So you’re thinking about moving to another state. Perhaps you want to be closer to your family. Or you want to lower your cost of living. Or you’ve fallen in love with another city — or someone who lives in one. Or maybe you can save lots of money on shipping by moving closer to your suppliers. How do you bring your business with you? Here are a few tips for relocating your company.
Plan ahead. Months before you move, go over the logistical details of where you’re taking your business. Look into tax issues to avoid any unforeseen expenses. Hire an accountant in your new state to review your paperwork — and identify any tax incentives applicable to your situation. If you need a retail space, spend time scouting out your new city to find a location that fits your demographics and budget, and sign a lease that starts close to when you expect to move in.
Re-register your business. When you move to another state, you must re-register your company. If you own a sole proprietorship or a partnership and operate under a business name, you’ll need to file a DBA declaration. If you run an LLC or a corporation, you’ll need to take more complex legal steps to relocate the company. Check out the SBA’s list of options for LLCs and corporations, and consult with an attorney to make and finalize your decision. Depending on your profession, you may also need to get a business license to work in your new state; the SBA’s state-by-state licensing guidelines can help you figure out what’s required for your relocation.
Consider staffing options. If you run a solo office, staffing won’t be an issue. If you have employees, think about whether your staff could telecommute: If so, you’ll find ample tools and resources that will help you manage from afar. If not, you may need to hire new employees (unless your current ones are willing to make the move, too). Staffing from afar can be difficult, so consider using an agency to help you find temporary workers. If you need to dismiss employees, be gentle about it to maintain positive relationships and avoid legal trouble.
Go on a marketing blitz. When you move out of state, you can’t count on keeping any of your local customers — which means that, depending on the nature of your business and its customer base, you might be starting completely from scratch when it comes to clientele. As soon as you relocate, focus on high-impact local marketing promotions, such as Groupon deals, Facebook ads, and custom coupons for free or heavily discounted products. Join your local Chamber of Commerce to start networking with local business leaders who can help you gain traction in your new locale.