6 Reasons to Open a Business in Utah
Utah prides itself on providing a welcoming climate for entrepreneurs and creatives. If you’re looking for a place to open your small business, you may discover that Utah’s entrepreneurial spirit, beautiful landscapes, and friendly residents are exactly what your business needs to flourish.
Why You Should Start a Utah-Based Business:
1. Low Cost of Doing Business
According to Forbes, the cost of doing business in Utah is 2.2 percent below the national average, and WalletHub ranked Utah third among the 48 contiguous states for energy efficiency.
In addition, Utah ranked 8th on Tax Foundation’s 2019 Tax Climate Index for its well-structured tax system. Although Utah levies taxes in all major categories, the state keeps them low, particularly its flat five percent personal and corporate tax rate.
2. Diverse and Growing Economy
Utah is consistently one of the fastest growing states in the country and has one of the lowest rates of unemployment.
According to a recent Wells Fargo report, Utah was the third-fastest growing state in the United States last year, and has an increasing presence in prominent business sectors such as technology, including cloud computing, big data and software development. In addition, it has raised the state’s economic profile nationally and internationally.
Wells Fargo also reported that growth in the aerospace and life sciences sectors are contributing to Utah’s positive economic outlook.
3. Supportive Regulatory Environment
In addition to its attractive flat tax system, Utah’s government continually reviews state laws and regulations to eliminate unnecessary restrictions on its residents — especially those contributing to the local economy.
In 2011, the state conducted one of the most thorough regulation reviews in the country due to a decline in specific metrics related to Utah’s business environment. Today, the state remains committed to keeping its regulatory structure and business climate among the best in the nation.
4. Talented Labor Supply
Utah’s public education system works in partnership with the local business community to identify gaps in workforce skills and address those needs. For instance, the state’s Talent Ready Utah initiative provides students with opportunities for high-level technical training, so they’re prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.
Top universities in the state, including The University of Utah, Utah State University, and Brigham Young University, provide a steady stream of highly educated young adults into the state’s labor supply. In addition, SmartAsset named Salt Lake City the number one city for creatives in 2018 based on the more than 7,500 creatives working in the Salt Lake City metro area.
5. Thriving Startup Culture
In 2001, Utah launched its Utah Engineering Initiative to double the number of engineering slots in Utah colleges and universities and become a tech capital. By all accounts the program has been successful — from 2016 to 2017, tech-related job postings in Utah increased by 42 percent.
Today, the region between Salt Lake City and Provo — home to Brigham Young University — is referred to as the Silicon Slopes. Young brands and startups are migrating to this emerging tech hub in droves. As a result, Utah is now home to some of the fastest growing companies in the nation.
6. High Quality of Life
If you’re tired of the high cost of living associated with the major coastal cities — not to mention the crowds — Utah offers business owners a unique alternative and work-life balance.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Utah 4th overall on its list of Best States based on factors such as infrastructure, fiscal stability, and access to quality health care. Plus, WalletHub dubbed Utah the second-happiest state in the nation in a recent ranking — perhaps because the state’s numerous ski resorts and national parks provide opportunities for a break from the daily grind.
Conclusion: Consider Starting an LLC in Utah
Utah is a thriving yet widely unknown center for small business owners. If you’re looking for a business-friendly environment outside of the traditional hubs, consider starting or moving your business to the Beehive State.
For more information, check out these helpful resources for starting a business in Utah.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.