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Utah hailed as well-run, business-friendly state

Those of us living in Utah understand why this is such a good place to be. A couple of recent national rankings of state management and states' business-friendliness help make the case for Utah to Americans across the nation.

Both rankings illustrate why so many entrepreneurs are proud to form businesses here and make use of a skilled, educated populace, abundant natural resources and tax benefits that can help companies thrive.

The Detroit Free Press recently reported on a ranking of state management in which an assessment was made of how well-run states are today. While we didn't take the top ranking (that spot went to oil-rich, booming North Dakota), we took a very respectable fifth, sandwiched between fourth-place Nebraska and sixth-place Vermont.

The factors cited in the rankings included Utah's relatively low unemployment rate (5.7 percent), our median household income of $57,049, our low violent crime rate and our population's education level (more than 90 percent of us over age 25 have a high school diploma).

Yes, there's still work to be done (our debt per capita is only 17th lowest in the nation; our percentage below the poverty line is only 15th lowest), but when you look at the big picture, we stack up very well.

Which state ranked at the bottom of the rankings? California, with its high unemployment rate and enormous budget deficit dragging it down.

You might recall that last month it was widely reported that the Tax Foundation's 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index placed Utah ninth. The foundation noted that "Utah was awarded some of the top grades in the nation for its property and corporate tax policies, receiving the fourth- and fifth-best scores, respectively..."

Of course, for those getting ready to launch a business venture, it makes sense to sit down with an experienced business attorney to discuss which business entity to choose to best take advantage of those tax policies. For some, a limited liability company (LLC) makes the most sense, while for others it might be wise to create a family limited partnership (FLP).

It's an important decision that helps shape the success of every business.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Survey: Best- and worst-run states in the U.S.," Nov. 22, 2013

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