Business Assistance 

The Economic Development Corporation is available to assist companies of all sizes and scopes. All of our services are free of charge. The services we provide are customized to fit the needs of your company. To learn more, please review the common request in this section and please call 941.309.1200 for any additional assistance.

Common requests for assistance relate to:

Rapid Permitting Program (SMART)

A fast-track permitting system, the Sarasota Means Action Response Team (SMART) program will allow targeted industry companies wishing to expand or relocate in Sarasota County to develop a facility within a time frame that meets corporate goals and deadlines. This time frame is usually shorter than working through the system without special assistance.

The SMART program doesn’t eliminate or circumvent existing land use regulations or construction standards; it accelerates the process by making certain determinations and decisions about the development of the land and facilities in a more expeditious manner.

Download the program guidelines and application here.


Building Permit & Local Business Tax (formerly Occupational License)

Sarasota County Online Permitting/Contractor Licensing
1001 Sarasota Center Blvd.
Sarasota,  FL 34240 

Sarasota County Local Business Tax 
101 S. Washington Blvd.
Sarasota, FL  34236-6940
941.861.8300  Option 3

Town of Longboat Key 
501Bay Isles                                                                          
Longboat Key, FL 34228                           

City of North Port Building Department 
Local Business Tax
5650 North Port Boulevard
North Port, FL 34287

City of Sarasota Building Department 
Local Business Tax
1565 1st Street, Room 302A
Sarasota, FL 34236

City of Venice Building Department 
Local Business Tax
City of Venice Building Department 
401 W Venice Avenue
Venice, FL 34285


Financing Programs

Angel and Venture Capital

Traditional financial institutions, as well as local and regional angel investor networks, support local entrepreneurs. An EDC capital formation strategy focuses on tapping the existing wealth in the community to increase start-up funding for new businesses and the availability of expansion funds for value-added industries. The Gulfcoast Venture Forum and Tamiami Angel Investors provide access to private capital for select businesses.

Blue Sky Thinking