Florida Record

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Florida ranks among best states for business but legal, regulatory challenges remain


By Adam Eisenberg | Aug 12, 2019

AOB reform proponents deliver 10,000 signed petitions to the state Capitol last week demanding Florida lawmakers take action | Photo courtesy of FAIA

TALLAHASSEE -- A new CNBC report ranks Florida as the nation's 12th best state for business. 

The report ranked all 50 states on measures including legal and regulatory environment, access to capital, infrastructure and cost of of living. Florida's overall ranking puts the state one spot behind Indiana and a spot above Tennessee.

On the report's individual measures, Florida received an A grade for access to capital and a B+ on infrastructure and the strength of the state's economy. On the other end of the spectrum, the state received a C- for cost of living and quality of life and a D for education.

On the report's measure of business friendliness, which assesses the legal and regulatory environment for doing business in the state, Florida ranked 12th, up four spots from 2018. 

Sal Nuzzo, vice president of policy at the James Madison Institute, said Florida's legal environment has room for improvement and notes that past rankings have not been kind to the Sunshine State on the legal climate for businesses.

"Florida was consistently in the bottom 10, among the 10 worst legal climates in the United States with respect to frivolous litigation," Nuzzo said.

He added that on regulation, businesses seeking to operate in the state also face challenges.

"Florida is among the single most burdensome states with regard to licensing requirements from the state government," he said.

However, Nuzzo cautions that rankings of this nature often rely on different metrics, which can skew the numbers in different directions.

"I always try to look at what are the underlying metrics behind what they use for their grading," Nuzzo said. "Some others rank Florida higher, typically in the top five or 10, and when you look at some of these other ones you'll see it's a little bit further down, the top 15 or 20."

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CNBC.com James Madison Institute

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