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8 Reasons To Scale Up Your Start-up In Reno, Nevada

By Jonelle Moore on October 18, 2022

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When companies like Tesla, Microsoft, Panasonic, Switch and Google decide that Reno, Nevada, is a smart place to do business, start-ups sit up and take notice — and then follow suit.

Especially since 2013 when Reno’s start-up boom went supersonic, companies with household names (and names you’ve never even heard of) have started up, relocated to and/or expanded their business in the Reno area.

From the cost of doing business (or lack thereof) to the cost of living (also refreshingly low), big companies and companies with big aspirations alike proudly call Reno home now. Below are just a few of the reasons why.

Read Our Lips: No Corporate Taxes

Reno welcomes businesses with open arms and a friendly tax climate. In addition to no corporate income tax, there’s no inventory tax, no franchise tax, no unitary tax and no intangible tax. So you can almost just say no to business taxes. Same to regulations. But that’s not all. There’s also no capital gains tax, no estate tax, no inheritance tax and no personal income tax. As luck would have it, a low overall tax rate is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Reno Is Start-up Central

OK, so we’ve covered the more obvious benefits that make perfect business sense, but there’s more to Reno’s story. Like start-up resources and success stories galore. From the Entrepreneurial Development Team to start-up groups and events, from experience-fueled small business advisers to investors’ full attention, there’s no shortage of support, excitement and success to be had in Reno.

“We have over 100 start-ups, yet it’s still small enough to be very connected and easy to navigate,” says Doug Erwin, SVP of Entrepreneurial Development at EDAWN. “Finding the right mentors, investors, initial customers, training, education, talent and even elected officials, is easy to do in our ecosystem.”

Green: Reno’s Favorite Color

Around the same time as the start of the start-up boom in 2013, Reno started viewing the world through green colored lenses. From the City of Reno’s Sustainability & Climate Action Plan to its partnership with nZero to monitor the city’s carbon footprint, from green building abatements to renewable energy tax abatements, Reno has attracted many businesses to both help the region stay green and operate in a rewarding, earth-friendly territory.

A Red Carpet Welcome To Tech & Manufacturing Sectors

Reno has its own ecosystem when it comes to technology and manufacturing. That’s largely because the city developed and is executing a winning game plan to diversify its economy. (They’re not just a pretty tourism face anymore.) Adam Kramer, CEO of nZero, agrees. “One of the great things about being part of the burgeoning Northern Nevada tech scene is the collaboration and support from other start-ups big and small. The start-ups that inspire nZero are companies that were founded here in Nevada that are tackling incredibly difficult problems, and have a mission to help transform the world.”

In 2020 and 2021, 60% of the companies that relocated or expanded to Reno and the surrounding areas were in either the tech or manufacturing sectors. Conveniently, they paved the way for the aforementioned tax abatements, a pro-expansion attitude and key advantages like a well-trained, skilled workforce. Companies like Nanotech Energy have relocated to the area, and continue to bring thousands of jobs, including engineering, research and other high level and technical positions.

Incentives Anyone?

As if the laundry list of no-taxes above wasn’t enough, Reno offers its share of tax incentives for companies that relocate or expand there as well. Like sales and use tax abatement, modified business tax abatement, personal property tax abatement, real property tax abatement for recycling, aviation parts tax abatement and data center abatement. To qualify in this right-to-work state, certain criteria must be met, including capital investment, job creation, average wage and medical benefits. Want more info? We thought you might.  Check out this guide.

One Day To 60 Million Customers? Get The Truck Out!

We can’t say this enough: location, location, location, location, location. (See? We can’t stop.) The Reno area is perfectly situated to be able to reach about 60 million West Coast customers within a day’s travel via truck. (And they’re two-way highways, so supplies can get to you fast, too.) Within two days, you can serve a whopping 11 states. Thanks to a lower cost of doing business and a lower cost of living than California (keep reading!), it’s easy to see what the Reno hub-bub is all about.

A Cost of Living You Can Truly Live With

You really can have it all in Reno. Reno consistently ranks among Livability’s best places to live in America. Among other accolades, it has been named the fastest growing midsize city in the U.S. and is ranked among the top 35 cities for millennials to work.

And you can actually afford to live, work and play here. Because there’s no state income tax and energy prices are 32% lower than the national average, you get to keep more of what you make. Not to mention that real estate is much more affordable than the West Coast.

A 2022 cost of living comparison between Reno and San Jose revealed that it’s nearly 78% more expensive to live in San Jose, and the median home price there is 145% of the median home price in Reno. (And this comparison didn’t even consider taxes! See above.) And it’s important to note that the cost of doing business is less expensive, too, with commercial utility rates alone less than half of California’s.    

Plus, it’s just three and a half hours to San Francisco, so you can be in the Bay area for a lunch meeting and back home in time for dinner. It’s the best of both worlds.

A Palpable Intangible: Reno’s Quality of Life

Start with an average of 300 days of sunshine each year. Add nearby mountains, lakes, bike-friendly paths, parks, festivals, concerts, a budding art scene, great dining options, fishing, hiking, skiing, golfing and yes, casinos, and you’ve got endless year-round recreation beckoning you and your employees. And with shorter commute times than the national average, Renoites actually have time to enjoy it all. They do not take quality of life for granted either, though it is one of the least-talked-about perks of moving a business to The Biggest Little City. Suffice it to say, it’s one of the biggest company benefits — one that is utterly free.

Reno’s business-friendly welcome basket of low taxes, a skilled workforce, advantageous location, reasonable cost of living, green initiatives and beautiful scenery awaits. All that’s missing is you.

This article was sponsored by EDAWN.

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