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Florida State

Overview

The State of Florida covers approximately 54,000 square miles of land in the south eastern United States and has a population of approximately 17 million people. The state is bordered by Georgia and Alabama to the north, the Gulf of Mexico to the west and by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east.

The state capital, Tallahassee, is located in the north of Florida, just 10 miles from the border with Georgia. Other major cities include Jacksonville, Miami, St Petersburg and Tampa.

The states warm and sunny climate, together with its beautiful beaches, excellent shopping, sporting and cultural facilities, not to mention its numerous state parks and recreation areas, make Florida a fantastic place to live. In fact, in recent years Florida has consistently been ranked as the most desired state in which to live in the Harris Poll.

Florida enjoys a strong economy with an impressive Gross State Product of just under half a trillion dollars, making it the fourth largest economy in the United States behind California, New York and Texas. Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI), the body responsible for the state’s economic development, has identified 5 key sectors in Florida’s economy. They are Life Sciences, IT, Aviation / Aerospace, Homeland Security / Defence and Financial / Professional Services.

Florida is well connected to the rest of the United States and beyond with numerous regional and international airports such as Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami offering thousands of scheduled flights each week to and from destinations all over the world. Miami airport is one of the largest in the state and in 2002 was ranked 1st among all U.S airports for the amount of international freight it handled and 3rd for international passengers.

The State of Florida has a workforce of well over 8 million people and, according to Enterprise Florida Inc., this is expected to increase by a further 1.7 million by 2010.

The cost of doing business in Florida is competitive when compared with other prominent American states such as Texas, New York and California. The state benefits from a favourable tax climate, with a corporate income tax rate of just 5.5 per cent. Companies can also benefit from numerous incentives aimed at increasing investment in a number of targeted industries and training, and there are also incentives in place for the creation of employment in specific geographic areas, known as Enterprise Zones and Brownfield sites.
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