How to Start a Business in St.Cloud

  1. Starting Your Business
  2. Choosing a Location
  3. City's Development Process
  4. City's Business Licensing

Incentives

The City of St. Cloud Economic Development Division’s goal is to create economic prosperity by diversifying industries, investing in workforce development, and promoting destination locations.  We are here to help your business become part of the St. Cloud community. We offer financial and technical assistance to attract and retain businesses. We are your first stop for St. Cloud business resources, relocation, and expansion assistance. Our office offers a variety of incentives for qualified targeted industries in Aerospace, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Healthcare, and Manufacturing. Financial assistance is available for businesses seeking relocation into St. Cloud, creating a minimum of 10 jobs, at 115% of the county average wage. Examples of offered incentives are:

  • Expedited Permit Processing
  • Construction/Tenant Improvement Grants
  • Development Review Fee Reimbursement
  • Building Permit Fee Reimbursement
  • Equipment Grant
  • Chamber of Commerce Membership

The Economic Development Division also provides incentives for qualifying downtown businesses. Qualifying businesses can apply for the following incentives:

  • Impact Fee Assistance Program
  • Rental Subsidy for Incubator Program Graduate Companies
  • Redevelopment and Construction Grant Program
  • Marketing Assistance Grants
  • Business Tax Receipt Reimbursement
  • Special Event Grants


Property Research

The City of St. Cloud Economic Development Division offers no-cost site selection assistance. Looking to relocate? Can’t find the perfect location? Look no further than the City of St. Cloud! Our robust, free database contains real-time real estate information on commercial and industrial properties listed for rent and/or sale in the city limits. Customize your search by size requirements, demographics, building type, building size, and more. Interested? Visit Site Selection Assistance.

Please remember to check with the Zoning Division to get the zoning information of city properties prior to committing to a lease or purchase agreement


Research and Data Resources

The City of St. Cloud has an extensive pool of resource tools. We provide comprehensive data sets and tools to help take your business to the next level.  We help businesses find their customers with the market research and business intelligence needed to succeed. Our business intelligence tools enable businesses to introduce products and services at strategic times increasing your customer base and retaining existing customers. We provide real-time information on demographics, market conditions and workforce data. We proudly partner with organizations in the Central Florida area that conduct research and statistics, including: 

Osceola County’s Economic Development Office

 The city is part of the Greater Osceola County Community. As such, statistics and data information in the area is collected by Osceola County. Please visit the Osceola County’s Economic Development Office Website for more information.

Orlando Economic Partnership 

The City of St. Cloud partners with the Orlando Economic Partnership in business attraction efforts to recruit target industries to the Central Florida Area. For more information, please visit The Orlando Economic Partnership

For more information on Economic Development, please contact the Economic Development Division at 407-957-7234 or economicdevelopment@stcloud.org 

Or visit St. Cloud Economic Development 


Small Business Assistance

St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce

The St. Cloud Chamber is dedicated to advancing the general welfare and prosperity of the area, improving the business climate, advocating on behalf of its members, and offering educational support through seminars, publications, and business planning and mentoring. The Chamber can offer businesses technical assistance and a variety of services to advance your business. Visit St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce for more information.

St. Cloud Main Street

The St. Cloud Main Street Program is a comprehensive revitalization program designed to encourage ongoing economic development in conjunction with historic preservation. This is accomplished through the promotion of our Historic Downtown and its businesses, on various media platforms. St. Cloud Main Street provides business services such as grants for marketing and other resources to entities in the Downtown area of the city. Visit St. Cloud Main Street for more information

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA is an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, preserve free competitive enterprise and maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream.  It is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small businesses and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses. For more information, visit SBA for more information 

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Florida SBDC Network (SBDC) delivers, through certified professionals, training and information to help businesses succeed and create a positive impact for the Florida economy while providing value for its stakeholders. SBDC offers local workshops on a wide range of business topics, counseling, and business development programs for both start-ups and existing businesses. Call 407-847-2452 for more information.

Prospera

A nonprofit economic development organization designed to offer bilingual business assistance to Hispanic small business owners. Its mission is to help start, sustain, and grow Hispanic-owned businesses to achieve community prosperity. For more information, please visit Prospera.

Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF)

The BBIF’s mission is to develop and promote Black business enterprises through education, training, loans, investments, and other activities and aggressively promote an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurial development. For more information, please visit BBIF.


State Business Registration

The State of Florida requires businesses to register through the Florida State Department Division of Corporations. Companies cannot operate in the State without registering their business name, fictitious name, and/or trademark. (This is the first step, as the City of St. Cloud will require proof of registration with the State of Florida in order to process your Business Tax Receipt.) Therefore, “SunBiz” registration should be one of the first steps towards the creation of your business. 

To register your business please visit Sunbiz.org 


How to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

A Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number used by the IRS to identify the tax accounts of employers and certain others who have no employees. 

Do I need an EIN?

If any of the following questions apply to you, you will need an EIN:

  • Do you have employees?
  • Do you operate your business as a corporation or a partnership?
  • Do you file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or alcohol, tobacco, and firearms?
  • Do you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
  • Do you have a Keogh plan?
  • Are you involved with any of the following types of organizations?
    1. Trusts
    2. Estates
    3. Real estate mortgage investment conduits
    4. Non-profit organizations
    5. Farmer’s cooperatives
    6. Plan administrators

To obtain an EIN number, you must fill out an IRS Form SS-4 and file it with the IRS. To apply for an EIN number, please visit the IRS   


State Professional Licenses

In addition to registering your business name with the State of Florida, you may need to apply for a license with the State depending on the type of business you would like to operate. 

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR): is responsible for the licensing and regulation of businesses throughout the State. The following are some of the businesses regulated by the DBPR:

Barbershops

Cosmetology

Certified Public Accountants

Engineers

Real Estate

Contractors

Hotel & Restaurants

Construction Industry

 

If you are unsure if your business needs a state license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, please visit the DBPR 

The Florida Department of Agriculture Consumer Services Division: regulates businesses such food establishments, pest control, gas stations, and others. 

For more information please visit Consumer Services 

The Florida Department of Health: issues State Licenses to businesses and individuals in the health and wellness profession. These licenses include, but not limited to, medical offices, laboratories, tattoo establishments, and massage therapists. 

For more information please visit Florida Health Department