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Starting a Business in Miami

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Starting a Business in Miami
Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

If you're tired of the rat race and ready to hang out your own shingle, Miami-Dade county offers excellent opportunities for new and expanding businesses. Miami's a tourism hotbed -- it serves as the port of origin for the vast majority of cruise lines serving the Caribbean. It's also home to numerous companies doing business in Latin America. Whatever your niche, you're bound to discover a potential market in South Florida.

Miami-Dade provides a number of tax advantages to businesses of all sizes. The absence of any local or state personal income taxes lowers overall employment costs. There's no local corporate tax and Florida's state corporate tax rate of 5.5% is among the lowest in the nation. Certain new businesses may also qualify for federal benefits by locating within the Miami-Dade federal Empowerment Zone.

If you're still not convinced that Miami is a great place to get your business off the ground, check out the Beacon Council's list of reasons you should do business in Miami. On the other hand, if you're ready to make the plunge, try these three quick steps to get you started on the path to success in Miami:

  1. Visit the Small Business Administration. Miami is home to one of only two SBA Business Information Centers in Florida. This great resource provides assistance and advice to new business owners and maintains a large reference library. For more information, visit their office at 49 NW 5th Street or give them a call at (305) 536-5521, ext. 148.

  2. Obtain Necessary Permits. At the very least, you'll need to obtain a local business tax receipt from Miami-Dade county. You'll need to fill out a short form and pay a tax based upon the type and size business you're establishing. For more information, contact the tax collector's office at (305) 270-4949 or visit one of their offices downtown or in South Dade. You may wish to consult with an attorney to determine whether other state, city or county licenses are required for your line of business.

  3. Use Local Resources. Miami wants your business to succeed! After all, successful businesses create jobs and bring new revenue into the community. There are several local business groups (such as the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Beacon Council) that exist for the sole purpose of creating networking opportunities for business owners.

There's a wealth of opportunity for new business owners in Miami-Dade, whether you're looking to open a small restaurant or start the next high-tech phenomenon. Be sure to take advantage of all the public and private-sector programs set up to help you get off on the right foot. Best of luck in your endeavors!

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