When planning to start a new business, one of the first things to consider is where to launch it. Location, after all, is one of ‘The 5 Critical Elements to Make Your Business a Smashing Success’ — and for good reason. It can very well spell the difference between success or failure, and here are five considerations to show you why:
Access to the Right Talent
The geographic location of any company is important in attracting and retaining the right workforce for your business. For instance, it was a driving factor for Jeff Bezos to locate his second Amazon headquarters in Northern Virginia. The region was revealed to have the largest concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) workers in the country, and ranked as the top state for education, alongside Massachusetts. So, when deciding on your own business location, do some research on the current and future trends in the employment landscape in the area, and see how it can benefit your specific industry.
Business Requirements and Regulations
In choosing a business location, you’ll have to compare different state requirements and regulations, and determine which one would be the most favorable for your business. For instance, states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming don’t require new LLCs to submit the names of their members upon registration, which means they can be very good choices for those who want a little more privacy. Other states, meanwhile, can have extra requirements when registering. Case in point: The New York LLC publication requirement means that new businesses must publish a copy of their articles of organization in two separate newspapers within 120 days of registering. Although very much doable, it’s an extra cost that entrepreneurs must account for in the early days.
In terms of tax laws, Wyoming and South Dakota are the most tax-friendly states for businesses, as they have no individual income tax, corporate income tax, and gross receipts tax. Meanwhile, New Jersey is the worst state in terms of taxes, with the highest individual income tax rate in the country, along with high corporate, sales, and property taxes.
Cost of Living and Doing Business
A huge factor in choosing the right business location is its affordability. Real estate costs are the second largest expense for businesses, right after labor costs. Cities like New York and San Francisco are known for their expensive rent and food, so many entrepreneurs avoid settling down there if they can. Speaking to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index can help determine the most affordable states in terms of essential needs and real estate costs. For example, among the least expensive states in terms of housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, and healthcare are Arkansas and Texas.
Location can also influence the ability of a business to market itself and what competition it may face. For example, choosing a business address in Manhattan can change the perception of your business, as you’ll be able to tie your brand with the financial success and high growth commonly associated with the area. However, other key considerations like affordability and tax laws must be considered, too. So, it’s up to you and your financial plan to weigh up which factor will favor your business more.
Access to the Right Suppliers
Depending on the nature of your business, access to the best suppliers in terms of price and quality is another factor to consider when choosing the right location. Speed of delivery can have a huge impact on the productivity of your operations. This is why even though real estate and cost of living can be cheaper in smaller towns or cities, not every business is lining up to start operations there. The closer you are to the right suppliers, the faster your products and services can reach your intended markets — and the better it will be overall for you.
All in all, choosing the right location for your business depends on finding the right balance among these five factors. If some of them are conflicting, decide on which ones are more important to you and your business, and which disadvantages you can live with.