The 5 Best States for Start-ups in a Post-Pandemic World
The year 2021 seems to be looking up for the U.S. Experts forecast that up to half of the American population will have been vaccinated by June 2021, while another 30% may have already gained natural immunity through infection last year.
This isn’t to say that things will go back to normal anytime soon — or ever, for that matter. And that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, as there are still plenty of opportunities to build anew and thrive. There are, after all, plenty of potential business opportunities for individuals looking to build start-ups in a post-pandemic America. But where exactly should you plant your new business? We’ve narrowed down the list of options for you.
California is home to around 4.1 million small businesses, according to the US Small Business Administration. It’s no surprise, then, that the California government has been conscientious in keeping this sector afloat through multiple loans and stimulus checks disbursed over the course of the pandemic. In fact, the California Office of the Small Business Advocate just last month opened grant applications for small businesses greatly affected by COVID-19.
With such a safety net, new business owners could consider California as a potential base of operations. Start-up costs for limited liability companies in the state range from $90 to $115, with optional fees for expediting the process.
Vermont is a stellar example of good COVID-19 response, despite the odds seemingly stacked against it. It's bordered by some of the worst-hit states, including New York, and around a third of its population is composed of vulnerable, elderly folk. Yet Vermont ranks among the US states with the lowest death, hospital, and positive testing rates, making it prime real estate for those looking to open a business this year.
Apart from its debt relief programs and economic recovery grants, the Vermont government also offers free technical assistance — including advice on post-pandemic business operations — from experts to help small businesses get back on their feet.
Establishing an LLC in Vermont costs about $125, but permits or licenses may require you to pay more fees.
Texas has a robust support system of programs for those affected by COVID-19. Aside from assistance from the federal government via the CARES act, some Texan cities such as Fort Worth have partnered with private companies like eBay and Google to provide assistance to small businesses in need of aid.
Thankfully, starting an LLC in Texas is pretty simple too, as you can complete your application online through the Secretary of State's website, SOSDirect. Here, you can reserve and register your business name and file your Certificate of Formation easily, though the fee is a bit higher at $300.
Like other states, Florida provides financial assistance to affected individuals. A particularly noteworthy detail is that Florida specifically offers loans for black-owned small businesses in the state, supplying them with funds and short-term technical assistance amidst the health crisis.
Additionally, because of frequent typhoons battering the state, Florida has developed a virtual school program, which came in handy when the pandemic hit and everyone was eventually forced to move their activities online. For those looking to start a tech-based business, this may prove useful as Floridians have shown themselves prepared to utilize new technologies and innovations to welcome the new normal.
LLC registration in Florida is fairly affordable, and can be done both in person or online at around $125.
Unlike other densely populated areas in the country, Washington state is proof that large urban centers can effectively stave off COVID-19 through quick and efficient decision-making. Experts lauded the state's extensive use of data sharing, which is evident even now in its COVID-19 recovery dashboard. This is available on the Washington government website, where recovery resources for small business owners can likewise be found.
Registering a business in Washington state can be done by mail or online, and will set you back by anywhere between $190 and $230, depending on your method of filing.
Once you’ve decided on your start-up’s location, the next order of business is to create a brand and logo for your marketing strategy. Luckily, our remote team here at LiftOfff has your back for that.