5 Things to Consider When Opening a Business in Miami Beach, Florida

Here are five factors you'll want to consider before starting a business in the land of sand and sunshine.

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Are you thinking of expanding your current business or starting a business on Florida’s Miami Beach? If so, who could blame you? The sun shines year-round, the beaches are exquisite, and tourism is constant in the Magic City. Whether you’re a lawyer looking to open your own law firm, or a margarita lover who’s always wanted to run a beachside tiki bar, Miami is a great place to be.

Miami Dade County is a wonderful place for new and expanding businesses. As a major tourist spot, there’s no question that maintaining a steady influx of consumers is achievable. Port Miami is the 11th largest cargo container port in the United States. It’s also the world’s largest cruise ship port, accounting for one in seven of the world’s cruise departures. This contributes greatly to the area’s tourism success. Not to mention:

  • In 2010, Miami was classified as an Alpha- World City in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory.
  • That same year, Miami ranked seventh in the United States in terms of finance, commerce, culture, entertainment, fashion, education, and other sectors — ranking thirty-third among global cities.
  • According to a 2009 UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States, and the world’s fifth-richest city in terms of purchasing power.
  • Miami, nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America”, is also the second-largest U.S. city (after El Paso, Texas) with a Spanish-speaking majority, and the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality. (Source: Wikipedia)

You’re not the only one who is interested in Miami’s business climate. CNN listed the Miami Metropolitan area one of the best cities in the U.S. to launch a business startup. This was largely due to the steep growth rate of small businesses. Many business owners credit this success to the city’s year-round warm weather. Even the coldest January day in Miami is typically comparable to a lovely summer day up North.

In addition to the ideal weather, Florida’s tax rate is appealing to small business owners. Here are five additional factors you’ll want to consider before starting a business in the land of sand and sunshine.


1. Enjoy the Stability of Miami Beach Markets

Look into the different beach niches, and identify what businesses are successful, and which ones are struggling. With a rich cultural history, the Magic City hosts many museums, and memorials that attract visitors from all over. The various public beaches and parks also bring people of all walks of life out to enjoy the postcard-like scenery.

These features bring in a significant amount of out-of-town visitors, and the scenic beaches attract thousands of tourists and locals alike every day to bask in the sun. This foot traffic could be ideal for that beachside tiki bar you’ve always daydreamed about opening.

According to the Census Bureau, the median age of Miami residents is 40 years old. Take this and other demographic information into account when determining whether it’s a good locale for your budding or expanding business venture.

Since Miami is such a popular vacation destination, there are several clearly identifiable niches in the area. A few successful Miami business models that cater to the tourist niches include:

  • Nightclubs
  • Resorts
  • Hotels
  • Water Sport Rentals


2. Consider Building Code Requirements

If you’re opening a physical location, your business will need a brick-and-mortar home base, even the smallest margarita tiki bar shack. Whether you’ll be acquiring an existing property or building new, don’t overlook the Florida Building Code.

Structures that are being repurposed will need to abide by certain occupancy guidelines. For instance, an office building converted into a beachside restaurant will certainly have an adjusted set of rules. For more detailed information on occupancy types, contact the Community Development Department.

There are many financing possibilities you can use to fund your new project. For example, local banks like Foundation Mortgage offer refinancing and mortgage rates available for those who qualify.

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