You're ready to start a business. All your ducks are in a row -- the business plan is written, the product is going through final research and development stages, and your investors are ready to move. But you're left with one major consideration -- where do you want to call home?
Many entrepreneurs take this choice for granted. They assume that where they currently live is the most convenient and therefore the best place to start their business. But that leaves a lot of important factors unconsidered. Is the competition too steep in your area? Does your target demographic live there? What type of local support is there for growing businesses?
When answering these important questions, one surprising option stands out: Nevada. Once known mostly for its desert, cacti, and casinos, the Battle Born State is now making a name for itself as the place to be for many companies.
I recently spoke with Mike Moradian, Executive Director of Honorsociety.org, as his company opened its second national office in Nevada this year. He shared the main reasons he -- and many other companies -- took a gamble and bet on Nevada as the place to open up shop:
Lower Cost of Living
Overall, the cost of living in Nevada is very reasonable in comparison to most of the country. According to Payscale, Las Vegas stands out from most startup cities like Boston and San Francisco by boasting one of the lowest costs of living. It hovers around the national average, which attracts a lot of younger professionals who want to enjoy the city life without living off of ramen.
"Across the country, companies are vying for the best employees and if you want a leg up on the competition, you need to go where the talent is," said Moradian. "That's why, when we were looking to open up a second national office, Nevada was the obvious choice."
In addition to the hoards of people who have already moved to Nevada due to the low cost of living, being located in a more affordable state gives you a large bargaining chip when trying to convince talent from other regions to come and work for you. With competitive salaries that won't be eaten up by above average rent, you can attract the best away from New York City or Silicon Valley.
Nevada is a great place to work without worrying about much taxation. For LLCs, there are no franchise taxes, personal income taxes, and it doesn't require business owners or shareholders to be residents of the state.
"For first-time entrepreneurs, the differences in tax laws from state to state can be overwhelming," said Moradian. "In Nevada, however, the state government is trying to encourage businesses to move there by simplifying and incentivizing the tax code."
There are also several tax abatements. Incentives include sales tax abatements on capital equipment purchases, sales and use tax deferral on capital equipment purchases, abatements on personal and modified business taxes, real property tax abatements for recycling, assistance with the cost of intellectual property development, and employee training grants.
Join the Revolution
Elon Musk set up his Tesla Gigafactory outside of Reno, earning an estimated $1.4 billion in tax breaks, free land, and other incentives from the state.
Tony Hsieh of Zappos says he appreciates the "endless possibilities" found in Nevada. The state even inspired him to start a venture fund in 2012, VTF Capital, which invests in companies wanting to join the Nevada boom.
"We're definitely in good company out here," said Moradian. "Instead of picturing your company out in the middle of the desert, open your eyes and realize you have the opportunity to be neighbors with some of the world's best and most respected business people. It can lead to some interesting conversations in the line at the corner coffee shop."
Nevada is home to all kinds of companies and sets the stage for a large boom in employment. To start a business, you need the right place to call home, and Nevada may be your best bet.