If you’re thinking of starting or relocating a business in the Tampa Bay area, you might be wondering what resources are available to you. The state of Florida itself is a business-friendly one, offering a cap of 5.5% on corporation tax, while sole proprietorships, S-corps pay no state income tax. It’s also a great place to live and work, with a casual atmosphere and the opportunity to walk out of the conference room and hit the beaches. There are several resources in Tampa Bay that make it an attractive choice in addition to the tax situation.
Chamber of Commerce
With 15,000 members and 1,400 member companies, the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce can connect you with business owners throughout the area. It also offers many resources, including a Minority Business Accelerator aimed at Black and Hispanic business owners, and the Competitive Edge series, where you can attend classes in professional development and business. Build your leadership skills through their Leadership Tampa program. Young professionals can benefit from the Emerging Leaders program while college students transitioning to a career can take part in the Collegiate Leadership Programs. For CEOs and other high-level executives new to the area, there’s the Insight Tampa Bay program.
You can also access support for your startup or new company through Hillsborough County. The county offers an Entrepreneur Collaborative Center where you can connect with other business owners. This can be particularly helpful when you are trying to make a difficult decision such as purchasing the right fleet vehicle for your company, which is essential in maximizing your profitability and productivity. Talking with them about their choices can help you identify what might work for you. In addition, you can review a guide that goes over the steps you should take before making your purchase.
Hillsborough County also has a Small Business Development Center and several different programs. The Economic Development Innovation Initiative provides grants and helps build mentoring connections. The SBDC offers workshops and resources to assist you in writing a business plan and other elements of creating your new company. There is an ad valorem tax exemption plan for businesses that create jobs in the county.
City of Tampa
If you are in the city of Tampa itself, you have yet another source of resources and benefits available. In an effort to streamline business finances the city offers a number of financial and incentive programs. These include a grant to improve the exterior of your brick-and-mortar location, reimbursement up to $10,000 for city fees if you have built a qualifying amenity, and the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program aimed at companies that create jobs in the city.
State and Federal Programs
You may qualify for state or federal programs when you open your company in Tampa Bay as well. There is a capital investment tax credit, the opportunity to apply for high-impact performance grants, and a qualified target industry tax refund program. Within Hillsborough County, there are several opportunity zones with tax incentives for private investments.