimal location for the store. With the right strategy and management, owning a grocery store in Florida can be a profitable and rewarding business venture.
3. Real Estate Business
Florida is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. Not only does it attract buyers from across the globe, but it’s also a preferred retirement destination for many people living in the US. This interest translates to increased demand overall and realtors cater to that demand to earn a commission in the process. It’s relatively simple to start a real estate business in Florida without much investment. The over 200,000 realtors operating in Florida are a testament to that.
4. Insurance Franchise
There are several things that people will always need insurance for, including but not limited to their homes, cars, valuables, and even pets. If you have a natural ability to sell, consider the insurance franchise business. Insurance franchises have a catchment area and other franchises tend to not infringe on each other’s locations, enabling you to focus on selling as many insurance policies as possible in your area without it being an over-competitive market.
5. Hotel or Motel
Many of the 137.6 million tourists that came to Florida in 2022 would have needed a place to stay. Florida’s standing as a tourism hotspot means that there’s always a high demand for hotel and motel rooms in the state. You can become a part of this lucrative industry either by setting up an independent hotel or a chain hotel property in addition to buying a motel.
6. Nail Salon
Nail salons are a big business across the United States and indeed in FL as well. People spend over $8.3 billion on nail salon services in the country, so you can imagine the sheer potential that exists in this industry. The industry is projected to achieve double-digit growth in the coming years which means that opening a nail salon business can deliver lucrative returns down the road.
7. Clothing Boutique
Clothing boutiques are smaller, niche stores that provide specific types and styles of clothing. The target audience is narrower but since you’re only focusing on customers who know what they’re looking for, this leads to a higher percentage of your customers being recurring buyers. Florida has a thriving entertainment scene and that always contributes to the demand for new clothing.
8. Microbrewery Business
The craft beer business has exploded in the US in recent years and Florida is no exception. The craft beer industry in the Sunshine State is among the top 5 in the country. While they’re expensive to set up, microbreweries tend to do very well in tourist regions like Florida, as visitors actively seek out new experiences and are willing to spend money on them.
9. Organic Beauty Products
The clean and healthy living revolution has taken over and its effects can be felt in Florida as well. More people than ever before are now opting for organic and all-natural products. Since there’s a greater focus now on the ingredient origins in beauty products, businesses in this industry can cater to a highly specific target audience that doesn’t mind paying more for products that they know are organic and don’t contain any ingredients they consider to be harmful.
10. Automotive Repair Shop
Until such time that cars disappear from the roads in Florida, which may never happen considering how everyone loves their cars here, there will always be a need for automotive repair shops. Whether it’s car repairs needed after an accident or general maintenance like an oil change or a tune-up, people will always need help to fix their cars. It’s particularly useful to start this business in Florida because the state doesn’t require auto technicians to be licensed.
11. Lawn Care and Landscaping
Florida’s warm and sunny climate provides an ideal environment for growing a variety of plants and flowers, making it a dream destination for many homeowners looking to create and maintain a beautiful landscape. This high demand for landscaping and lawn care services has resulted in a thriving industry in the state, with many businesses offering a range of services to cater to the needs of their clients. From mowing and edging to fertilization and pest control, these businesses provide professional and efficient services to keep lawns and gardens in pristine condition. With the continued popularity of outdoor living spaces and the emphasis on curb appeal, the demand for lawn care and landscaping services in Florida is expected to remain strong.
12. Cleaning Business
Florida has a lot of hotel and motel rooms. Over 450,000 according to some estimates and they all need to be cleaned. Countless people also rent out their homes as short-term vacation rentals which need to be cleaned every time there’s a guest turnover. That’s an incredible amount of work to be done and that’s not even counting homeowners who may also require assistance with cleaning. That’s why this is a lucrative business to start in Florida.
13. Moving Services
A lot of people move to Florida every year, particularly those looking to retire and they may not be able to handle such an enormous task themselves. They’ll gladly trust a moving company with the entire process so that they can get settled in relatively easily. There will also be consistent demand from people who move within the state. It’s a process that most people dread and are always happy to delegate to a professional service to ensure that their valuables are safely shifted from one place to another.
14. Organic Farming
The climate in Florida is perfect to start an organic farming business. The demand for organic fruits and vegetables has grown significantly not just within the US but across the globe. If this is something that you enjoy doing and want to contribute to transforming the agricultural supply chain, then organic farming is certainly one of the best businesses to start in Florida for you.
15. Travel Agency or Tour Planner
Remember, more than 130 million people visited Florida just in 2022 alone. Most of them would have come here to experience the best of what the state has to offer. Start a travel agency to assist people with their travel and accommodation bookings. Offer tour planning services as well, including customized itineraries, enabling visitors to benefit from your knowledge about the best things to do in Florida. Help them have a great time on their vacation so that they can be happy to drum up business for you by recommending your services to others.
People are increasingly becoming mindful of their health and wellness. The gym, health, and fitness club industry in Florida is worth over $1.8 billion and is projected to grow considerably in the coming years. Florida is best known for its beaches and you can’t build a beach body without going to a fitness club. Open a gym or a yoga club to help people achieve fitness goals.
17. Senior Care Services
Florida is the preferred retirement destination for many seniors from across the US. Since they tend to require special attention, there’s an increasing demand for senior care services in the state. Nearly 20% of the population is between the ages of 65 to 84. Your senior care business doesn’t just need to be a living facility. You can cater to seniors by providing a transportation service, for example, or working as an aged care provider.
18. Baby Sitting
This is a good business opportunity as people often have to rely on babysitting services for their children if they’re unable to do that themselves due to work. Often, they just might want to have a nice night out without having their children in tow. Do keep in mind that people will most likely perform a background check on the person they trust their child to.
19. Pet Services
People love their pets and spend a lot of money to take care of them and make sure that they look good and are in good health. Your business can provide a variety of services. This may include pet sitting or boarding, specialty grooming, and even something as simple as dog walking.
If you’re skilled in a particular industry or have specialized knowledge, you can utilize it to offer consulting services. For example, if you have a good track record as an entrepreneur, you can provide business consulting to startups. You could be a financial consultant and help people with their investments. The opportunities are endless. With Florida being a thriving business hub, there will always be someone who needs help and you can offer it through your consulting service.
21. Freelance Writing
Having a flexible work schedule is the dream now for most people and what better way to achieve that than through freelance writing? It provides you with the ability to leverage your writing skills to contribute everything from op-eds in magazines to articles in your local paper. You can also assist businesses with their copywriting and content marketing efforts. There’s a low setup cost as well since you can easily begin with just a laptop.
22. IT Support Services
Florida has a lot of companies and it’s unlikely that most of them don’t rely on technology to conduct business. It’s common for businesses to not have a full-time tech support team. They can simply bring in an IT services company as and when required. Be that company. If you can provide services like data recovery, technical maintenance, mobile device management, back-end support, and more, utilize those skills to set up a business in Florida.
23. Web Development
It’s impossible for a business to not have a website these days. Whenever somebody finds a new business, they’re likely to look it up online and if it doesn’t have a website, it immediately tends to feel a bit untrustworthy. Businesses understand that and they invest heavily in getting a great website built. If you have the necessary skills, set up a web development company to take advantage of this opportunity. Set up a website to showcase your portfolio. This will give businesses confidence in your skills and encourage them to work with you.
24. Translation Services
Florida is very multicultural and diverse. People from all over the globe call it home. They come from different cultures and speak different languages. If you speak multiple languages, you can utilize this skill to offer translation services in Florida where others who speak the same language will be able to benefit from.
Tutoring businesses tend to do very well in Florida, particularly those that can help with English as a Second Language, as a considerable number of Floridians have a different first language. They are motivated to learn and improve their English. In addition to providing tutoring services for English, you can also tap into the remote learning market and provide services to people from across the globe.
What to Do Next Once You Have the Business Idea
Figuring out what business you want to start in Florida is just the start. Now you need to execute it and for that, here’s a roadmap that you should follow:
Write a Business Plan
Put together a solid business plan that includes market and competitor research, startup costs, funding requirements, and growth strategy. It will serve as the blueprint for your success. If you’re looking to raise funding through loans or grants, banks, and financial institutions will want to see your business plan before they decide whether or not they can provide funds.
Decide on Your Business Structure
Choose the appropriate business entity for your idea. Most small business owners will typically opt to begin with a sole proprietorship or a Limited Liability Company. However, other entity types such as partnerships and corporations may also be more suitable in certain cases.
Register Your Business
File the relevant paperwork with the local business departments to register it. You’ll also need to register the business with the IRS to obtain the EIN or the Employer Identification Number.
Obtain Licenses and Permits
Obtain the necessary licenses and permits for the business you’ve launched. The requirements vary by state so be sure to check your local requirements for any licenses or permits that may be required.
Open a Business Bank Account
Get a business bank account once your entity has been set up. This will help you keep your business and personal finances separate. It helps you make informed financial decisions for the business and makes things much easier come tax season.
Ensure that you obtain the necessary insurance for your business so that it remains protected in the event of an accident. Consider general liability insurance for coverage against incidents and thefts. You may also consider specific insurance policies such as workers’ compensation if you’re going to hire employees.
Promote Your Business
Lastly, focus on promoting your business through a website and social media campaigns to increase awareness and let people know about the services you offer. Do consider joining industry and trade associations to further elevate the stature of your business.
Start Your Florida Business Seamlessly
Making the leap to start your own business in any state is a big decision. With the right idea and ensuring you follow all the necessary steps to launch a business in Florida can be all worth it.
Maintaining compliance and keeping accurate records can be complex when starting your business. Let doola help guide the way to managing your business finances. doola Bookkeeping is your dedicated recordkeeper, accurately tracking all income and expenses to give you a holistic view of your financials while you run your Florida business with ease.
Is it hard to start a business in Florida?
It’s not particularly hard to start a business in Florida, rather, it’s considerably easy. The process isn’t as difficult as it can be in other states. There’s no state income tax and that serves as a great incentive to set up a business in Florida.
What is considered a small business in Florida?
A small business is typically defined as a business with no more than 500 employees. This is according to the definition of the US Small Business Administration. Small businesses are essential to the economic landscape of the state.
How much money do you need to start a business in Florida?
The costs to start a business in Florida vary significantly based on the type of business you’re starting. For example, it can cost just a few hundred dollars if you’re setting up a freelance writing business but millions of dollars if setting up an organic farm.
Do I need a license to do business in Florida?
Most counties in Florida do require a business or occupational license. These requirements vary by county so it’s essential to research the requirements for your locality to ensure that you obtain the necessary permits and licenses required before launching the business.
Do business owners pay taxes in Florida?
The type of business entity chosen will influence if the business will need to pay taxes in Florida. There is no state income tax in Florida. However, corporations and entities that are taxed federally as corporations, are subject to tax in Florida at a standard 5.5% rate.