Entrepreneurs Shape Sarasota County’s Past, Present and Future

Support for entrepreneurs is a consistent theme across the economic development strategy for Sarasota County.

Since its formation in the 1800s, Sarasota County has been a destination for entrepreneurs. From the Scots who founded America’s first golf course and a destination hotel for tourism in Sarasota, to the Potter-Palmers and Ringlings, local history and the community landscape bear the lasting imprints of entrepreneurial fervor.

Sarasota County consistently ranks among U.S. communities generating new enterprises. Today, there are countless entrepreneurial success stories in our region. With most of these successes having occurred organically, we are applying an intentional focus to the needs of entrepreneurs.

Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center  
The Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center is a free web portal designed to connect entrepreneurs with business support organizations, programs and service providers who can support their new or growing business.

Entrepreneurs: Navigating the Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center is easy and free! Are you starting a business? How about expanding an existing operation? Considering relocating? By simply selecting any of these topic areas and many others, you will instantly be connected with local, state, regional and national resources, programs and service providers who can support all of your business needs.

Business Owners & Service Providers: If you are a local business or service provider offering business-related products and/or services meeting the needs of entrepreneurs and/or businesses, you can register your company with the Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center at no cost. Once registered you can upload your company information to the online web portal and become a resource for other businesses.

SCORE is a national, non-profit organization, which offers business advice through free counseling/mentoring and workshops for local businesses. It is a group of working and retired business executives who donate time assisting people in starting up new businesses or providing business counseling for existing businesses.

Free workshops are offered throughout the year on topics such as Starting Your Business, Building Your Business Plan, Financing Your Business, and Marketing Your Business.

Small Business Development Center
The Florida Small Business Development Center at USF-SM, assists existing and emerging businesses in Sarasota and Manatee counties, with professional business consulting, training and information. Whether starting, buying, growing or selling a business, the Florida SBDC at USF-SM has what entrepreneurs need to grow and succeed. Services include no-cost, confidential business consulting from certified experts in a variety of business topics, including: marketing, business certification, capital access, market diversification, developing strategic business plans, export services, and web optimization.

To schedule an appointment with a certified business consultant today, visit www.SBDCTampaBay.com or call 813.905.5800.

Internal Revenue Service Resources  
This site is dedicated to the self-employed individual and includes a plethora of information from starting a business, operating the business, the necessary forms to file, an advocacy service, and much more.

Florida Tax Guide 
Major taxes collected in Florida include sales and use tax, intangible tax and corporate income taxes.  Information regarding these and additional taxes can be located at   There is no personal income tax in Florida.

Reel Experience