Are you setting up a business in the US? Well, if you’re a resident of the US, this might seem like a simple enough task – you’ll probably choose to incorporate in your home state. However, if you’re a foreign entity, choosing where to establish a business in the USA can feel like an overwhelmingly large undertaking.
There are over fifty states to choose from, with varying rules, regulations, and rates of taxation. So, here is a handful of some of the best places to start a business in the USA to get you started…
If you can cope with the high temperatures, you might be tempted to set up your business in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is one of the most tax-friendly cities in the country with no business income tax, gift tax, franchise tax or personal income tax. The laws in Nevada are favourable for new businesses too, placing an emphasis on privacy.
With one of the busiest airports in the world and a population of more than 5 million people, there’s plenty of business to be done in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s currently home to a number of Fortune 500 countries (including Delta Airlines, the Home Depot and United Parcel Service), so you’ll be in good company if you want to set up here. You can learn more about corporate income and tax if you visit http://dor.georgia.gov/business-taxes.
If you’re looking for a location that borders Mexico and the USA and want to draw on a bilingual staff force, speaking both English and Spanish (80% of El Paso’s population is Hispanic), El Paso is a good place to be. Also, office rents and energy bills here are cheaper than many other places in the USA, making it a comfortable place for a fledgling business to grow.
Fancy setting up in a city that features in the top ten tax-friendly locations in the USA for small businesses? Well, that’s Sarasota, Florida. The sunshine state draws huge numbers of tourists, accounting for $2.6 billion in revenue – perfect if your business will be relying on tourism in any way.
For start-up businesses keeping a close eye on the finances, Nashville is a good place to be. There’s no state income tax to pay in Tennessee (though there is something called Hall Tax on dividends and interest), and while it’s known as ‘music city’, it’s also a hub for the healthcare industry. There’s also a strong pool of graduates here, with a young population ready to fill jobs created by innovative businesses coming to the area. So, whether you want to hire employees directly, or would prefer to use a company to interview and handle the HR logistics for you (if so, check out www.footholdamerica.com), there’s a strong workforce ready and waiting.
Wyoming has substantially lower-than-average initial and annual fees for businesses, which is great news if ploughing money back into the business is your priority. While the case law in Wyoming isn’t tested (unlike in Nevada or Delaware), the low cost of setting up here is very attractive for many entrepreneurs. However, just be aware that Wyoming is a very ‘rural’ area, and you’ll need to factor that in to your business model: its biggest city, Cheyenne, has a population of just over 60,000 people, and Rock Springs (although much smaller) might be a better if your business draws on nature tourism.
Delaware has long been a popular choice for businesses looking to set up in the USA – in fact, it’s where approximately 60% of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated. It’s a favourite location for many attorneys, and that’s because of its Chancery Court – a special court dedicated to businesses entity cases. This is a very attractive reason to set up business, as with so much tested case law to hand, you’ll be able to save thousands by avoiding litigation. If Delaware, Nevada or Wyoming sound attractive to you, check out http://www.mynewcompany.com/whichstate.htm to explore you options in more detail.
Of course, the best place to set up your business may not be on this list. What’s right for your business will depend on a variety of factors beyond tax rates or talent pools, such as proximity to infrastructure, where you intend to be trading, or what kind of investment you’re hoping to attract. Do thorough research before deciding where to incorporate, and seek advice from trusted business contacts and tax advisors before proceeding.