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How to choose the right business location

April 05, 2017

Starting a business is no easy feat. As any small business owner will attest, the whole process from inception to completion is a massive undertaking. When it comes time to choose a location, in the digital age it’s tempting to believe that your physical location runs secondary to setting up your online presence. However, choosing a location is still one of the most critical decisions a new business owner has to make.

Obviously, your business’s industry will play a key role in deciding your business location. For retail establishments and other service providers it goes without saying that location is still king, but for businesses that don’t rely on foot traffic and local shoppers, location still plays an important role. Here’s why:

Talent Acquisition

When it comes time to outfit your firm, you’re going to need to choose from the local talent pool. Some well-executed research can assure you that you’ll find what you’re looking for among local job seekers when the time comes. Additionally, if you want to attract top talent to relocate, you’ll want to make sure that you’re choosing a business location that’s appealing to future employees.

Cost of Living

 You and your future employees are going to be strongly affected by the cost of living in your chosen locale. Housing costs, childcare expenses and more all need to be considered when deciding geographic location. Starting a business where the cost of living is low can be a great way to ensure success.

Tax Environments Differ from State to State

Some state tax laws and regulatory environments can be considered more ‘entrepreneur friendly’ than others. Income tax, sales tax and other factors should play a key role in your decision. The Small Business Policy Index of 2016 gives you all the information you need to decide which states are best for your business. Choose wisely and you could be reaping the benefits of a small business friendly environment.

So which cities are among the top picks? CNBC just released its top cities for small business and you might be surprised at who made the list.

 1. Austin, Texas

Topping the list is Austin, Texas. Surprised? Don’t be. With no individual or corporate income taxes, a young, well-educated workforce, a vibrant music scene and rapidly developing tech hub, Austin was named first in small business growth in 2016.

 2. Provo, Utah

 With a reputation as a health conscious community and a great place to raise a family, Provo takes the number 2 position. Provo boasts a low unemployment rate and a low cost of living, making it an attractive place to relocate and kick off the startup you’ve been dreaming about.

 3. Washington, D.C.

Believe it or not, Washington is not just about politics. In fact, with a highly educated workforce and major access to startup funding, the nation’s capital comes in at number 3 despite having a slightly unfavorable tax environment.

 4. Denver, Colorado

 Denver is an emerging winner for small business location. Popular with millennials and home to two major universities, Denver sits at number 4. Since legalizing marijuana in 2012, the city has experienced a surge in small business growth, which has also translated into higher than average house prices.

 5. Charlotte, North Carolina

With a lower than average unemployment rate and above average income, Charlotte receives the fifth slot. Charlotte is also home to a number of strong growth industries, which spurred a housing comeback post recession.

It’s clear that despite the onset of digital commerce, choosing a business location remains one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will make. With a bit of foresight and a lot of research, small business owners have the tools and resources available to help them succeed in choosing the perfect location.

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