Many or all of the companies featured provide compensation to LendEDU. These commissions are how we maintain our free service for consumers. Compensation, along with hours of in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear on our site.
Starting a small business is a dream for many, particularly those who want more control over their schedule and the amount of income they can generate over the years. While business ownership comes with perks, it is not without its obstacles.
One of the most pressing issues among small business owners is the ongoing need for financing for various business expenses. Covering working capital, purchasing equipment or inventory, and funding research and development efforts all require access to money most small businesses don’t have on hand.
Businesses in Florida have opportunities through several outlets to secure financing when they need it most. Small business grants, loans, and outside investments are all possibilities.
Here is a guide to small business financing in Florida, including small business loans, grants, and investment firms.
On this page:
Small Business Loans in Florida
Small companies may benefit from conventional Florida small business loans. With a loan, a fixed sum of money is provided to an eligible business that is then repaid over time, with interest.
Here are several online lenders that offer small business loans to companies operating in Florida.
As low as 6.00%
$5,000 – $2 million
1 – 5 years
The above information is for the Lendio Business Term Loan.
Lendio is the largest small business loan marketplace in the U.S. with a network of over 300+ lenders. These lenders include PayPal, Bank of America, American Express, and more.
You can apply with one simple application without impacting your credit. The entire application process can be completed online in 15 minutes with no fee or obligation. If approved, funds can be made available in as little as 24 hours.
- Short term loan
- Business term loan
- Business line of credit
- Merchant cash advance
- Business credit card
- Equipment financing
- Commercial mortgage
- Startup loan
- SBA loans
- Accounts receivable financing
- Business acquisition loan
9.77% – 35.98%
$5,000 – $500,000
6 – 60 months
The information above is for the LendingClub Business Term Loan.
LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender that connects investors with businesses in need of financing in Florida. To be eligible, businesses must have at least $50,000 in annual sales, as well as been in business for 12 months or longer.
You can apply online in under 5 minutes and receive multiple quotes. If you decide to pay off your loan early, there are no prepayment fees.
7.00% – 69.00%
$500 – $250,000
6, 12, or 18 months
The information above is for the Kabbage Business Line of Credit.
Kabbage is a small business lender offering a business line of credit to companies located in Florida. The lender has a low minimum loan amount which can make it a good option for those in need of a small amount of financing.
In order to be eligible, your business needs to be at least 12 months old, with $50,000 in annual revenue.
Small Business Grants in Florida
Certain businesses operating in Florida may have access to grant fundingfrom state and local sources, as well as community organizations with deep pockets. Florida small business grants can be invaluable in financing business needs as the funds do not need to be repaid, unlike small business loans and some business investments. Grants often require specific work to be done by the business in order to qualify for and maintain funding from the source.
The following represent several Florida small business grants to help in covering the costs doing business in the state.
African Women’s Development Fund
The state of Florida has partnered with the African Women’s Development Fund to provide grants to eligible businesses throughout the state. Grants to small businesses are available to companies working in diverse ways to help improve the lives of women and African society as a whole. Small businesses in Florida may receive up to several hundred thousand dollars when working in body and health rights, women’s economic security and justice, or leadership, participation, and peace initiatives. Applications for AWDF are submitted online and accepted on a rolling basis throughout each year.
Visit Florida Small Business Grants
The tourism arm of Florida also offers grants to eligible small businesses as a reimbursement grant program. Small businesses that publicize tourism advantages in the state may qualify for a grant up to $5,000, so long as gross revenue of the company does not exceed $1.25 million per year. All companies that apply must be able to describe the economic impact their efforts have on the community, offer a detailed marketing strategy, and provide details on how the project or program is linked to tourism in Florida. Applications are submitted online and are due in February each year.
Federal Research Grants
Companies operating in the state of Florida also have access to federal grant funding through specific agencies, including the Department of Defense, Education, Energy, and the National Science Foundation. Two research grants, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, award eligible small businesses financing for work toward development objectives in technology that have a high potential for commercial use. Applications and deadline information for each program are available online.
Enterprise Florida Grants
Through the economic development organization for Florida, grants may be awarded to qualifying small businesses for a wide range of financing needs. One example is the Capital Investment Tax Credit, which is used to attract capital-intensive businesses in particular industries to Florida. As an annual credit used to offset corporate tax liability, this grant is available to small businesses that operate in advanced manufacturing, clean energy, biomedical technology, financial services, and transportation. Application deadlines for grants vary based on the program used, as do amounts and qualification requirements.
Florida High Tech Corridor
The Florida High Tech Corridor is an organization working to foster research efforts in partnership with Florida universities and technology industry companies. Matching grant programs are available to help leverage research and development budgets for businesses working toward creating and implementing emerging technologies. Grant funds may be awarded in any amount but typically range from $10,000 to $150,000 per qualifying business. Applications may be submitted through the program director on a participating university campus in the state.
Small Business Investors in Florida
Some small businesses in Florida may benefit from outside investment, not in the form of a loan or a grant. Investors in the venture capital, angel, and seed funding arenas use available capital to invest in businesses that have a high potential to grow into a publicly-traded company.
Investors come in many different shapes and sizes, and not all small businesses will be a strong match for an investment firm. Here are the top Florida-based investors focused on Florida small business.
Based in Winter Park, Advantage Capital is an influential investment firm focused on helping small businesses positioned for rapid growth. The investment company offers capital through equity and debt financing, government-guaranteed lending, and state tax credits to qualified small businesses. Advantage Capital does not limit its investment to specific industries or verticals, but it does focus heavily on technology-driven companies. Small businesses interested in capital from Advantage may reach out through its online platform.
Another Florida-based investment firm is Krillion Ventures. This organization uses strategic investment in early-stage technology companies that operate in healthcare, financial services, and real estate markets. Krillion Ventures is a Miami-first company, meaning investment opportunities in South Florida come with higher priorities than other companies in the state. Businesses can reach out to Krillion Ventures through its online contact form.
Emergent Growth Fund
As a member-managed angel investment firm, Emergent Growth Fund offers investments to early-stage companies in Florida. Companies that are selected by the firm are focused on developing leading-edge products and proprietary technology that have the potential for rapid growth. Small businesses interested in investment capital from Emergent Growth Fund may connect online.
Getting Your Business Ready for Financing
While small businesses in Florida have several options for financing through loans, grants, and investments, securing funds is not a walk in a park. Companies need to have a strong history of financial success, documented in profit and loss statements, income statements, and tax returns for both the business and business owners.
In addition, qualifying for grants and investment requires specific focus within the business, which may be laid out in a business plan or pitch deck presented to grantees or investors. For Florida small business loans, companies need to have organized financial documents, including bank account statements, accounts receivable details, and a listing of business assets and debts at the time of application.
Small businesses that are the most likely to get approved for loans will be able to show a steady stream of revenue, as well as business assets on hand. Companies awarded grant funding will be able to show the impact of their work clearly and confidently. Investors are more likely to work with small businesses that have a plan for rapid growth based on promising, widely anticipated technology products and services.
What Kind of Financing Do You Need?
Small business financing for Florida companies is beneficial but only when the right form of funding is used from the start. Small companies that qualify for grants need to be aware of the requirements of each award, including the scope of the work performed and reporting requirements necessary for staying compliant with the granting organization.
Companies that qualify for small business loans in Florida must recognize that repayment is necessary over time, and if they happen to default, the lender may have access to business assets like equipment and real estate to offset any financial losses. However, small business loans come with fewer restrictions on how funds are used than small business grants.
Small companies using investment capital should consider the influence an investment firm will have on their operations before signing on the dotted line. Many investors not only want a financial stake in the future growth of the business but they also require an outside party to take part in business decisions and day-to-day operations. If a small business is not willing to give up some control over how the business functions or the direction it is headed, grants and loans will be a better option.
Author: Jeff Gitlen