Starting a small business in the Los Angeles area packs many benefits. Its gorgeous weather makes for an abundance of outdoor-based business opportunities and a high quality of life. With a large and eclectic population, the L.A. area is teeming with possibility.
Beware the I-15
One of the most common complaints of L.A. residents and visitors is the traffic. Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents are often trying to reach their destination via automobile, as Los Angeles has become an urban sprawl. If you open a business here, make sure to factor in traffic for employees and customers alike. However, the L.A. County MTA recently passed a sales tax increase to implement its Traffic Improvement Plan, which may help ease congestion.
Sell to the students
According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, “There are 120 institutions of higher education in the county, including anchor institutions like Caltech, UCLA and USC. Five Cal State universities are in the county, numerous community college districts, and many other highly regarded schools including the Claremont Colleges, Occidental College, Pepperdine and more.” If you’re planning on opening a small business that is student friendly, such as a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, retail business, etc., L.A. is the perfect location.
Tree huggers welcome
The State of California has some of the toughest environmental regulations in the country. In fact, if you move in from out of state, you’ll have to ensure that your car passes smog regulations before you can have it registered. Before opening your business in California, familiarize yourself with environmental laws, including waste management, protected species and others so you won’t be faced with a surprise violation down the road.
Small businesses are also welcome
L.A. County has a variety of incentives for small businesses. There are many from which to choose, including the Research and Development Tax Credit. The L.A. County Economic Development Corporation’s 2015 “Business Incentives Resource Guide” states, “The research and development tax credit allows companies to receive a 15 percent tax credit for qualified in-house research expenses made in California.” Download the guide to see which incentives may be available for your business.
Los Angeles’ economy is on the upswing, and now is a great time to bring your business to town. Contact an economic development professional or a small business lawyer in the area to find out how you can get started.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for CBS Small Business Pulse.