Why Entrepreneurs Are Warming Up to Alaska’s Open Market Environment

Believe it or not, Alaska is rated as one of the best places to start a business.

The Last Frontier state happens to have the second highest rate of new entrepreneurs, carving out their unique space in a very open market environment.

According to Business Insider, “the state also tops the charts with the highest per capita GDP and the second-highest percentage of available employees.”

Another appeal among entrepreneurs is Alaska’s sales tax policy. While internet sales taxes have become more common (especially in the majority of mainland U.S. states, Hawaii, and some territories), Alaska doesn’t seem to be interested in internet sales tax at the moment.

With retail ecommerce giants like Amazon stumping for taxes and brick and mortar retailers fighting online sales tax loopholes, Alaska remains an exception to the national trend.

Given the significant concentration of naturally extracted oil and gas products, the state can rely on the majority of its state general fund unrestricted revenue on oil and gas taxes. In fact, the state relies on over 60-80% of its annual budgets from taxes related to the oil, gas, and petrol byproducts industries.

A case can be made on the amount of inequity when it comes to the taxation of the oil industry, compared to others. The trade off is a lack of income tax and state sales tax.

In effect, the only recommendation that can be given is that any tax regime, for any industry, should be based on a broad, low-rate-benefitting tax base that doesn’t create any significant regression or stifle economic growth.

Localities have special sales tax authorities, among other use taxes, but, the state’s funding model contributes to a very positive environment for starting an ecommerce business if you care for the cold.

 

Would you start a business in Alaska? Know someone who has? Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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