4.28.2021

How to Start a Business in Utah

Written by Kit Jenkin

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Utah is one of the most prosperous states in the United States. The Beehive State is often rated the best state for growth in the country and is home to many promising sectors, including a thriving tech sector. The Lassonde Entrepreneurship Institute ranked Utah as the best place for new entrepreneurs, driven by the state’s large working-age population, business tax benefits, venture capital flow, GDP growth, cost of living, and business survivability rates. 

So, if you’re thinking of how to start a business in Utah, you couldn’t have picked a better place. Here’s everything you need to know to get your business started.

Make sure you have a good business idea

It’s vital that you have a good idea before your start any of the practical steps of starting a business. You’ll want to choose a business that suits your strengths, interests, and experience. Ideally, it will help you to start a business in an area that you’re familiar with and have worked in.

Once you’ve chosen your area of business, you’ll then need to make sure that your business idea is meeting a genuine need or gap in the market. For example, opening a cafe on a street with many other cafes is going to be more difficult than opening a cafe in a residential neighborhood with no other shops.

Here are some popular small business ideas to help get you inspired:

Create a business plan

Every business idea needs a plan to succeed. Before you start on the nitty-gritty practicalities of starting a business, you need to make sure your business fits into a larger landscape and that you have plans for all contingencies.

Choose a business name

You’ll want a name for your business that stands out from the pack. Just as important, you’ll also want to choose one that isn’t already taken. Check out Utah’s full list of registered businesses to ensure your business name doesn’t already exist. 

Choose a location

Depending on your business, your location will affect many things, including your rent, likely foot traffic, business context, and more. You’ll want to choose a location that’s appropriate for your business. For example, you probably don’t want to set up a French bistro in an industrial park. 

However, many businesses don’t need a location to deliver their products or services to their customers. Operating out of your home, for instance, can help you save on costs like rent and insurance. 

Do market research

It’s really important that you get a lay of the land before you start your business. Market research can include any number of activities, from competitor analysis and location research to taking surveys and search engine optimization research. You need to make sure you know the context into which your business will fit. 

Write a business plan

If you’re thinking of starting a business, you’ll need a good business plan. Business plans are used for outlining a company’s goals and attracting investment. 

A good business plan should include:

  • Executive summary: Your executive summary should include a brief overview of your company, your product or service, location, and company goals.
  • Company description: Describe your company and what you are trying to accomplish. Sketch out what customers your company will service and the businesses you intend to work with. 
  • Market analysis: Outline your competitive analysis and market research to prove why your business will be a success. Describe what your competitors do and how you will do it better. 
  • Management structure: Describe the legal and management structure of your company. Many business plans incorporate organizational charts to show who is in charge and how duties and tasks are distributed among the company’s employees.
  • Service or products: Describe your company’s service or products and show what makes them unique. How will they appeal to your intended customers?
  • Marketing and sales: Outline how you intend to promote your company, gain conversions, and retain customers.
  • Financial projections: Include any financial projections you may have. This will include any loans, projected spending, balance sheets, income projections, cash flow statement, and capital expenditure budgets over five years, providing more detail for the first year.  

There are many different types of business plans, so choose the one that best serves your needs.

Choose a business entity

When creating a business, you need to choose the type of business entity you will become. Each type of business structure will have pros and cons for how your business operates. 

Sole proprietorship

This is an informal business structure that isn’t incorporated or separated from the owner. All profits go to the business owner, but this also means that financial liability rests with the owner, too. 

Partnership

A partnership is like a sole proprietorship, but with multiple owners. All profits are accrued to the owners, as are all the financial liabilities. 

LLC

A limited liability company is a business structure that offers the personal liability protection of a corporation with certain tax benefits. The LLC is one of the most popular forms of business entity for small businesses, since it protects your personal assets if someone sues your company.

Corporations

A corporation is a separate legal entity owned by shareholders. Investors tend to favor corporations since the legal structure makes them more stable. 

Nonprofits

Nonprofits are funded by donations rather than investors. They are generally exempt from paying taxes since they are usually created to meet some kind of social need. 

Register your business

Once you’ve planned everything for your business, you will need to register your business with the state of Utah. When registering with the state, you can also register with other state agencies and city agencies as well.

All businesses need a separate tax account. You will need to register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you will use to file taxes, pay wages to employees, and conduct other business activities.

Set up your accounts

Once you’ve registered your business, you’ll need to create bank accounts, lines of credit, and business accounting services. This will mean setting up dedicated bank and credit accounts for your business. You will also need to invest in an accounting system to track the performance of your business and to help with annual tax filings.

Obtain business insurance

Acquiring insurance for your business will help you manage risk. In all likelihood, you’re going to encounter a number of different situations while running your business, so it makes sense to be prepared for as many contingencies as possible. 

If you are hiring employees, you will need to acquire Workers’ Compensation Insurance. You may also want to consider General Liability Insurance and Professional Liability Insurance. You may also want to research particular types of insurance you may need for particular sectors.

Research the permits and licenses you’ll need

When setting up a business in Utah, you will need a business license and permits for particular business activities. When registering your company on the Utah government website, you will be directed to all the licenses and permits you will need based on your business. 

Check out all the government regulations you’ll need to follow when setting up a business in Utah.

Start your Utah business with Epos Now

Every business relies on technology to get things done. If you’re setting up a retail or hospitality business, you’ll need a top-of-the-line point of sale system.

With Epos Now, you can

  • Process cash, card, and contactless payments
  • Onboard and train staff in minutes
  • Access business insights from any device
  • Benefit from real-time reporting on staff, customers, sales, margins, and stock
  • Use apps to help with payment systems, accounting software, and more
  • Generate reports to make informed business decisions

Contact Epos Now today to see a demo of our POS systems.

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