Moving your family is hard enough. It’s even harder when you’re moving your own business, too.
Continuing with our theme of business relocation, I’m featuring another article by Brenda Spandrio, The Declutter Lady. These 15 tips will help you relocate your business from one state to another and help with this transition! Thanks so much Brenda for sharing this post!
There’s a lot involved in disconnecting your company from one state and establishing it in another.
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At the very least, remember to take care of these 15 things:
1. Becoming a “foreign” corporation: We moved our Washington State corporation from Washington State to California but chose to stay a Washington State corporation. That made us a “foreign” corporation in California. There are pros and cons to doing this. Check the Secretary of State site in your new location, and get professional legal and accounting advice for your particular situation to see what’s best for your business.
2. Changing your business license information: We did this with the Washington government showing our new location outside of the state. The good news is that changing the business license information also informs other agencies such as revenue and employment of the move.
3. Finding an agent of service: An agent of service is someone or some company with residence in your state of incorporation who can accept mail for your corporation. If you’re conducting business in the same state as your residence, you can be your own agent of service. If you choose to be a foreign corporation, find someone you trust who is willing to be your agent of service, fill out the necessary paperwork with the appropriate signatures from all parties and submit it to the state. Check your state(s) for their agent of service policies.
4. Determining where you will have your business bank accounts: Banks like you to be incorporated in their state. If your bank is a national company, that makes it easier for you to bank locally without having to move your account to the new state. But check with the bank at your new location to see what their rules are. You still need to give your new address to your old bank and have the address and telephone number on checks changed.
5. Stopping and starting utilities: Give notice to your current utility companies and look into what it takes to get utilities established at your new location. New utilities may require long lead times and certain documentation before utilities can be established. Don’t be unpleasantly surprised here.
6. Notifying your landlord: Give your current landlord notice and make certain that your new location is locked in. Don’t ignore potential zoning and special permit issues at your new location. Some neighborhood associations do not allow home-based businesses, no matter how “low-key” they are.
7. Transferring insurance: If you have business insurance, discuss with your current carrier if you can transfer the same coverage to the new location and whether or not there are any different requirements for coverage at the new location. You may have to find a new carrier for the new location.
8. Taking inventory: Take an inventory when you cease to do business before you leave the state. You may need this for filing taxes at the end of the year. In our case, we have to file separate state returns for each state for the year that we moved.
9. Managing employees: If you have employees, these folks will need to be given plenty of notice that you’re moving the business. You’ll also need to seek out resources that can help you find replacement employees at your new location as soon as possible.
10. Notifying vendors: Notify your vendors of your new address for potential new shipments during your transition and to stay current on billing. You may want to use a business center to receive your mail and packages until you are settled.
11. Encouraging customers and clients: Make sure your customers know how to contact you. You don’t have to lose business because of a move, especially if you keep your clients in the loop and give them incentive to stick with you.
12. Advising your couriers: UPS, FedEx, DHL are all international, but they may require that you get a new account number in your new location.
13. Changing your address: Go through the formal USPS change of address process. You can do this on line at www.usps.com. There is a cost involved, but you want to ensure that you get your mail in a timely manner.
14. Updating your website: Make certain that the contact information on your web site stays current. At the very least put a valid cell number on your web site so that you do not miss any calls. Once you are settled in your new location, you can put your permanent business contact information on the site, as well as announce your grand re-opening!
15. Satisfying the IRS: Notify the IRS of your change of address. Use their form 8822B that can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8822b.pdf. This form applies to many of the IRS business returns that you may use.
Each state has its own business regulations and your business is unique. Know what is required for your specific situation by talking to the Secretary of State office in both the state you’re moving from and the one you’re moving to. Accurate information will enable a smoother transition as you establish yourself, your family AND your business in your new location.
Which of these 15 tips are news to you? Let us know in the comments if these tips help you or if you have others you’d like to share that will help others with relocating!
Known as The Declutter Lady, Brenda Spandrio has relocated seven times in the last five years. This includes moving four businesses that she manages with her husband Angelo. In addition to helping solopreneurs organize their office space, Brenda is a freelance assistant who helps get all those pesky to-do’s out of the way so you can focus on making money instead of busy-work.
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