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Posted 29th March 2023

Utah Business Building 101: How Do You Start a Business in the State?

Creating a business is a great opportunity to make a lasting mark not only on your finances but also on a specific industry. The customer base in the USA is huge! There’s always a demand that needs to be met and a market to be tapped.

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Utah Business Building 101: How Do You Start a Business in the State?

Creating a business is a great opportunity to make a lasting mark not only on your finances but also on a specific industry. The customer base in the USA is huge! There’s always a demand that needs to be met and a market to be tapped.

Unfortunately, many are stuck in the business ideation stage. It’s time to break out of that phase. If you’re in Utah or want to have your future business located here, now’s the best time to start.

But what makes Utah so great? In this post, we’ll give you valuable insights into the opportunities available in this great state. We’ll also give you Utah-specific tips on building a business that you can apply right now.

Why Utah Is a Great Place to Start a Business

A manageable cost of living, low crime rate, and picturesque landscapes… What’s not to love? Thanks to the living conditions that exist in Utah, it’s no surprise how easy it is for one to build and maintain a business here. Without having to deal with constant major disruptions that may affect your business, it’s easy to focus on growth.

The best part? You can thrive no matter what industry you’re in. With Utah’s highly diversified economy, you’re almost guaranteed a validated market even without doing prior research. You’ll also benefit from the second mover advantage, as you don’t have to invest in nurturing a client base for the first time. Here are just some of the industries you’ll find in the state:

Information TechnologyAgricultureManufacturingHealthcareTourismFinancePetroleumFinanceGiven this list, it’s no wonder that the biggest businesses in Utah today are thriving nationally and even internationally. Some of the biggest include Home Credit, SkyWest Airlines, and Intermountain Healthcare.

Starting Your Business in Utah

The procedural requirements for starting a business are pretty much the same as in any state. Assuming that you have an idea that you want to stick with, follow these steps:

Create a Business Plan

Here, you’ll cover the various necessities like business name, location, and market research. A good business plan will also cover various components like financial planning, product development, sales and marketing, as well as human resources.

Identify Your Business Structure

Selecting the appropriate business structure is important, depending on the risk exposure that you’re willing to take on. With sole proprietorships and partnerships, you get no liability protection. Meanwhile, other structures like LP, LLP, LLC, and corporations shield your personal assets.

Register Your Business

The process depends on the business structure. If you’re using anything other than your name as a sole proprietorship or part of a partnership, you’ll need to complete a DBA form and submit it to the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code along with a $22 payment. For others, a certification is required.

Set Up Your Finances

To keep your personal and business finances separate, you’ll need a business bank account. But before you can do this, you’ll need an employer identification number (EIN). Doing this is free. If you plan to hire employees, you’ll need to set up unemployment tax accounts as well. Don’t forget to set up an accounting system to keep track of your financial assets!

Obtain Funding, Insurance, Licenses, and Permits

Your funding may come from your savings or from a loan. Calculate how much you need to sink into the business first before resorting to borrowing. Depending on the industry you’re entering, you’ll need the appropriate insurance, licenses, and permits. Make sure to have all these covered before operating to protect yourself from lawsuits.

Hire Your Labour Force

If you’re on a really tight budget, consider flying solo for a while. But you should still gather a talent pool you can contact to minimize the time it takes to hire someone. Comply with state laws and report any new hires.

Implement the Marketing Aspect of Your Business Plan

From creating digital assets for your business, like websites, social media pages, and email lists, to using these assets to grow your customer base, now’s the time to do it. At this point, it’s good to look back at the business plan as your guide. Still, you should be flexible enough to deviate from the original plan if necessary.

Now that you’re all set up, the real work begins. Success rarely comes overnight, but if you’ve done these right, you should be able to taste the sweet fruits of your labour later on.

Tips on Starting a Successful Business in Utah from Scratch

It can be discouraging to start, seeing how well industry giants have already made their mark there. But as many business owners in Utah can attest, it’s relatively easy to build a successful business here.

Don’t compete with the giants! Work your way up from the small leagues before facing business titans. Here are more tips that may be useful along the way:

Filter Your Ideas

We’ve mentioned that the fear of moving forward is why many aspiring entrepreneurs are stuck at the business ideation stage. But another reason is choice overload. You may have lists and lists of ideas that you want to bring to life, but unless you have enough resources and experience, you’re going to have to drop a lot of them.

When selecting the ideas to get rid of, consider the industries already in Utah. You want to establish yourself somewhere there’s already a proven market base. For example, getting into real estate can be profitable because of the existing consumer demand.

But at the same time, you don’t want to go somewhere already monopolized by one entity unless you have the resources to compete with it. The same logic applies as to why you don’t want to enter an oversaturated market. For example, getting into the transportation industry may be tough as it’s already monopolized by the UTA.

Assess Yourself

A great idea that’s poorly executed may not reach its full potential. Even worse, you may end up losing a lot of your investment. That’s why it’s important to have an inventory of your skills and talents to see which of your filtered ideas will be the best fit.

Let’s say that you want to get into agriculture. This may be hard to do if you don’t know anything about crops or nurturing the soil. It would be downright impossible if you didn’t want to stay in Utah full-time. Unless it’s financially viable to get a hired hand to do the work for you, this may be out of the question.

Ideally, stick with something that you already know something about. If you’ve worked in the tech industry, going into information technology may make more sense than trying your hand out at petroleum.

Remember that at the beginning, you’ll be doing a lot of the work. Throwing your money into the problem won’t suffice because if you’re not acquainted with the business field you are entering, you most likely won’t know how to assess talents to help you out.

Be Familiar with the People and the State

The problem with some entrepreneurs is that they employ a cookie-cutter solution that may not work everywhere. So, if you’re not originally from Utah, it may be beneficial to equip yourself with prior research.

For example, most people in the US are Protestants. If you’re in any way trying to appeal to your market’s religiosity, it might be a good thing to remember that most people in the state are Mormons. Therefore, an approach not retrofitted to Utah residents may not work.

Think about it this way; a business that sells surfboards is highly unlikely to find any success in Utah because it’s a landlocked state. It’s not just the numbers that must drive your decisions. The culture, demographics, and even geography should be taken into account as well.

Maintain a Forward-Thinking Mindset

Especially if you’ve used your savings to make your business idea happen, it can be frustrating at the beginning. You’ll probably be in the red for at least the first few months. But the fear of losing more shouldn’t keep you from your goals.

If you’ve originally foreseen the effect of sunk costs through your business plan, there’s nothing to worry about. The last thing you want to do is to botch any long-term progress you have to earn short-term gratification. If you need to adjust your roadmap based on changing conditions, do so. But it should still be done with your long-term goals in mind.

Is Building a Business in Utah Worth It?

Only you can determine whether it’s worth the effort. There will always be an inherent risk when you’re investing time and money. But in the end, it all comes down to how you utilize your resources to generate the best results possible.

If you feel that it’s just nerves, don’t sweat it! Everyone who’s ever started a business has been in your position before. Utah already has a great environment for helping businesses thrive. By following the tips we’ve listed here, you’ll have a better chance of success.

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