The United States is regarded as the land of opportunity, and rightly so. Small businesses have been the backbone of the United States’ thriving economy for a number of years. Most businesses that are started begin with a dream, someone’s lifelong ambition, which then turns into a small business.

Florida is no stranger to small businesses; in fact, it ranks 3rd in the U.S. for the most number of small businesses in the state.

The Sunshine State is considered to be one of America’s economic powerhouses. Over the past several years, it has been consistently voted as one of the top states for business due to the government’s pro-business approach, having the third-largest workforce, low and competitive tax incentives, 0% income tax, and an almost unmatched quality of life.

Number of Small Businesses in Florida

So, how many small businesses are there in Florida? There are 2,693,524 (2.7 million) small businesses in Florida, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and Floridians starting small businesses in Florida; the state is a hotbed for international entrepreneurs. There are 437,690 immigrant entrepreneurs in Florida that account for 33% of all self-employed Florida residents.

The following bar graph shows the number of small businesses in Florida in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

How many small businesses in Florida

Of the 2,693,524 small businesses in Florida in 2020, there is a wide array of different enterprises from small, one-person sole proprietorships or LLCs to much larger businesses with several hundred employees. If you want to join the 2.7 million-plus small businesses in Florida, it is fairly easy to register a business in Florida.

To be a small business in Florida, you have to qualify as one. So, to operate as a small business in Florida, you must have a company with less than 500 employees.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the number of small businesses in Florida by looking at the top industries, business owners, employees, and more!

Small Businesses in Florida 2020 overview

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.8% of all businesses in Florida.
  • There are 3,494,174 small business employees in Florida, which is 41.7% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in Florida added 133,441 new jobs!
  • Small businesses employing fewer than 20 employees created the most job gains!
  • There are 527,247 self-employed minorities in Florida demonstrating the diversity in the state.
  • Trade is huge for Florida businesses, and there are 55,648 small business exporters in Florida.
  • There are more professional, scientific & technical services small businesses in Florida than any other type – 337,851. That’s 2.5 times more than Georgia has!
  • Real Estate and Rental Leasing firms make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Florida – 304,572.

Top 5 small business industries in Florida

How Many Small Businesses in Florida?

Over 2.7 million is a lot of small businesses to be registered in any one state, but when you look at the size of the Sunshine State, economy, and influence on business, it is hard to argue why so many have chosen Florida. Compared to the rest of the U.S., the total number of small businesses in Florida is 8.5% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

The number of small businesses in Florida has been growing over the past several years. In 2017 there were 2,368,331 small businesses, which increased to 2,471,260 in 2018, representing a 5.18% increase. In 2019 there were 2,494,229 small businesses in Florida, 22,969 more than the state had in 2018, representing a 0.92% increase.

From 2019 to 2020, the number of small businesses in Florida rose again, to 2,693,524. This is the largest increase in percentage terms over the past five years (7.99%) and demonstrates why Florida has the world’s 17th largest economy.

Florida has an incredible amount to offer employers, employees, companies, and entrepreneurs from all over the world continue to flock to the state due to its brilliant and business-friendly taxation system, access to huge consumer markets, international access by land, sea, and air, world-class infrastructure, a healthy import/export market, and strong population and job growth.

If you would like to download the latest 2020 Small Business Profile on Florida from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, the full Profile can be downloaded here.