DeSantis Indicators House Enterprise Law
Regarded as a victory for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, Governor Ron DeSantis put House Bill (HB) 403 into effect last night.
The bill expands which businesses are “home based” and takes precedence over local government regulations that go beyond standard zoning laws and homeowners association rules. It prevents local governments from enacting regulations that vary from city to city and that affect private businesses.
The bill allows a home-based business to operate in a designated residential area and not be treated differently from other businesses in the jurisdiction of a local government.
It contains criteria that home operations must meet in order to operate in an area designated for residential use. You can find these criteria and a full summary of the invoice here.
Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business for Florida Bill Herrle said in a statement after the bill was passed, “Small businesses are the foundation of Florida’s economy, and many of these businesses started in people’s homes, in their garages, or at the kitchen table. We believe that business owners have the right to start and run businesses at home as long as those businesses don’t harass their neighbors or violate local building code regulations. House Bill 403 would prevent local governments from creating a patchwork of confusing and conflicting rules and regulations that would affect private businesses beyond normal zoning laws and homeowners association rules.
He said DeSantis’ signing of the law paved the way for more entrepreneurs to create businesses and jobs.
But local mayors and the Florida League of Cities urged the governor to veto the law.
The Executive Director of the Florida League of Cities Jeannie Garner wrote a letter to DeSantis asking for a veto.
She said that when the bill goes into effect it will significantly anticipate the powers of the Home Rule and the local government’s ability to balance competing property rights. Additionally, the bill will override any existing local ordinance or regulation that provides unique solutions for homeowners and business concerns.
“As Florida cities encourage entrepreneurship, they must weigh the desire to run a home-based business against the potential impact on neighborhoods and home values. Zoning is an inherent function of local government. The main purpose of zoning is to minimize incompatible uses and balance competing property rights. In practice, zoning is used to prevent new developments or uses from interfering in an unfair manner with existing uses, ”Garner wrote.
She said her organization worked with lawmakers on legislation, but the final bill “departs drastically from that compromise”.
The League of Cities wanted, as they called it, operating hours restrictions so local governments would restrict signage, outdoor storage, and company-generated traffic, and prohibit business activities within sight of the street.
HB 403 takes effect tomorrow.