Best Practices

Choose the right structure when starting your business

Starting and running a business requires making many important decisions. The very first decision faced by many business owners is what kind of entity should be formed to operate their business. In Florida, there are a number of available options. While the decision can be daunting, the variety in flavor of business entities provides the opportunity to choose a type of entity suited to your particular needs. In determining which entity is right for you, there are many tax and non-tax factors to take into consideration.
Oct. 14, 2019|


No matter whether you’ve just launched a new website or have had one for many years, your website should showcase your business professionally and build your reputation 24/7.
Jul. 29, 2019|


If you’re a business owner, you need insurance. But how much and what type can vary greatly depending on your type of business, resources, assets and specific needs. So, what should you consider before purchasing a business policy? Here are some risks and coverages you will want to consider to find the right plan for you.
Jul. 22, 2019|


As a business owner, it is critical to maintain a relationship with a bank that can help you navigate the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship.

How do you select the bank that you want to build a relationship with?

As banks continue to merge and grow, community banks become fewer and fewer. It is important to research a bank and a banker to form a long relationship. Today’s technology allows the business to not focus so much on the actual location of the bank but rather the potential for a long-lasting banking relationship.


Talk with other like companies to see where they bank. Specifically talk to them about what they like about their bank or banker and ask if they have a personal business banker that they work with. Most often the large mega banks do not have a person that business owners can work directly with. This can be problematic for a growing business.

Business owners should meet with potential business bankers and interview them to ensure that they understand the current needs and the goals of your company. After you make this important decision choosing a bank and banker, it is important to communicate often to ensure he or she understands where you are in the business as well as where you are heading in the near and distant future.

Some people believe that it is only important to talk to their bank when they have a need. That just isn’t true. As a relationship banker for more than 30 years on the Treasure Coast, I find that talking with my clients often helps me to become more proactive in making recommendations to the business owner.

Operating a business during a booming economy is just as tricky as navigating during a slowing economy. The challenges are different, but both can put you out of business. Managing growth is a common mistake that businesses make that puts pressure on the cash flow of a company.

For example, some new business owners jump into selling a product without realizing that the invoice will need to be carried for sometimes up to 90 days. Working with your community banker can help you put a line of credit in place that will help you bridge the gap between the sale and the collection of the invoice. That same line of credit can help you during a slowdown as you use the line for support during the slower months.

Your business banking specialist can also advise you when purchasing equipment. What type of equipment should you finance and how long should you finance the equipment? Equipment should be amortized based on the actual life expectancy of the equipment and technology as well as the need for future equipment.

Your business banker will also want to discuss a succession plan for the company. Who will take over in the event of your death? Not a pleasant conversation, but for many companies the owner of the company is a key player in the daily operations. Will the company be passed down to the next generation or will the company be sold? Your banker should want to understand your plan, and that includes the overall forecast even after your passing.

Business owners should use the business banking specialist as a consultant just as they should use their CPA and their attorney. Having a support team will ensure that you are maximizing all resources available.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Tammy Roncaglione


Senior vice president and St. Lucie community president of CenterState Bank and previously worked with Barnett Bank and Bank of America. She is a founding member of the Treasure Coast Manufacturers Association and is the recipient of the 2019 Pete Hegener Leadership Award from the St. Lucie County Economic Development Council.

Jul. 16, 2019|



A South Florida company had a sales team consisting of 22 men and five women. The owner of the company was inspired by the #MeToo movement and wanted to make sure he was doing his part to “level the playing field.” He decided to run an ad specifically intended to hire more women into the sales department. The company ran a job listing on the website, stating it was “taking the radical approach of actively soliciting women salespeople.” The title above the listing announced that the company “Wants to Hire Women Sales Associates!”

Although the ad specifically targeted women applicants, a male applicant applied but was rejected via an email that read, “At this time we won’t be moving forward with your application.”

The male applicant filed a charge of discrimination with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. The FCHR investigated the allegations and in June 2018 ruled partially in favor of the applicant, determining that the company fully considered his application regardless of his gender before it rejected him. However, the FCHR also concluded the company’s stated gender preference was “direct evidence of gender discrimination” under Florida law. The FCHR stated in its ruling that “reasonable cause exists to believe that an unlawful practice occurred” in the company’s explicitly soliciting female applicants.

In fact, the FCHR’s executive director wrote in her determination of reasonable cause that the company “provided the posting and acknowledged that ... it stated a gender preference because [the company] wanted to get more female employees …This is direct evidence of gender discrimination under section 760.10(6), Florida Statutes.”

The company’s main defense was that the male applicant was unqualified for the position because he had no prior sales experience and did not even live in Florida.

The applicant was seeking back pay and front pay from the date the position was filled by another individual, along with attorney fees.
This recent South Florida case reminds all Florida employers that there is a significant danger in running advertisements, including online postings, excluding a certain segment of the population.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

David Miklas

David Miklas

Employment lawyer based in Fort Pierce. His firm, Law Office of David Miklas, exclusively represents employers, both in the private and public sectors.

Jul. 8, 2019|


In early 2016 an old friend and fishing buddy, Scott Deal, founder of Maverick Boat Company, invited me to a quiet lunch with a singular purpose in mind — my assistance in finding a building large enough and geographically close enough to expand his very crowded 77,764-square-foot marine manufacturing facility into a new satellite operation. Deal was mindful that the improving economy was leading to boat orders that his company-supplied dealers were clamoring to fulfill, placing additional delivery pressure on an already stressed manufacturing line.
Jul. 1, 2019|



For decades, Treasure Coast locals and visitors alike have observed those hopeful individuals walking on stretches of our 65-mile coastline, equipped with their metal detectors and headphones, yearning for that joyous tone that indicates metal might be waiting for them under the surface. Out comes the sand sifter to see if centuries old gold, silver or other precious treasures might appear. And, it’s not unusual to see real treasure hunters just offshore aboard vessels aptly named Aarrr Booty or Sea Reaper when the seas are calm and the visibility is good. These hunters are in the water probing areas around 300-plus-year-old shipwrecks and limestone reefs, hoping to catch a glint of shimmer and uncover millions of dollars worth of treasure. After all, it’s happened before. Most people think these stories are for the movies, but here on the Treasure Coast, it’s real.

The story of the Treasure Coast began in 1715 when a fleet of Spanish ships — loaded with gold, silver, jewels and other treasures — was anchored just offshore about to make its way back to Spain. This was before the Weather Channel, so little did the explorers know a hurricane was headed right towards them. Most of the ships sank, scattering the treasure onto the ocean floor. To this day, these treasures are still found by lucky beachgoers or divers — giving the region its well-deserved name.

Fast forward to 2017 and 2018. Tourism is Florida’s number one industry, welcoming 126.1 million visitors that spent $112 billion supporting 1.4 million Florida jobs. Tourism keeps taxes low, saving every Florida household $1,549 a year in taxes. This influx of visitors and spending is likely what allows Florida to tout its “no state income tax” mantra. Tourism is the economic driver that creates the quality of life Florida residents deserve.

And here on the Treasure Coast, tourism contributes to the quality of life for local residents as well. It supports local businesses, and sales tax from visitor spending helps pay for local services such as public safety, schools, roads/bridges and environmental projects.

For years, the Treasure Coast tourism agencies have partnered together, leveraging their budgets and resources to promote the region in shared and/or emerging markets that would otherwise be unattainable. It made sense for the agencies not only to partner to extend their budgets, but also because the three counties have similar features, such as uncrowded beaches, acres of land conservation teeming with wildlife, vibrant arts and culture scenes, fantastic water activities ranging from boating to fishing to kayaking and a fascinating history that speaks to the coast’s unique name. It is all of this along with a laid-back, small town, old Florida atmosphere. It’s perfectly packaged, it just needed to be branded, funded and marketed to travelers that don’t know it exists.

When the tourism leaders learned that Visit Florida, the state’s official destination marketing organization, could fund regional tourism programs, the Treasure Coast tourism offices didn’t hesitate to jump on the opportunity. “ I was listening to the chief marketing officer at a Visit Florida conference a year and a half ago,” says Nerissa Okiye, tourism manager for Martin County, “when the subject of regional tourism marketing came up. I instantly texted my St. Lucie and Indian River colleagues across the room and said, ‘Hey, we’re already doing this!’ But I knew we needed to do it more, so I literally emailed the CMO the next day.” That’s when the Treasure Coast tourism brand started into development.

“The brand development process was an easy process for us,” states Allison McNeal, director of tourism for Indian River County. “The three of us have worked together for years, so we already had a vision of what we wanted and needed; we just didn’t have the resources or the funding to make it happen. Visit Florida did that for us, and today we have something we should all be proud of.”

Visit Florida played and continues to play a crucial role in the Treasure Coast’s tourism marketing efforts. After the brand and first campaign was finalized, the three agencies applied for and received a regional marketing grant from Visit Florida to launch its first campaign in the Atlanta market in May. Palm Beach International Airport, the region’s closest commercial airport offering daily non-stop flights from Atlanta, also joined in the campaign as the Treasure Coast’s official airline partner. The new campaign touts the Treasure Coast as a special and authentic Florida experience that’s a little off-the-beaten path.

The three Treasure Coast tourism offices are optimistic that this cohesive marketing approach will bring more exposure, visitors and economic impact to the area, especially in the low and shoulder season months when the local businesses need it most. “We recognize how valuable tourism is to our communities and to the quality of life of our residents,” says Charlotte Bireley, director of tourism and marketing in St. Lucie County. “ So from a strategic standpoint, we are aiming to build a sustainable model that will keep our local businesses successful year-round. This is the beginning stage of it. We know why the Treasure Coast is special, and we know that visitors can have real authentic Florida experiences here … and through our marketing strategy and messaging, we are aiming to keep it that way.

Do you have a best practice to share with our readers? For more info, email [email protected]

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]


Charlotte Bireley is the director of tourism and marketing for Visit St. Lucie, St. Lucie County’s official destination marketing organization. Bireley has been leading the tourism marketing efforts for St. Lucie County since 2009.

Jun. 26, 2019|