Do you want to start a business in Florida? If YES, here are 10 best cities in Florida with lots of opportunities for you to start a business as a foreigner. The capital of Florida is Tallahassee and some of its major cities are Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando. The five largest sectors of employment in Florida are: trade, transportation, and utilities; government; professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality.

In output, the five largest sectors are: finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing, followed by professional and business services; government and government enterprises; educational services, health care, and social assistance; and retail trade.

Aside from the population which is about 21,299,325 (2018 estimate), one of the major reasons why an investor should consider investing in Florida is the fact that the economy ranks among the largest in the world. As of 2018, the gross state product (GSP) is about $1.0 trillion, the fourth largest economy in the united states.

Florida is responsible for 5.0 percent of the United States’ approximate $20.9 trillion gross domestic product (GDP). As of 2018, Florida’s nominal GDP is larger than all but 15 countries. If you choose to start a small business in Florida, you can be assured that the business will thrive. Statistics shows that there are nearly 2.2 million small businesses in Florida, most of which are sole proprietorships, or businesses without employees, according to a 2015 state profile by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small-business loans in the state under the SBA’s 7(a) program grew 38 percent from 2014 to 2015, from $620 million to $854 million from October to May, the Sun Sentinel recently reported. If you are considering starting a business in Florida, from available statistics, here are ten of the best cities to pitch your business tent.

10 Best Cities in Florida to Start a Business

  1. Maitland

Maitland which is located in the northern Orlando suburb tops the list because on the average the revenue generated per business in the city is $4.5 million, meaning that businesses are bound to thrive in the city. Statistics show that the city has a population of 16,057, the number of registered businesses in the city is 3,150, average revenue per business in the city is $4,503,311.

Maitland’s proximity to Orlando is less than 10 miles away. It means that entrepreneurs will have easy access to the National Entrepreneur Center, which offers free one-on-one business coaching, hosts entrepreneurship seminars and facilitates small-business loans.

Interestingly, The University of Central Florida’s Small Business Development Center in Orlando also offers free business consulting, and the university’s Business Incubation Program offers resources including coaching, workshops, access to legal experts and office space for early-stage businesses.

  1. Doral

Doral is yet another city in Florida that supports the growth of business and good enough, the city is just 15 miles inland from Miami. The economy of the city is driven by tourism, logistics, finance and trade because the city is close to Miami’s seaport.

The city has a population of 47,076, the number of registered business in the city is 11,484, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $3,113,948 meaning that businesses in the city are flourishing.

Some of the leading businesses in the city are Perry Ellis International, the Miami Herald Media Company and Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. As an aspiring entrepreneur or a business owner in Doral, you have easy access to the Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida International University in Miami.

  1. Naples

Naples is one of the cities in Florida that has nice white sand beaches, classy shopping streets and golf courses. The city has a population of 19,990, the number of registered business in the city is 10,093, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $561,132.

There are 50 businesses for every 100 people. This goes to show that business in the city are experiencing a boom. Interestingly, loads of tourists visit Naples hence the economy of the city is largely based on tourism.

The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District promotes local retailers and restaurants in that area, and the Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University provides entrepreneurs with free consulting services. So, if you have not made up your mind on the city to start a business in Florida, you can choose Naples or at least put it in your bucket list.

  1. Palatka

Another city that business is thriving in Florida is Palatka. Palatka is a small city between Jacksonville and Orlando that is located in the northern part of Florida. This city can boast of having the lowest median housing costs in Florida and it is put at $618 a month.

The city has a population of 10,532, the number of registered business in the city is 1,376, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $2,186,528. Some of the topflight businesses in Palatka are the St. Johns River Water Management District and Putnam Community Medical Center.

As an aspiring entrepreneur or a small business owner in the city, you can access the office of The Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida in Palatka, they offer free advising for local businesses.

  1. Sebring

Sebring is yet another city that hosts loads of thriving businesses. The city has a population of 10,399, the number of registered business in the city is 1,447, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $1,091,046. The economy of Sebring to a large extent is fueled by the agriculture sector, with citrus farming, nursery products and beef cattle as the most thriving aspect of the industry.

  1. Coral Gables

Coral Gables which is just outward Miami is another thriving destination for new businesses in Florida. The city has a population of 48,093, the number of registered businesses in the city is 11,013, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $1,658,613.

Interestingly, residents in Coral Gables earn the highest median income of all places on the list and this is put at $69,375 a year. When it comes to resource for small businesses, entrepreneurs can visit the University of Miami, which provides a workforce for local businesses.

MasTec Inc., a public engineering, contracting and construction company, is headquartered here. A planned community with Mediterranean-style architecture, Coral Gables has many upscale restaurants, shops and bridal boutiques in the city’s downtown.

  1. Longwood

Another city that an investor should consider pitching his or her business tent in Florida is Longwood. The city has a population of 13,753, the number of registered business in the city is 2,791, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $1,306,889. Studies show that part of the Greater Orlando Area, Longwood businesses benefit from being near a major Florida city.

Businesses have access to resources such as the University of Central Florida’s Business Incubation Program and an incubator kitchen for food entrepreneurs at East End Market. Some of the leading businesses in Longwood are FedEx, UPS, Comprehensive Energy Services and Collis Roofing.

  1. Stuart

Stuart which is a small port city that is located on the St. Lucie River is a thriving city for business and it is located about 40 miles north of West Palm Beach. The city has a population of 13,753, the number of registered business in the city is 2,791, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $1,306,889.

Its historic downtown hosts year-round community events and is lined with over 50 locally-owned businesses including Osceola Street Cafe and Hoffman’s Chocolates. Part of the benefits that businesses stand to gain in the city is that they can join the Downtown Business Association of Stuart to be listed on the group’s website.

  1. Orange City

Orange City in Florida is yet another thriving destination for businesses in Florida. The city has a population of 10,823, the number of registered business in the city is 1,048, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $989,327.

Orange City is just about 30 miles southwest of Daytona Beach and the city attracts tourists and visitors who come for the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR race. The 1876 Heritage Inn is one of the city’s oldest existing businesses, and new businesses have continued opening ever since, with the city issuing 100 new business licenses a year according to its website.

This is indeed one of the thriving cities to start business not just in Florida but in the United States of America. Some of the leading businesses in Orange City are the Florida Hospital Fish Memorial and John Knox Village, a retirement community of 650 residents.

  1. Lake Mary

Lastly on the list of 10 best cities in Florida to start a business is Lake Mary which is situated in Orlando suburb. The city has a population of 14,188, the number of registered businesses in the city is 2,672, and the average revenue generated per business in the city is $1,496,414.

Interestingly, Lake Mary is a family – oriented community within a technology area. Some of the top flight companies based in Lake Mary are the Fiserv Inc. and SunGard, two financial service technology companies.

As regard resource facility for small businesses, the headquarters of Florida High Tech Corridor Council, which offers technology entrepreneurs technical assistance, research grants and access to the Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center web portal, are located nearby in Heathrow.

There you have it, ten best cities in Florida to start a business. Please note that there are other cities in Florida that may just be ideal for the niche business you want to start which is why is it is important for you to conduct your due diligence before launching your business.

Joy Nwokoro