The casinos! The shows! The low taxes?
The strip may get all of the attention in Las Vegas, but for start-up founders, the real attractions are the ones that get overshadowed by all of the glitter.
Consider, for example, that Nevada ranks consistently high as one of the nation's most business-friendly states. The advocacy group Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ranked the state No. 2, behind South Dakota, on its 2012 U.S. Business Policy Index.
Here are four reasons--most of which involve saving money--for why you might want to consider launching in Las Vegas:
1. The low cost of living.
Looking to cut costs as you work on your launch? Unlike more prominent start-up hubs--including the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and New York City--Las Vegas boasts a cost of living that's cheaper than the national average. The difference in housing costs alone is pretty convincing:
(Compared to the national average)
- Las Vegas: -10 percent
- San Francisco Bay Area: +196 percent
- Boston: +74 percent
- New York City: +355 percent
2. A slew of tax breaks.
Nevada's recognition for being business-friendly comes from its extremely friendly tax climate. The absence of several taxes has set it up to be among the least burdensome in the country, making it hard for any other state to compete.
Here are some of the major tax breaks you'll receive in Las Vegas:
- No business income tax
- No personal income tax
- No franchise tax
- No gift tax
- Limited tax increases altogether
3. An opportunity to get in while the getting is good.
Las Vegas is a city in transition--and perhaps one of the few where an uber-successful entrepreneur is the one leading the charge. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is pumping $350 million of his own money into the city to jumpstart the start-up community in the downtown area. Plus, he set up the Las Vegas Tech Fund to give seed investments to companies willing to set up shop in town. Building a thriving hub is going to take work--and perhaps years--but how many other places can you go where you can get in early, surround yourself with like-minded folks, and help pioneer a community that has so much potential?
4. It's a buyer's market.
Thanks to the recession, you'll have a serious advantage when it comes to buying commercial real estate. The cost has gone from between $4 and $6 per square foot to between $1 and $2. Today, landlords are even agreeing to pay for the build-out of a simple space with cement floors and bare walls, leaving businesses to brand their own buildings. And if you're not ready to buy, the odds are you'll find below-market leasing deals.
What do you think? Would you consider starting your business in Sin City?