So, you’re finally going to do it. You’re going to move your business to another state. That’s a bold decision, and you need to be absolutely sure of what you’re getting into before going forward. After all, moving a business from one state to another is no easy task. Aside from the money and manual labor, relocating your business across state lines is going to take time, patience, and legal expertise. So you’ll need to do your homework. You’ll also want to follow this how-to guide to help make your move as smooth as possible.
Step 1: Justify the Why
There are lots of reasons for moving your business to another state. Maybe you just want to lower your cost of doing business. Or maybe you’re seeking a better quality of life for you and your family and your employees. Whatever your reasons for moving your business, you should attempt to justify them on paper. That means running the numbers to make sure that the facts and figures you come up with give you an indication of how the move to a new location will affect the value of your business. In a more business-friendly state with the right demographics, your business could really take off. Or maybe it will continue to perform as it has been, or possibly not as well. Before you do anything you need to have a reasonable expectation of what business performance will look like in your new locale.
Step 2: Seek Legal Council
Making a business move without first seeking the advice and perspective of an attorney or qualified CPA could be disastrous. Among other things, these trained individuals can help you to decide which organizational model best suits your business interests in a new location, and then explain the legal implications. For example, maybe a sole proprietorship is the best way to go. In that case you can essentially just pack up and go and obtain a simple small business license in the new state. For an LLC or an S Corp, things get a bit more complicated, and you’ll need to know all the options. Maybe the best approach is a “reorganization”— creating a new company in the new state and then merging your old company into the new one. Or maybe you dissolve your current company and reconstitute it in your new locale. Or maybe you want to maintain your company in its current location and then register as a foreign corporation doing business in the new state. A legal advisor will help you to choose the best option—taking the business laws of the new state into account—and then help you to execute all of the required paperwork and make sure you do it right.
Step 3: “Location, Location, Location”
In the real estate business it’s all about “location.” And choosing the right site for relocating your business is critical. To do this right you need to take a number of factors into account, such as neighborhood demographics, available space, the ability to expand, logistical needs and, of course, government policies. Ultimately, you’ll need to travel to the new state to scope out potential locations. To make those trips more effective and affordable, do as much preliminary research online as you can.
Step 4: Make all Needed Preparations
When you set up your business in your old state the very first time there were certain things you needed to do. And getting things going in the new state is no different. Fortunately, the U.S. Small Business Administration spells out all of these steps. You’ll definitely need to register your business with local and state governments. And you’ll want to get familiar with the new tax requirements. You’ll also need to lease, purchase or develop a physical place of business along with obtaining all required state permits and licenses. Plus, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with all pertinent regulations and ordinances to make sure you comply with them.
Step 5: Hire Your Staff
Ideally, when moving to a new location it would be nice to take your trained and trusted staff with you. But that will most likely not be an option. And that means hiring new staff. This may be something you haven’t had to do for a while and you might not know where to begin. A great place to start is to get in on the new state’s job sites as soon as possible. That’s where workers who are unemployed or looking for new and better opportunities often go, and you’ll have a better chance of finding qualified applicants there.
Step 6: Make the Move
Once everything is in place the final step is to make the physical move to your new business location. Depending on how much equipment, furniture, etc. that you’ll be transporting to your new business site—let alone your family’s personal belongings if you are also moving to a new home—-the smart choice would be to leave it to the professionals by hiring a long distance moving company. Just make sure that the company is properly licensed and has a good reputation.
Moving your business to another state can be exciting. But the thought can also be daunting. By following these and other steps, you’ll be well on your way to making your business move as smooth, hassle-free and rewarding as possible.
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