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The Sunshine State has a ballooning economy, thriving cities, and a year-long summer. Now is a great time to set up shop in Florida, and a business loan can help those work-from-the-beach dreams come true.
Business is good in Florida. The state is focused on low corporate income taxes, and a huge variety of sectors, from high tech to tourism, are booming from Tallahassee to Key West. To support these small businesses, financiers have a ton of lending options for Floridian companies.
SBA loans are very popular, especially the 7(a) loan, because they are partially backed by the federal government via the Small Business Administration (SBA). Due to this, they often have favorable interest rates for small businesses. The only downside: the application process can take some time.
A line of credit is a revolving source of funding, meaning that you can tap into as expenses pop up, so you only pay for what you spend. This makes lines of credit especially practical for and popular with seasonal businesses.
Term loans are what most people conjure in their minds when thinking of “small business loans.” With term loans, a large amount of money is disbursed up front and then repaid monthly with interest for years. They often require more intense application packets than alternative forms of financing do.
Have you been eyeing a new piece of equipment to take your company to the next level? Equipment financing might be just the thing—you can start using the equipment ASAP and pay it off in installments.
Accounts receivable financing is very useful when your business is in a tight financial spot. With this option, you use your unpaid invoices as collateral for a loan. As an added bonus, the application process is typically very fast.
Several local groups can help small businesses set up shop in the Sunshine State.
Florida Credit Union is a great funding option for small businesses. They even offer some alternative lending options, like equipment financing.
Enterprise Florida helps small and young businesses secure loans of various sizes. The State Small Business Credit Initiative and Microfinance Guarantee program expand access to small business loans through local lenders.
LiftFund is a non-profit that helps businesses located in Florida’s many metro areas find financing.
FAMU Federal Credit Union partners with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to provide alternate lending options to Black-owned businesses through the Black Business Loan Program.
The Florida Opportunity Fund provides investment funds to seed and early-stage startups with large growth potential.
The largest credit union headquartered in Florida, Suncoast Credit Union offers SBA loans, microloans, and equipment loans.
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See which credit cards you qualify for before choosing the one that best suits your business needs and offers the cash rewards you’re looking for.
Once you choose a card, you can get approved in as little as 7-10 days.
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Florida’s state government and business community are very invested in helping small businesses succeed in the state, so there are a plethora of resources entrepreneurs can peruse. For example, Open My Florida Business has an excellent step-by-step guide to getting your company started in the Sunshine State. In addition, Florida has several Small Business Development Centers, which are partnered with the SBA and are a great resource for networking and finding a mentor. Along with connecting businesses with lenders, public-private partnership Enterprise Florida aims to help and even provides some funding resources to small businesses in the state.
Florida is home to several grants aimed at small businesses, especially companies that are in the tech, environmental conservation, or tourism sector, like the Florida High Tech Corridor Research Grant.To find a lengthy list of these grants, we recommend that you check out the USGrants.org page on Florida. Also, the Prospera grants are targeted specifically at Hispanic entrepreneurs in Florida. The Florida Opportunity Fund grant is broader in scope and is aimed at innovative companies in their early stages.
The first step toward qualifying for a Florida business loan is to officially set up your business by selecting a corporate structure (like a corporation or LLC), then registering with the Division of Corporations. In some cases, you might have to apply for a license to do business in Florida depending on your industry. Once you’re ready for business, you can apply for loans—approval will depend largely on your business plans, how long you’ve been in business, your company’s annual earnings, and your personal creditworthiness.
You should do your own research and compare the borrowing possibilities. Online platforms like Lendio let you explore your financing options for free and make the process easier than ever. If you run a highly seasonal business, like a fishing charter company or other operation that is highly impacted by seasonal tourism, a revolving line of credit might be a better fit than financing like term loans or startup loans.
A business loan in Florida can help your enterprise benefit from the state’s thriving economy and millions of annual tourists. By leveraging financing to expand your business, you can hit that next level, no matter how big your company is. Business loans can also help you weather situations where cash flows shift month-by-month, like if you run a company that largely caters to tourists or snowbirds.
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