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. 50 51 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 52 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.