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Things to consider while doing business in Indiana

Posted by Gourab | Jan 16, 2021

The world is opening up slowly for business again and people are changing their attitude towards entrepreneurship. Indiana is one of those states that encourage entrepreneurial skills, studies, and experiences. With an average start-up survival rate of 80.39%, doing business in Indiana happens to be a favourable climate for small business owners. It is even encouraged by several business activists in Indiana. 

According to Robert Schuttler, Professor of business and economics at Marian University in Indianapolis, although Indiana’s economy is mainly run by the automotive, manufacturing, and agricultural industries, the state is still a diverse place that encourages entrepreneurship, particularly among the youth. “Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen a marked increase in entrepreneurship as a professional pursuit among students,” Schuttler says. “Indiana is certainly a good place for business creativity and development.”

The Hoosier State offers numerous resources to the businesses, especially for small businesses as the State has 10 Small Business Development Centers such as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Business Ownership Initiative, the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and more. On the other hand, various other organisations are working on supporting the local businesses in Indiana. 

Doing business in Indiana will create healthier, stronger communities and more jobs in the state. It will encourage and facilitate greater use of Indiana based businesses. Doing business in Indiana with a small or localised business approach is a convenient idea towards a sustainable local economy.

Why should you have a business in Indiana?

If you’re looking for an opportunity to work with exciting new talents or draw on decades of expertise, Indiana is a prime place to embark on the next phase of your business plans! 

While starting a business in Indiana, there is a lot to celebrate about — low taxes, affordable real estate, vibrant communities, and a well-established workforce. According to reports, the Hoosier State is one of the top ten business-tax friendly states in the nation. As per Tax Foundation, it claims the 2nd-lowest property tax rate in the U.S., in addition to the top 15-ranked corporate and individual tax rates. 

The state of Indiana, for sure, is dedicated to making the business experience easier than ever. 

Types of Businesses in Indiana

Followings are some of the various kinds of businesses in the state of Indiana-

  • Sole Proprietorship 

  • General Partnership 

  • Corporation 

  • S-Corporation 

  • Limited Liability Company 

  • Nonprofit Corporation 

  • Limited Partnership 

  • Limited Liability Partnership  

How to start a business in Indiana?

Every business starts with a few baby steps for which one needs to plan and strategize. 

Here are a few major aspects you should be aware before you start a business in Indiana. 

Develop an idea 

The very first step of planning a business is to have an idea. It is a good idea that turns into an effective business. 

First, decide on the product or service that the business will provide. Although a unique product is looked for, it need not necessarily be something that doesn’t already exist in the market. 

In case, the product or service already exists, then how does your business idea refine the existing product or service? 

It is at this point that you must determine your strengths and interests. The idea has to be something that you are passionate about and deeply care about because it will keep motivating you to put in the long hours and hard work necessary in addressing the numerous challenges you’ll face in getting your business to stand out. Or it could be an idea which is traditional and generate steady cashflows. An important aspect of a business is marketing. So, initially one should know how to sell and promote his/her expertise. You must believe in the business idea that you can sell effectively otherwise the path towards success gets harder. 

Do the research 

The next step is to conduct market research by communicating with people involved in similar businesses. This step is to cross-check and decide if it’s viable in the market. 

The research will lead to answers to common doubts: whether there is a demand for the product/service in Indiana? Who will be the target market? Also, if the product or service is something related to existing businesses, then, what makes your idea unique? Coming up with satisfactory answers may require refinement, or even a total overhaul of your original idea. 

After all the research works, you can determine whether a niche exists in the Indiana market for your business idea and if not, how to tackle it. With all the required analysis, you can proceed with the next steps.

Draft a business plan  

What is a business idea without planning its implementation? 

The next step is writing down the blueprint. When there is an idea, there needs to be a proper plan too. The planning should include the following sections-

  • Executive summary – it gives an overview of the business and the reason why it will be a success.

  • Description of business – This section of the plan contains the features and benefits of the business and the solution it provides.

  • Market research – Acknowledge the industry research,, the target market, and potential competitors.

  • Organization and staff – Provide the details of the business such as how it’s structured and who will run it.

  • Product or service description – Describe the product you are selling or service you are offering.

  • Marketing plan – for any business, a marketing plan is the most important part of the whole business plan- how you are going to sell it, what is the strategy. 

  • Fundraising – The money you’ll need in the next five years to grow your business and how you’ll spend it 

All these plan draftings will help create a proper strategy towards getting investors and starting the business with ease. 

Secure funding  

Every business needs money to get off the ground. 82% of businesses that fail do so because of a lack of cash flow , U.S. Bank found in a recent study. 

Although there are examples of bootstrapped start-ups, a startup can grow very fast once it secures funding. A locality to be business-friendly and become a startup hub, risk capital should be there in abundance. 

Startups are risky and thus require risk capital, the venture capitalists who can take a huge amount of risks and fund innovative businesses. Angel investors help small startups get capital, whose scale is too small to be of any significance to venture capitalists. Indiana has a good network of angel investors and HNIs who invest in businesses and also venture capital firms that provide funding to high growth, high scale start-ups.

Contrarily, the availability of risk capital is not the only thing that matters. There should be the availability of funding for tried and tested business models for various small scale businesses. Not all businesses need venture capital, they need bank loans. Banks in Indiana provide loans to businesses with relatively stable business models at a reasonable rate of interest. Also, there are options for crowdfunding and taking a loan from the US Small Business Administration. 

So, if a business needs to secure funding, Indiana provides different avenues to secure funding, both debt capital as well as equity capital.

 

 

 

Get the necessary licenses and permits 

For your business to flourish, you need to follow legal rules and regulations that may need you to apply for some permits and licenses. The type of permits and licenses depend solely on the type of business. 

For example, an eatery which sells liquor will need a liquor license, and a pawn shop must get a reseller’s license. 

The paperwork may be time-consuming and hassling, but it is necessary to protect the business from any kind of fines, lawsuits, and other legal hazards. There is no general business license in the state of Indiana, rather there are 400 speciality licenses, permits, and certifications for various occupations, and for doing business in Indiana you’ll need to obtain at least one of them to operate the business legally. Check the Indiana.gov Business Owner’s Guide to find the list of license categories and the particular departments responsible for issuing each type of license. 

Best place to start a business in Indiana

Whether you run a business via e-commerce or your business needs to have a local address, the locality plays a vital role. It is crucial to determine whether the residents are likely to visit your business location. Hubs are beneficial for businesses. 

For example, tech companies flock to Silicon Valley because finding skilled tech talent and capital is easier there as it is the hub for technology companies. Similarly, a manufacturing hub will provide good logistic facilities to companies. 

Depending on what kind of business you want to build, choosing a proper hub for it becomes crucial so that you get labour, capital and customers.

However, the state’s capital, Indianapolis, being the largest city is one of the best places to start your business. It is equipped with young and educated graduates, inexpensive livelihood, and a great workforce environment compared to other American cities. 

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