Closing the Gaps in the Deal: Utilizing Florida Economic Development Incentives to Facilitate Development

By Leigh Kellett Fletcher |

If you are a successful developer or broker of industrial or commercial property, the difference between a closing and a lot of wasted effort can come down to the incentives that can be offered to sweeten the deal for companies seeking to relocate to Florida or to particular counties or municipalities. Here is a quick summary of incentives offered at the state level:

  • Enterprise Zone Program – These incentives are limited to investments in specifically designated enterprise zones. Benefits include: i) Business equipment and sales tax or use tax refunds; ii) Florida job creation sales or corporate income tax credits; iii) Building materials sales tax refunds; iv) Property tax credits; and v) County specific additional incentives.
  • Tax Refunds – These incentives are based on the prospective industry of the user or site conditions and include: i) Qualified target industry tax refund; ii) Qualified defense & space contractor tax refund; and iii) Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.
  • Semi conductor defense & space technology tax exemption
  • Capital investment tax credits – there are for eligible industries including clean energy, biomedical technology, financial services, information technology, silicon technology, transportation equipment manufacturing, and corporate headquarters relocating to Florida.
  • Cash Grants- These incentives are the ultimate in close-the-deal gap resources – used sparingly but available for some deals. These include i) High impact performance incentive grants; ii) Quick action closing funds; and iii) Innovation incentive program.
  • Community development block grant funds and Florida small cities community development block grant program – These federal program funds flow through the state to local governments as competitive grants and can be used to fund public infrastructure, including roads, sewer, water, and sidewalks. These awards can also help local government support development of projects furthering commercial revitalization and economic development, and can often be used in conjunction with other incentives.

In addition to these incentives, local governments may have additional incentives available depending on the location of the property, the proposed industry and location of the enterprise, and the number of jobs imposed.

If you need assistance exploring applicable incentives or need more information about any of the incentives described above, our lawyers can help.


Leigh Kellett Fletcher has been practicing land use, environmental and real estate law since 1997 and regularly represents clients acquiring, developing and selling real estate in Florida and the U. S. Virgin Islands. She has been involved in the purchase, sale and redevelopment of multi-family residential projects, office, commercial and mixed use properties and has worked with clients to obtain land use entitlements and environmental permits to develop and expand commercial development. She frequently works with clients acquiring environmentally contaminated properties and assists them with obtaining brownfield designations and completing remediation and development of those properties.