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Frequently voted to have the nation’s “Most Business-Friendly Tax Climate” by the non-profit Tax Foundation, Wyoming is clearly serious about attracting and encouraging new businesses. Fewer and lower taxes, though, are not the only reasons for entrepreneurs to consider the Equality State for their business idea.
If you’re thinking about launching a Wyoming company, here’s an overview of the process.
Among the tax benefits of doing business in Wyoming are no corporate state income tax, personal state income tax, inventory tax, franchise tax, occupation tax, or value-added tax. The state has also demonstrated a commitment to education, ranking in the top 10 states in annual K-12 per-pupil spending.
In addition to fewer taxes and access to an educated workforce, Wyoming business owners also enjoy the quality of life that comes with the state’s scenic open spaces, cultural events, five national forests, 12 state parks, and two national parks, not to mention seven ski areas and resorts.
You can follow these steps to launch your small business and start making money.
Business plans are a lot more important than some new entrepreneurs may think. Not only do they help you secure funding (either by attracting investors or helping you qualify for a business loan), they also help you understand whether or not your business is worth launching in the first place.
The truth is that most businesses fail because there is no market need, but a business plan outlines your product, your market, and the process that happens between the pair. When you’re crafting a business plan, you may want to:
After creating a business plan, the next item on your to-do list is to determine your business structure. Wyoming businesses can take several different forms, the most common being sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the simplest business structures to create. They aren’t registered with the state and are free to set up. However, they offer no personal liability protection for the business owner. Someone suing the business can go after the personal assets of the owners, such as their savings or home.
LLCs and corporations are registered with the state, cost money to create, and offer liability protection. That usually safeguards the owner’s personal assets (like home and car) if the company is sued or ends up in debt. The primary differences between LLCs and corporations are the way they are taxed and the formalities involved.
Corporations are C corporations by default, and their profits are taxed twice, once at the business level and again when they’re distributed to the shareholders (owners). This is referred to as “double taxation.” Corporations also require more paperwork and have less flexibility in management than other entity types.
By default, an LLC avoids having its profits taxed at the business level before being distributed to the owners (who are called “members”), avoiding the double taxation issue. LLCs also require less paperwork and have much more flexibility in terms of how they’re set up and run.
To set up a Wyoming LLC, you need to file Articles of Organization. These documents include the company name and address, creation date, purpose, title, and name and address of the company’s registered agent. The LLC organizer, who is often a company owner, must sign the document and submit it to the Wyoming Secretary of State for approval. There’s a filing fee that must be paid, as well.
If you’d rather have an expert handle forming an LLC or corporation for you, we can file the paperwork to form an LLC or corporation for you with our business formation plans.
It’s important to fully understand how much it will cost to open your business. This will help you evaluate your need for funding and set competitive prices. Remember: always add a six-month cushion just in case of an emergency.
Businesses are rocky in the beginning, especially before you’ve landed regular customers. To figure out costs, add up:
Once you know the costs, you can look at funding options. Smaller, one-time business expenses are easily handled through a low or no-APR business credit card, but you must always be wary of interest.
For everything else, business owners sometimes opt for a business loan. This can be done through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or a local bank that provides business services. Additionally, you may qualify for a grant or other type of government resource.
Two rules are especially important to consider when coming up with a name for your Wyoming business. First, it should give at least a general idea of the products or services you offer. Second, it must be unique within the state of Wyoming.
So, while Sheridan Enterprises doesn’t say much about your offerings, Sheridan Movers does. To ensure your name choice isn’t already in use by another organization in the state, do a name search on the Wyoming Secretary of State website. We walk you through the search process on our Wyoming business entity search page. This will help prevent legal issues, confusion among customers, and ultimately wasted time and money.
Wyoming also gives business owners the ability to reserve a name for 120 days before filing the paperwork to start an entity like an LLC or corporation. This isn’t required, but it can keep another business from taking your desired name before you can get your paperwork together.
If you’d rather not do the paperwork for this process yourself, we have a business name reservation service that can handle it for you.
Once you’ve decided on your new business’s name, you can register a domain name for your own business website and start creating social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms. We have a tool to help you do a preliminary domain name search, and our domain name registration service can help you secure the online name that will best serve your small business.
Once you’ve chosen your business structure and (if necessary for your business entity type) filed the registration with the Wyoming Secretary of State, you can apply for a federal employer identification number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Having this tax ID number will allow you to hire employees and open a business bank account. You can do this yourself or have a partner do it by creating a special document called a banking resolution.
Dedicated business bank accounts will keep the company’s finances separate from your personal funds. This helps you stay organized at tax time and can also help protect your limited liability status if you have a business entity like an LLC or corporation.
Next, apply for any permits or licenses required for your business. Permits and licenses vary by industry, and they can be needed at the federal, state, and local levels. There’s no central authority to tell you every license and permit your business requires, so you’ll have to do some research or have someone like us do the research for you with a business license report.
After determining your target market, write a marketing plan that includes the major social media platforms, online communities, and local or online directories.
Claim a free business profile on Google My Business to engage with Wyoming customers across Google Search and Maps. Also, consider joining the Wyoming Chamber of Commerce or a local chamber that refers prospective customers to members first.
Print material, such as brochures and business cards, can elevate your marketing at Wyoming trade shows. Search engine optimization can help customers find your business website or blog when they use Google and other search engines.
Finally, customize your marketing approach. While it makes sense for a home-based web design company in Casper to market globally, a pet sitter in Riverton will want to limit marketing efforts to a smaller area.
Deciding on the right business venture will depend on many variables, such as your own interest and expertise, your location within Wyoming, and the existing competition in that area. However, considering that Wyoming has the world’s largest deposit of trona, which is used for a variety of things (e.g., glass, paper products, laundry detergents, etc.), you may consider some of the following businesses:
Wyoming has a wealth of natural resources and some of the most business-friendly tax policies in the country. In other words, if you want to start a business, Wyoming could be the place to do it.
If you need help getting your dream business off the ground, we have a host of services to help you succeed. Contact us today for more information.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
A research study by Go.Verizon to determine the best small cities in the nation to start a small business recently ranked two Wyoming cities at the top, Cheyenne at #1 and Casper at #2.
Per capita income from 2015 to 2019 was approximately $33,300.
Wyoming’s economy is less focused on manufacturing and more on mineral extraction, agriculture, and tourism. Coal, oil, gas, and trona are important to the state.