I’m working with a soon to be client on getting their business set up. They’ve asked me, “Where do I locate my business?” In this particular case, the potential client is coming from outside the United States and is geographically open to locations. They want to pick the best location for their business.
Now, this is not a simple decision. Some people would give a blanket answer. “Locate it in Delaware.” “Locate in Texas.” “Locate in Florida.” However, to give a meaningful answer we need to look at the interests of the particular client and their particular needs.
Let’s take a look at some factors that we’ve talked to this client about. These same factors might also impact the decision of others facing similar decisions:
#1 What’s the business? What is the nature of the business? What service or product are you providing and does that lend itself to a particular geography? For instance, high-tech businesses may wish to locate near one of the high-tech hubs in the United States. There may be time zone issues with customers or suppliers that you want to be nearer to.
#2 What does the workforce look like? You can look at many different locations throughout the United States, but will you have the right workforce for your business?
#3 How are the state regulations? Are you moving into a highly regulated state or a less regulated state? How will that look? How will you determine whether you will face a high regulatory burden or a low regulatory burden? This could a be a huge factor in determining where you locate. This can also vary widely by industry.
#4 Lifestyle. You are the business owner and you get some discretion on the lifestyle both for yourself and your employees. There can be a huge impact on how you build your business, depending on where you choose to locate it. For instance, if you’re a surfboard manufacturer, and you want your employees to be able to surf, you probably want to locate near the beach – it’s just natural for your business. If you’re making outdoor products, you may want to locate near a location that allows you to be outdoors. These things can not only affect lifestyles of the owners and employees, but the culture of your business.
#5 You want to look at taxation. This is usually something people put much higher on the list. However, I think it should be secondary. Certainly, taxation is a key factor (and with my financial background, I certainly get the idea of saving money, particularly on taxes because they’re going to be a constant outflow of your business). By more important that taxes you need to get the business built right, to have the right people involved and have the right culture. Those will propel you to make more money. Taxes become secondary. If you can maximize your profits, then minimizing your taxes becomes a second consideration after you’ve achieved very high profits. I would say put taxes lower on the list.
You need to blend these factors and others specific together to determine where the right location for your business should be. There is no one blanket answer. There is no one place where you should put your business. It really depends on what you want to do with the business and how you want to make it happen.
What’s been your thoughts on locating your business? How have you built it? Have you thought much about location? Which factors did you employ? Join us in the comments below.
Many factors can determine where to locate your business.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Slavomir Ulicny.
About the Author
Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.yourbusinessspeaker.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at email@example.com or (214) 418-0258.
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