Companies that want to start doing business in New York are entering an exciting arena. The Big Apple is a hub for entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic opportunity. However, this is also a region with steep competition—along with a web of complex legal requirements for businesses. Here are a few things to know about owning a business in New York.
#1 Watch Out for Competition
The NYC market is saturated in virtually every industry. Whether it’s retail, healthcare, hospitality, or consumer services, chances are good that multiple companies are vying for the same customers. This means success hinges on going above and beyond. Companies that succeed:
- Build a strong reputation for customer satisfaction—and make sure this is reflected in online reviews.
- Budget for marketing efforts and find ways to make a product or service unique so it will stand out in the crowd.
- Are prepared to pivot as new competitors enter the market.
#2 Plan for Traffic
Businesses that involve receiving or delivering physical goods should be aware that logistics in New York can be a challenge. Some streets are too narrow for delivery trucks, construction never ends, and rush hour traffic is a daily struggle. To make matters worse, a recent proposal for to reduce rush hour congestions could harm small businesses.
According to a recent Washington Post article, “Some merchants who are already dealing with constant street construction that limits traffic claim they’ve lost up to 60 percent of their revenue during the Clear Curb hours. Others are warning that they may be forced to close entirely unless police officers scale back their “super aggressive” enforcement.”
#3 Support Is Available
For all its challenges, NY is still a great place to create a new business. The New York Small Business Development Center (NYSBDC) works tirelessly to provide free business consulting and at-cost training on topics such as business planning, marketing, regulatory compliance, and more.
Tax incentives and grants are also available for certain types of startups. These programs are always changing, but Empire State Development currently lists an exciting opportunity for startups and growing businesses. “START-UP NY offers new and expanding businesses the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years on or near eligible university or college campuses in New York State.” Traditional businesses such as restaurants, medical offices, and retail stores don’t qualify. But tech innovation companies and other emerging sectors could be an ideal fit.
#4 There Is a LOT to Consider
Take a quick look at this NYC.gov checklist for companies that want to start doing business in New York. Some items are what a business might expect, like requirements for licensing and inspections. Others are less obvious, like limiting “noise pollution” and the restrictions on the number of people who can gather for an event before a permit is required.
From founding the business entity to signing a lease, hiring employees, and working with vendors and customers, there is a right way to do everything. And this can change from one year to the next as new laws come into play. Having legal counsel on hand to answer questions and provide guidance is a good way to boost the chances of success as a New York business owner.
Contact Regina Gordon Law Office for an initial consultation at no cost.