A large part of the Florida economy comes from its own tourist industry. Being the host to countless tourist destinations, it is altogether unsurprising to find that tourism has become one of the main lifelines of the Sunshine State. Its central position to the economy has made it a key priority for the state.
This article serves as a quick guide for individuals and businesses looking to become part of this massive enterprise known as the Florida Tourist industry. It presents a guide on the particular responsibilities you have to face as a business owner.
Breaking into the Tourism Industry: Things to Consider
Now, as you may already know, tourism offers huge business potential in the state of Florida. While it can serve as a steady source of income, keep in mind that the market remains competitive even in a lucrative field like this. That is why you need to think long and hard about what sort of business you will want to establish.
- Business Type – When we speak of the Florida tourist industry, we are actually referring to a multitude of businesses belonging to a number of different fields. As a budding entrepreneur, it is your job to pick what type of business you want to start. For instance, are you interested in renting out accommodations or are you looking to start a touring service? Perhaps, you are interested in developing your own tourist destination?
- Location – For any business, the most important thing is finding the right location. You have to pick the spot that is perfect for your needs and accessible to your customer base. We highly recommend that you choose a location with a steady flow of tourist traffic, regardless of the season.
The Tourist Development Tax
As one of the main priority areas for the state, it is unsurprising to find that the state of Florida levies a tourism development tax. This is one of the things you will have to pay if you want to start your own tourism-related business.
It is stated in the law that they need to collect and remit a tourist development tax, amounting to 12%, on top of the sales taxes they also need to pay. This tax applies to all business and individual renting out or leasing accommodations. In particular, it applies to establishments like hotels, motels, apartment buildings and condominiums. It is also required for family dwellings.
Keep in mind that the owner of the establishment bears the responsibility of collecting and remitting the taxes. Failure to do so would make you personally liable for the legal and financial consequences. In most cases, businesses will be asked to pay the back taxes on top of the additional penalties and interests that the state will charge.
It is also worth mentioning that the same principle also applies to the rental agencies. If you are a rental agent in charge of a property, then you will bear the responsibilities of collecting and remitting the said taxes.
These are just a few practical tips for those looking to break into the Florida tourism industry.