Do you want to invest or start a small business in Utah? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to start a profitable business in Utah with no money.

Utah is a state in western United States. It is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast. Of the fifty U.S. states, Utah is the 13th-largest by area, and with a population over three million, the 30th-most-populous and 11th-least-densely populated.

According to the 2007 State New Economy Index, Utah is ranked the top state in the nation for Economic Dynamism, determined by “the degree to which state economies are knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, information technology-driven and innovation-based”.

In 2014, Utah was ranked number one in Forbes’ list of “Best States For Business”. Utah’s unemployment rate is well below the national average, and the state is ranked third in the nation for ease of doing business. This is indeed one of the reasons why an entrepreneur should consider starting a small business in Utah.

Please note that a small business is an independently owned and operated company that is limited in size and in revenue depending on the industry. A local car wash that employs 10 people is an example of a small business. So also, a manufacturing company that employees less than 500 people is an example of a small business.

To Start a Business in Utah, follow these steps:

Steps on How to Start a Small Business in Utah With No Money

Step 1: Choose a Workable Business Idea or Niche

No serious entrepreneur registers a business without first settling for a workable business idea or niche. The fact that businesses are known to thrive if the right things are done, does not mean every business will thrive in Utah. So, the first step that you are expected to take if you are serious about starting a business in Utah is to come up with a workable business idea.

For example, if you are not too sure whether starting a Marijuana dispensary business is legal in Utah why go ahead to choose such business idea? So, the rule of thumb is that you must ensure that your business idea falls in line with what is acceptable in Utah and one that you can easily secure the necessary permits and license.

The bottom line is that when it comes to starting a business, the most ideal thing to do is to ensure that you select a business that you are passionate about. If you go ahead to choose a trendy business that you are not passionate about, you can easily lose the drive to run the business. Major industries of Utah include: mining, cattle ranching, salt production, and services industry; you can start your small business in any of the industries listed above.

Step 2: Conduct Your feasibility studies and Market Survey

Irrespective of the town or city in Utah that you decide to start a business, the one important step that you are expected to take is to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey. Once you have settled for a business idea, the next step to take is to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey.

With the result from your feasibility studies and market survey, you will be able to make informed decision, especially as it relates to the type of business to settle for, the location for your office, factory or store, the demographic composition of those who would need your services or product, the likely competitions that you will be confronted with, how to source for raw materials or goods and loads of other factors that can either make or mar your business.

Step 3: Choose a Catchy Name for Your Business

After coming up with a workable business idea and of course having conducted your market survey and feasibility studies, the next step to take is to choose a catchy name for your business. The truth is that when it comes to Choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents.

Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business. Before choosing a name for your business, it won’t cost you anything to go online and check out the names of the leading brands in the industry so as to be properly guided when choosing your own name.

Step 4: Write a Workable Business Plan

No matter the type or size of business you intend starting in Utah, it is a wise decision to first write a good business plan before taking any action. The truth is that in order to successfully run a business, you would need to have a good and workable business plan in place.

With a workable business plan in place, you will reduce the trial and error approach of doing business. You will be able to manage your business with purpose and perhaps precision; you will know how to handle challenges, growth and expansion.

The whole idea of writing a business plan is not just for the sake of having a business document in place; but a detailed guide on how to effectively run your business. The rule of thumb when writing a business plan is to try as much as possible to be realistic and never to over-project when putting figures on income and profits et al. As a matter of fact, it is safer to underestimate when writing a business plan so that you won’t be so disappointed when reality sets in.

These are the key areas that should be covered in your business plan;

Executive summary and Company’s descriptions: you are expected to write about the concept of your business, descriptions of your company, your company’s vision statement, mission statement and where your company will be located and also if you intend selling franchise.

Other key components that should not be missing in your business plan are product offering, SWOT analysis, competitive analysis, marketing and sales analysis/strategies, target market, market goals, pricing, costing and financial projection, publicity and advertising strategy, expansion and growth strategies, budget and startup capital generation et al.

Step 5: Choose a Legal Entity for Your Business

It is important to note that there are only four basic forms of business ownership or legal entity in Utah and they are the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and cooperative.

Here are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes. The truth is that you can choose to start your business as Limited Liability Company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.

Some of the advantages of upgrading a business from limited liability company (LLC) to a ‘C’ corporation is that it will give you the opportunity to grow the business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.

Step 6: Register Your Business Name

The only step that can take your closer to achieving your dream of starting your business in Utah is to register your business name. Of course you would have done the necessary business name search that will ensure that you are not settling for a name that is already in their data base.

If you don’t want someone to register your business name, then you should be fast about registering it as a legal business entity. For most small businesses, registering an LLC is a great option. In comparison to other business entities, LLCs are easier to set up and manage and they have favorable tax treatment. You can set up an LLC in Utah for as little as $70.

Please note that in Utah, if you choose not to register your company as a business entity, you will be held personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of your business. In addition, unregistered business owners may need to file a Trade Name, also known as a “DBA.”

Step7. Source for New Business Financing

When it comes to sourcing for loan for a small business in the united states, Small Business Administration (SBA) is your Go-to Place. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is a major source of financing for entrepreneurs especially those that operate small businesses.

As a matter of fact, in the United States, the Small Business Administration has several loan programs that have made readily available funding for thousands of small enterprises who were unable to secure loans from lending institutions on their own. Entrepreneur cum small businesses cannot apply loans from the SBA except, they are unable to get funding on their own from any other sources.

It is on record that a number of Fortune 500 companies in the United States benefited from SBA loan when they are just starting out. Big corporations such as FedEx (Federal Express), Apple and Intel among others leveraged on loans gotten from SBA.

These organizations’ success, and of course the trend toward small-business start-up and entrepreneurship in America, has encouraged both the SBA and its lending partners to continue to expand their loan programs. The only reason why you should ignore this step is if you already have the required startup capital needed to kick start your business.

Step 8: Apply and Obtain the Needed Business License and Permits

Please note that licensing is different from business registration and it is the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Division that handles the application process. If you want to apply for business license, you need to go along with a photo identification, proof of work status, copy of the registration along with notarized controlling interest forms.

Despite the fact that obtaining specific business license may not be necessary for all businesses, it is the standard that new businesses in certain industries need to get business licenses before they can operate legally.

STEP 9: Open a Utah Bank Account

Once the IRS has issued an EIN Number to your business, you can open a business checking account. It’s best practice to have a business checking account for your small business in Utah in order to maintain your personal liability protection.

Using a personal bank account for your LLC is called “commingling of assets” and this can lead to personal liability issues if you end up in court. Please note that having a separate business bank account for your business also makes record-keeping easier for accounting and tax purposes.

Since banks in Utah have their own rules and regulations, it is recommend calling a few places to determine the following:

  • minimum initial deposit
  • minimum balance requirements
  • monthly maintenance fees (if any)

STEP 10: Obtain a Utah Business Phone Number

In Utah, international best practices require that you obtain a business phone number for your company as against making use of your own private number.

You can get a local Utah telephone number or you can get a “1-800” number for your business. There are many options to choose from when it comes to official phone number, but just ensure that you choose a telecom company that will better serve your business.

Step 11: Purchase the Needed Business Insurance

The rule of business engagement in Utah is that you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.

You might want to consider buying some or all of these insurance policy covers for your business; General insurance, Health / Medical insurance, Liability insurance, Workers Compensation, Overhead expense disability insurance, Business owner’s policy group insurance and Payment protection insurance.

Please note that if you are going to operate your business from home, then you should learn about home-based business insurance.

Step 12: Lease or Rent and Ideal Office Location

Another important step to follow when establishing a small business in Utah is to choose an ideal location for your office. When it comes to renting an office facility in Utah, the nature of business you want to do should serve as a guide. Besides, you would need your business license and permit as part of the documents to be tendered before any landlord or realtor will sign any leasing agreement with your business.

Step 13: Hire the Required Employees

The only reason why you should ignore this step is if you want to run a one-man business. If you want to operate a small business, it is mandatory to hire only those that are legally permitted to work, else your business might be fined or shut down.

This is why once you have hired employees, your business will probably need to register with the Worker’s Compensation Board in your province. You can find out more about hiring employees, employment standards, E.I. and other employee issues from the appropriate authority in your province.

Step 14: Advertise and Market Your Business

One thing is certain, if you choose to start any business in Utah, you can be rest assured that there are competitors waiting to compete with you for the available market share. So, if you want your business to do well, then you must fashion out ways to advertise and market your products or services.

The truth is that if your business or brand is always in the eyes of the public, they will be tempted to buy from you. You can use both print and electronic media to promote and advertise your business, but you must ensure you check up with the government of your country to know the rules and regulation governing the advertising of the type of business you are operating.

Solomon. O'Chucks