Best and Worst States/Locales for Small Business and Why?

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Forum topic by barringerfurniture posted 10-11-2014 04:20 PM 1048 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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223 posts in 1135 days

10-11-2014 04:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: business california taxed all to hell impossible

This post was inspired by a previous post by someone else, concerning whether or not to collect and pay sales tax on products you sell.

As a carpenter for about 16 years working for other contractors and now a struggling small business owner, I have become increasingly aware of how difficult California in particular, makes life for small businesses. Article after article on the internet describes California as “dismal”, “impossible”, “a complete failure” in supporting, helping, or at least clearing a path for small businesses of any kind to open their doors and have a chance at succeeding. One article gives California an “F” in a grading system state by state.

Between state/federal income taxes, sales taxes, self-employment taxes, licensure if applicable and it’s associated annual fees, payroll tax and workers comp (as much as 30% here) if applicable, zoning regulations prohibiting work out of your home, etc, etc, etc,.....It just seems downright impossible at times.

So this is partly a rant but mainly I’m interested in how others view their own state’s climate in regard to small business in general but woodworking, cabinetmaking, furniture and other construction-related shops in particular.

Thanks for any comments or insight.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

8 replies so far

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 1692 days

#1 posted 10-11-2014 05:45 PM

Hawaii is the worst to do business in.Huge list of problems here if you arent a huge corporation the powers that be could care less.

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Gene Howe

8107 posts in 2852 days

#2 posted 10-11-2014 06:19 PM

It’s pretty easy in AZ. It’s the cities and sometimes the counties that get in your way. But, the state is welcoming to small businesses.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View barringerfurniture's profile


223 posts in 1135 days

#3 posted 10-11-2014 08:22 PM

Just speculating here, but I wonder if the politics in Hawaii are purposely invested in keeping droves of prospective start-ups out – a way to prevent overpopulation like we have here in California. I could see the logic in this, if it is at all true.

What doesn’t make sense about California though, is that as it has become unbearably overcrowded in my opinion, it has also become increasingly difficult as a business, to open your doors legitimately, on the books. Maybe it’s an intentional double-standard, making it possible for only the big boys to continue raking in mass profits from the droves of California transplants that never seem to cease.

I’ve read elsewhere that Arizona, along with Texas, Idaho and a few others, is great for small business.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#4 posted 10-11-2014 08:41 PM

Oregon does not have a sales tax, so no problem dealing with taxes. Income wise you just report what you’ve made.

-- Custom furniture

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2387 posts in 2970 days

#5 posted 10-11-2014 09:16 PM

Here in TX it is very small business friendly. That has benefited us in our small business.

That said, there is one other thing I am quickly becoming aware of due to this easy life for small start up business. Basically anyone with a screw gun and a table saw can call themselves a cabinet shop and advertise and begin taking on work for extremely low prices. Just the past year 3 cabinet shops opened up in a 5 mile radius of me. Two of them are giving cabinets away for close to free.

-- .

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1663 posts in 1763 days

#6 posted 10-11-2014 09:30 PM

I have worked for two companies in Texas. Both would leave the back door open during the day so that when immigration called, all the illegals could hightail it with out being seen from the street. Also OSHA is basically nonexistent in the state unless you have a union on the premise. We have many injuries at both plants , but none were filed so OSHA was not called. The owners did not care, because new labor is cheep. This all adds to the low cost of doing business.

If that is the way you want to conduct your business, that is your choice. Just do not get caught.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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223 posts in 1135 days

#7 posted 10-11-2014 09:45 PM

Jerry, yeah that’s not good either. I suppose there needs to be some middle ground that weeds out the riff-raff, yet isn’t prohibitive to good folks who provide a quality service.

Aside from the subject of taxes, the Contractors State License Board here in California is the definition of overly-bureaucratic, cash cow insanity. I could rant about it for a long time but I wouldn’t know where to stop. So I won’t even start. They have bullet-proof glass all over the office because they infuriate people daily. They’re horrible.

I’ve briefly investigated a few other state’s licensing systems, namely Arkansas where I have a lot of family, and Indiana, where an old boss of mine used to contract before moving to California. My old boss said in Indiana, there are just a small handful of classifications – just the main trades; general building/carpentry, electrical, plumbing, maybe one or two others. Upon looking into it, I found out he was completely correct. California has 48 classifications! Just a small example of many. Like I said, I could go on and on.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

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223 posts in 1135 days

#8 posted 10-11-2014 10:02 PM

One reason I decided to go into business building custom furniture (against the advice of nearly everyone) is that the CSLB has no jurisdiction over free-standing furniture. Don’t have to deal with them, don’t have to pay them, don’t ever want to either. I can tell them to shove it and I hope they’re reading this.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

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