How to Start a Business in Utah

There’s more to Utah than ski resorts!

People flock to Utah for exhilarating vacations.  But today, entrepreneurs with ambition, fresh ideas and energy are migrating there, too.  Put it on your radar as your business destination.

Here are hints on starting your dream business in Utah:

Come Up With a Unique Business Concept

What are your strengths and weaknesses?  What is the one thing you do better than anyone else?  Everyone has a differential advantage.  What do you love doing?  The most motivated and successful business idea stems from passion.  Start a business in Utah with a unique proposition.

Planning Is Imperative

Before you pack your bags for the beautiful terrain of Utah, take a step back with a solid plan.  Write a business plan outlining all aspects of your business including strategy, finance, development, target market, marketing and promotions  Underestimate nothing.  The better you plan, the more time you can spend on the slopes!

Naming

Utah business planning includes creating the right name for your product or service.  Name your business according to Utah’s naming rules.  Make sure it resonates with your customers, will create brand synergy and is something that you love.  It is your stamp, impression and badge.  Wear it well!  Pour your distinctive personality into every aspect of your operation.

Location, Location, Location

Often overlooked is the importance of your location, both in the city you choose and place you set up shop.  If you have tech tendencies, Utah is the place!  Most think of the San Francisco area as a tech haven, but the space between Salt Lake City and Provo is robust with ambitious start-up commerce.  The number is burgeoning.  Utah start-ups raised a billion dollars venture capital funding in 2020.

Know Your Audience

Conduct market research, both qualitatively and quantitatively.  Understand your Utah business in the context of the market.  From focus groups to census studies, be fully versed in what it will take for you to be the ultimate capitalist.  Often overlooked is the importance of experiencing your product in your targeted locale.  Once you’ve crunched the numbers and ascertained the prospects, take time to “feel” the breath, depth and texture of your product or service.

Find Funds for Your Business

Family and friends are usually the first tact taken.  If dad has deep pockets, go for it!  You can borrow from friends or cut them in, but beware that it may end a friendship.  Dealing with  business partners is a different dynamic.  The banks are another option.  If you are planning to move to St. George or Provo, visit bankers there.

Beware of Credit Card Start-Ups

Some bootstrappers download cash from their 0% interest for 18 months on their credit card.  But beware.  If you cannot pay it back on time, that move could disintegrate your credit score, maligning you for years.  Plus, that friendly 0% will balloon to double digits, creating a liability for your Utah business.

Choose a Business Structure

Please do not attempt to wing this.  Talk to a talented accountant that can steer you around tax mines that could cripple you long term.  It seems easy, choosing between a sole proprietorship, a limited liability corporation, corporation or non-profit.  However, do your homework for your Utah business.  Understand the pros and cons.  Then, discuss it with a competent accountant.

Register Your Business

Regardless of the structure, you must register your business.  You may do this yourself or with an associate with diligence.  Otherwise, you can choose an agent that is legitimately registered, not that guy in your mall’s kiosk.  Do it with ease at incfile.com or legalzoom.com.  This service will keep your business documents organized, including your tax information.  If you are an unorganized person or apathetic to these kinds of tasks, don’t do it yourself.  The agent plays an important role.  Better to delegate to an organized, diligent and  efficient partner, employee or tax professional.

EIN

Get an Employer Identification number, otherwise known as an EIN.  It helps the IRS keep tabs on you by designating you with a number that identifies your business for tax purposes.  This might sound like a big task because it is government related, but it’s actually easy.  Several services on the internet provide this number at a small cost.  Or you can Google simple instructions to attain one for free.  Once you have it, you can open up a business bank account.

Hiring Employees

Once you’ve attained permits, licenses, insurance and accounting, get more excited about your start of business in Utah.  Hiring the right employees is critical.  Even though your best friend is loyal, she may relent in your start-up culture.  Utah’s window of opportunity is now.  Only hire the best as the competition will mount.

Vetting Employees

Make a list of the attributes you are looking for in an employee.  There are a multitude of variables.  For instance, you may require a compatible, motivated, innovative and skilled team.  Get references from reputed professionals that authenticate your prospect’s background.

Interns

Consider working with interns.  This educated pool has not only grown, it has become an imperative resume attribute.  Make sure you use them proactively.  Don’t subject them to just Starbucks runs.  Give this free or cheap laborer a valuable work experience!

Build a Brand

This business idea is intimately yours.  Few know its definition, as it is somewhat nebulous.  The definition of a brand is the relationship between the product and the consumer.  What is the customer’s perception?  Too many businesses subscribe to the Jurassic notion of, “I will build it and they will come.”  A brand is precious from its infancy.

Brand Integrity

Developing brand integrity is answering the questions, “Who am I?” and “What do I do?” and “What do I stand for?”  It implores you to stay vigilant and sensitive to the whims of an ever changing sales environment.  The brand is your signature and reputation.  It is the mortar between what you make and those that consume it.  Champion it daily!

Lift Your Ski’s – and Your Business – to Utah!

Utah is one of the fastest growing states, enjoying remarkable growth and opportunity.  Forbes Magazine routinely names it the best state for new business.  So, if you love mountains, snowmobiles and good fortune, we’ll see you on the slopes!

 

If you would like further clarification on any of these steps, click or tap here to schedule a free consultation where we can dig deeper on your plans to open shop in the Beehive State.




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Chris Fuller