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By Brian Burt, Snell & Wilmer, LLP

There are few things as exciting as starting your own business.  But is Arizona the place to do it?

According to Forbes and the Kaufmann Foundation, Arizona was ranked the most entrepreneurial state in the nation.1  The same Kaufmann Foundation study ranked Phoenix the 3rd best city in which to start a business.

So, whether you have been nurturing a business idea for years, or have been forced by a recent change in circumstances to re-think your career path, it may be just the right time to launch your new venture!

And key to the success of any business is its employees.  But, it’s not easy being an employee these days.  The current downturn has brought layoffs, salary cuts, and benefit reductions to virtually every industry.  Even those who have not been personally affected must contend with an uncertain economic future, and the fear and stress that such uncertainty breeds.  Little wonder that employee morale is at an all-time low.

Business owners know that low employee morale translates into deteriorating productivity and, ultimately, reduced revenue.  But what can today’s cash-strapped owner do to re-energize his or her team while protecting the company’s long-term value?

There are many questions when planning to open your own business:

  • What’s the difference between an employee and an independent contractor?
  • I did an LLC. Did I set up my business correctly?
  • As my business grows, when do I switch from using independent contractors to hiring people full-time?
  • What can happen if I make mistakes?
  • How do I motivate my employees to support all facets of the company?

1 Forbes (September 2012); Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity(June 2012).

About the Author:

Brian J. Burt is a Partner with Snell & Wilmer L.L.P., and serves as Chair of the firm’s Emerging Business Group. Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm, with over 400 attorneys practicing in nine offices throughout the western United States and Mexico. Brian is a business lawyer advising entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies in all stages of development, from formation to liquidity. He also represents banks, financial services companies, private investors, and venture capital funds. Having previously founded, raised capital for, and run his own company, Brian brings a “real world” perspective to his practice. Read Brian’s complete bio here.

Is Arizona the Best Place to Start Your Own Business?