Florida Business Incentives: Why Companies Are Moving to the Sunshine State.

Tampabay  /   November 14, 2022

Florida Business Incentives: Why Companies Are Moving to the Sunshine State.

When thinking about where you want to run your business, the topics that come to mind are: a strong and local labor force, a diverse consumer pool, a growing economy, and abundant resources. So, why not have all of that and a waterfront view? When most people think of Florida, they probably think of Disney World, beautiful beaches, NASA, and retirees. But what more people should be talking about is the fact that Florida has the 4th biggest economy in the country, and is the third biggest state by population, and has some of the best business tax advantages this nation has to offer.

Some Key Economic Advantages Include:

      • – GDP: 1.0 Trillion
      • – Population: 21.78 million
      • – #2 Largest Foreign Trade Zone Network in the USA
      • – 3rd Largest Workforce in the U.S | 10.3 Million
      • – The Nation’s #2 Best Job Growth Leader
      • – Ranked 4th Best State for Business Tax Climate

But, what about their tax climate?

      • – Average Sales Tax is 7.05%
      • – Low Top-Rate Corporate Income Tax: 5.5%
      • – Unemployment Insurance Taxes for New Employers: 2.7%
      • – NO corporate income tax on limited partnerships
      • – NO corporate income tax on subchapter S-corporations
      • – NO corporate franchise tax on capital stock
      • – NO state-level property tax assessed
      • – NO personal income tax
      • – NO sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment
      • – NO sales and use tax on goods manufactured or produced in Florida for export outside the state
      • – NO property tax on business inventories
      • – NO property tax on goods-in-transit for up to 180 days
      • – NO sales/use tax on co-generation of electricity

Source: https://tampabayedc.com/edc-services/incentives/

Additionally, they were ranked as the 7th fastest growing state in the U.S, which has drastically risen after the pandemic, as workers continue to prioritize an ideal work-life balance.

Strong Labor Pool? Check. Growing Employee and Consumer Population? Check. Growing Economy? Check. ProBusiness Tax Incentives? Check. Growing Investor Pool? Check.

So, let’s dive into their major incentives.

Florida State-Wide Incentives

Brownfield Incentives

Brownfield sites are defined as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination.” Florida’s brownfield sites are typically quicker and cheaper to clean-up when compared to other parts of the country because the condition of environmental degradation is much less severe than other U.S states.

Upon redevelopment of these sites, businesses are awarded with the following incentives:

      • – $2,500 Job Bonus Refund for each new job created by an eligible business
      • – Highly attractive business locations with existing infrastructure
      • – Voluntary cleanup tax credits
      • – Cleanup liability protection
      • – Low-interest loans for assessment and cleanup
      • – Increased State Loan Guarantee – Improving lending opportunities
      • – Expedited permitting for specific Brownfield projects

Capital Investment Tax Credit

The purpose of this credit is to attract capital-intensive industries in Florida. This annual credit combats the corporate income tax and is available for up to 20 years equaling 5% of the eligible capital costs generated by the project.

Eligible Projects Include:

      • – Advanced Manufacturing
      • – Clean Energy
      • – Biomedical Technology
      • – Financial Services
      • – Information Technology
      • – Silicon Technology
      • – Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
      • – Corporate Headquarter Facilities

The project requirements:

      • – Must create a minimum of 100 jobs
      • – An investment of at least $25 million in eligible capital costs

Eligible Capital Costs Include:

      • – All expenses incurred in the acquisition
      • – Construction Installation
      • – Equipping of a projects from the beginning of construction to the commencement of operation
      • – They also offer a credit of up to 10% of excess qualified research expenses.

High Impact Performance Incentive

This negotiated grant is used to bring large high-impact facilities to the state of Florida.

Sector’s that are considered for the grant:

      • – Clean Energy
      • – Life Sciences
      • – Financial Services
      • – Corporate Headquarters
      • – Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
      • – Information Technology
      • – Advanced Manufacturing and Semiconductors

The projects requirements:

        • – Create at least 50 new full-time equivalent jobs in Florida in a 3 year period*
        • – Make a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million in a 3 year period*

*If an R&D Facility, must create at least 25 new full-time equivalent jobs and make a cumulative investment of at least $25 million.

Once projects are approved by the DE, they are awarded 50% of the eligible grant upon commencement of operations and the remaining 50% once their capital investment goals are met and they have reached full employment.

Rural and Urban Job Tax Credit

Rural Job Tax Credit 

      • – Businesses located within one of the 26 designated Qualified Rural Areas can receive a tax credit from $1,000 – $1,500 per qualified employee and is taken against either their Corporate Income Tax or their Florida Sales and Use Tax.
      • – Five million dollars of credits can be approved in a calendar yea

Urban Job Tax Credit

        • – Businesses located within one of the 13 designated Qualified Urban Areas can receive a tax credit from $500 – $2,000 per qualified employee and is taken against either their Corporate Income Tax or their Florida Sales and Use Tax.
        • – Five million dollars of credits can be approved in a calendar year

Florida First Business Bond Pool

    • – This incentive reserves 20% of Florida’s total annual private activity bond allocation for significant industrial projects that make large contributions to Florida’s overall economy.

City of Tampa and Hillsborough County Incentives

Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program

      • – This program provides qualifying businesses an additional incentive to locate or expand with the City of Tampa and creates additional jobs.

Business Facade Grant Improvement Program

    • – This program provides a matching grant to property owners who improve the appearance of their properties in Drew Park, East Tampa, and Ybor City CRAs.

Pasco County Incentives

Pasco Ready Sites Program

Pasco County understands that the demand for project-ready industrial is rising and that companies need buildable sites to ease the location decision process to begin and complete their construction projects. So they created the Pasco Ready Sites Program. This program assesses, evaluates, and certifies large parcels of land to prepare them for industrial development. They currently have 5 sites available totally nearly 2,000 buildable AC all within 10 miles of an interstate or four-lane highway.

One major outcome of the program was actually their first sale which went to Amazon for a Robotics Sortation Center in Eagle Industrial Park. The company is investing over $150 million into their 517,260 SF center that will add 500 new jobs to the region.

Pasco EDC SMARTstart Program

    • – This program give entrepreneurs the help they need to get their business up and running by providing access to education, collaboration, funding, workspace availability, and guidance as they get started. It contains a few different programs including:


Would you like to speak with an experienced Real Estate Advisor? Contact the Tampa Bay Industrial Advisors here and connect with us on social media!

John Jackson, SIOR, CCIM. | Managing Director

813 424 3202 | John.Jackson@cushwake.com

JT Faircloth | Director

813 833 3242 | Jt.Faircloth@cushwake.com

Casey Perry | Associate

813 233 6464 | Casey.Perry@cushwake.com

Tampa’s Top Industrial Real Estate Advisory Group



    • https://www.enterpriseflorida.com/why-florida/incentives/brownfield/#:~:text=%242%2C500%20Job%20Bonus%20Refund%20for,Cleanup%20liability%20protection
    • https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8811-doing-business-in-florida.html
    • https://businessfacilities.com/2022/08/florida-the-sunshine-state-is-bright-for-business/#:~:text=Florida%20has%20been%20ranked%20as,looking%20to%20call%20Florida%20home.
    • https://pascoedc.com/?/ready-sites
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