Florida Senate - 2022                                    SB 1570
       By Senator Jones
       35-00384A-22                                          20221570__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to economic assistance to new
    3         businesses; amending s. 287.042, F.S.; requiring the
    4         Department of Management Services to encourage
    5         agencies to allocate a certain percentage of specified
    6         funds to purchase commodities and contractual services
    7         from certain businesses; amending s. 288.006, F.S.;
    8         requiring the Department of Economic Opportunity to
    9         award a specified minimum amount of funds to certain
   10         businesses; creating s. 288.102, F.S.; providing a
   11         short title; defining the term “eligible new
   12         business”; prohibiting agencies from requiring
   13         eligible new businesses or persons establishing an
   14         eligible new business from paying fees relating to
   15         licenses or registrations for the business for a
   16         specified amount of time; prohibiting agencies from
   17         requiring home-based businesses to pay any fees
   18         relating to licenses or registrations; requiring
   19         Enterprise Florida, Inc., to develop and post a
   20         specified annual report on its website and to serve as
   21         the primary point of contact to assist eligible new
   22         businesses seeking certain information; decreasing the
   23         tax rate for certain income of eligible new businesses
   24         under certain circumstances; authorizing the
   25         Department of Revenue to adopt rules; creating s.
   26         443.31, F.S.; creating the Self-Employment Assistance
   27         Program within the Department of Economic Opportunity;
   28         providing a purpose for the program; authorizing
   29         individuals meeting certain criteria relating to
   30         reemployment assistance benefits to apply to the
   31         department for participation in the program; providing
   32         application and eligibility requirements; specifying
   33         requirements for individuals approved to participate
   34         in the program; defining the term “full-time basis”;
   35         exempting individuals participating in the program
   36         from specified requirements relating to reemployment
   37         assistance benefits; specifying that individuals
   38         participating in the program are disqualified from the
   39         program if the individuals become ineligible for
   40         reemployment assistance benefits; requiring the
   41         department to adopt rules; repealing s. 542.335, F.S.,
   42         relating to valid restraints of trade or commerce;
   43         amending s. 445.004, F.S.; requiring that a specified
   44         percentage of workforce development funding go to
   45         certain individuals and businesses; creating s.
   46         687.21, F.S.; prohibiting lenders from requiring small
   47         businesses to sign confessions of judgment; defining
   48         the term “small business”; providing an effective
   49         date.
   51  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   53         Section 1. Paragraph (i) is added to subsection (1) of
   54  section 287.042, Florida Statutes, to read:
   55         287.042 Powers, duties, and functions.—The department shall
   56  have the following powers, duties, and functions:
   57         (1)
   58         (i) The department shall encourage agencies to allocate at
   59  least 5 percent of funds used to purchase commodities and
   60  contractual services pursuant to this chapter to purchase
   61  commodities and contractual services from businesses established
   62  within the previous 5 years and whose principal place of
   63  business is in this state.
   64         Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 288.006, Florida
   65  Statutes, is amended to read:
   66         288.006 General operation of loan programs.—
   67         (2) State funds appropriated for a loan program may be used
   68  only by an eligible recipient or loan administrator, and the use
   69  of such funds is restricted to the specific state purpose of the
   70  loan program, subject to any compensation due to a loan
   71  administrator as provided under this chapter. State funds may be
   72  awarded directly by the department to an eligible recipient or
   73  awarded by the department to a loan administrator. All state
   74  funds, including any interest earned, remain state funds unless
   75  otherwise stated in the statutory requirements of the loan
   76  program. The department shall award at least 5 percent of funds
   77  awarded under this chapter to businesses established within the
   78  previous 5 years and whose principal place of business is in
   79  this state.
   80         Section 3. Section 288.102, Florida Statutes, is created to
   81  read:
   82         288.102 Florida Right to Start Act.—
   83         (1)This section may be cited as the “Florida Right to
   84  Start Act.”
   85         (2)As used in this section, the term “eligible new
   86  business” means:
   87         (a)A business entity licensed under the applicable laws of
   88  this state that begins business operations on or after July 1,
   89  2022; or
   90         (b)A home-based business as described under s. 559.955(3)
   91  that begins business operations on or after July 1, 2022.
   92         (3)Notwithstanding any other law, an agency may not
   93  require an eligible new business or a person establishing an
   94  eligible new business to pay any fee relating to a license or
   95  registration for the first 5 years that the business is
   96  established and may not require a home-based business that meets
   97  the criteria under s. 559.955(3) to pay any fee relating to a
   98  license or registration.
   99         (4)Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall do all of the
  100  following:
  101         (a)Develop and post on its website an annual report that
  102  details how laws, rules, and regulations passed or adopted in
  103  the previous year affect businesses established for 5 years or
  104  less.
  105         (b)Serve as the primary point of contact to assist
  106  eligible new businesses seeking information relating to this act
  107  and the government agencies that support businesses established
  108  for 5 years or less.
  109         (5)(a)If an eligible new business is required to pay taxes
  110  under chapter 220:
  111         1.The first $250,000 of an eligible new business’s income
  112  in the business’s first tax year is exempt from the tax imposed
  113  by chapter 220.
  114         2.The first $500,000 of an eligible new business’s income
  115  in the business’s second tax year shall be taxed at a rate of 1
  116  percent, and any remaining income shall be taxed pursuant to
  117  chapter 220.
  118         3.The first $750,000 of an eligible new business’s income
  119  in the business’s third tax year shall be taxed at a rate of 2
  120  percent, and any remaining income shall be taxed pursuant to
  121  chapter 220.
  122         4.The first $1 million of an eligible new business’s
  123  income in the business’s fourth tax year shall be taxed at a
  124  rate of 3 percent, and any remaining income shall be taxed
  125  pursuant to chapter 220.
  126         5.Any income of an eligible new business after the fourth
  127  tax year shall be taxed pursuant to chapter 220.
  128         (b)The Department of Revenue may adopt rules to administer
  129  this subsection.
  130         Section 4. Section 443.31, Florida Statutes, is created to
  131  read:
  132         443.31 Self-Employment Assistance Program.—
  133         (1)The Self-Employment Assistance Program is created
  134  within the Department of Economic Opportunity. The purpose of
  135  the program is to authorize an individual receiving benefits
  136  under this chapter to retain his or her eligibility while the
  137  individual works toward establishing a business in this state
  138  which will serve as the full-time employer of the individual.
  139         (2)(a)An individual may apply on a form prescribed by the
  140  department for approval to participate in the program. The
  141  application must include the projected start-up costs for the
  142  applicant’s business, why the applicant believes there is a
  143  demand for the business’s product, the business’s target
  144  customer base, and the methods and strategies the applicant
  145  plans to use to market the business.
  146         (b)To be eligible for the program, an individual must:
  147         1.Be receiving benefits under this chapter;
  148         2.Be likely to exhaust his or her benefits before finding
  149  employment; and
  150         3.Have at least 18 weeks of benefit eligibility remaining.
  151         (3)If an individual is approved to participate in the
  152  program, he or she must work on a full-time basis toward
  153  starting a business in this state, including, but not limited
  154  to, participating in training and activities, such as business
  155  counseling, which are required by department rule. An individual
  156  who fails to meet the requirements of this subsection is
  157  disqualified for benefits for the week in which the failure
  158  occurs. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “full-time
  159  basis” means the amount of time necessary each week, as
  160  determined by the department, to establish a business that will
  161  serve as the full-time occupation of the individual.
  162         (4)An individual participating in the program is exempt
  163  from the work search requirements under s. 443.091 and from
  164  being disqualified for benefits under s. 443.101(2) for failing
  165  to apply for or accept suitable work.
  166         (5)Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), if an
  167  individual is ineligible for benefits under this chapter at any
  168  time while participating in the program, the individual is
  169  disqualified from the program.
  170         (6)The department shall adopt rules to administer this
  171  section.
  172         Section 5. Section 542.335, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  173         Section 6. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
  174  445.004, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  175         445.004 CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the state board;
  176  creation; purpose; membership; duties and powers.—
  177         (5) The state board has all the powers and authority not
  178  explicitly prohibited by statute which are necessary or
  179  convenient to carry out and effectuate its purposes as
  180  determined by statute, Pub. L. No. 113-128, and the Governor, as
  181  well as its functions, duties, and responsibilities, including,
  182  but not limited to, the following:
  183         (a) Serving as the state’s workforce development board
  184  pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128. Unless otherwise required by
  185  federal law, at least 90 percent of workforce development
  186  funding must go toward direct customer service, and 5 percent of
  187  workforce development funding must go to support individuals
  188  starting new businesses or to businesses established within the
  189  previous 5 years and whose principal place of business is in
  190  this state.
  191         Section 7. Section 687.21, Florida Statutes, is created to
  192  read:
  193         687.21 Confessions of judgment prohibited for small
  194  business loans.—A lender, regardless of whether the lender is
  195  based in this state, may not require a small business based in
  196  this state to sign a confession of judgment as a condition for
  197  receiving a loan. For the purposes of this section, the term
  198  “small business” has the same meaning as in s. 445.014(4).
  199         Section 8. This act shall take effect January 1, 2023.