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Foreign Direct Investment in Utah

Foreign Direct Investment in Utah International Trade ITDO GOED

Why Utah? – Foreign Direct Investment Brochure

#1 “Best State for Business”  Forbes Magazine

Utah has a stable and predictable business friendly climate. It consistently receives recognition for its low operating costs, high economic growth and excellent governance. The Pew Center called Utah the “Best Managed State in the Nation.” The Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States report ranked Utah #1 in the country for business and careers.

Companies that move to Utah soon discover that their needs are met. Utah’s transportation, communication and energy infrastructures are second to none.

Businesses that make large capital investments have access to competitive funding thanks to Utah’s thriving financial industry. Utah offers tax rebate incentives to companies that make capital investments in the state and create jobs. High tech firms can find the highly skilled employees they need and international companies have access to world-class managerial skill.

Utah is globally connected. Per capita, Utah is the most linguistically diverse state in the U.S. with more than 130 different languages spoken in business daily. From the state’s largest airport, travelers can take direct flights to Europe, Asia, Canada, and Mexico. Major rail lines link Utah to the major seaports of Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, and Seattle. Whether you are looking for a place to buy, sell, relocate or invest, Utah is the place to be. Please read further and discover what nearly 3 million Utah residents already know: this is an unparalleled place to do business.

Crossroads of the western U.S. and bridge to the world

As a low-cost distribution point, Utah is the perfect solution

Utah is a central, highly cost-effective distribution point for the western U.S. The state is positioned as the “Crossroads of the West” where three major U.S. highways meet. Every major western seaport is within a one-day trip by rail from Utah. Salt Lake International Airport boasts flights to over 90 cities in the U.S. and direct flights to Europe, Asia, Canada, and Mexico. Utah has one of the most expansive broadband networks in the U.S. and was ranked #1 for home broadband adoption out of all 50 states in the U.S.

Cost of doing business

  • One of the lowest tax states in the U.S.
  • One of the lowest operating cost states in the U.S.
  • Second-lowest commercial electric and third-lowest natural gas rates in the U.S.


  • Over 103 different languages are spoken in commerce daily
  • Competitive wage rates
  • Youngest population in the country with a median age of 29


  • #1 state in export performance
  • Salt Lake City International Airport hosts over 700 daily flights
  • One-day truck service to most major cities in the western U.S.

Quality of Life

  • 4 of the top 20 ski resorts in North America are within one hour of the international airport
  • Home to 5 national parks, 7 national monuments and 43 state parks
  • Named “happiest state in the U.S.”

Utah is open for business

Innovation, industry, education and good governance culminate in Utah to create a diverse and thriving economy. World-class companies in Utah create synergies in their respective industries. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is actively encouraged. Firms can find ideal suppliers, buyers and technical expertise in the state. A wide range of technical, managerial and linguistic expertise is also available to firms located in Utah. Whether you are looking for a place to buy, sell, relocate or invest, Utah can help you accomplish your business goals in the U.S.

For more information on doing business in Utah please contact the Governor’s Office of Economic Development at this toll free number: 1-855-204-9046.

“I am impressed with the level of collaboration of state, civic and business leaders in Utah.” – Ian H. Solomon, U.S. Executive Director The World Bank Group

Foreign Direct Investment in Utah International Trade ITDO GOED

EB-5 visa investor program

The EB-5 investor program in the State of Utah provides opportunities to invest in Utah’s commercial enterprise and create jobs in the state. The EB-5 visa program offers its participants nearly all the benefits of U.S. citizenship, such as access to education at rates of in-state residents and the ability to live anywhere regardless of where the investment is made. Those who qualify receive a permanent visa for themselves and each member of their family who is less than 21 years of age.

The EB-5 visa is suitable for:

Foreign entrepreneurs who invest US$500,000 in a commercial enterprise in a targeted employment area that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least ten full-time U.S. jobs. Other program variations may be available, please inquire.

Immediate family members of EB-5 foreign entrepreneur visa applicants

You must invest at least US$500,000 in a targeted employment area (high unemployment or rural area). In return, USCIS may grant conditional permanent residence to the individual.

Five approved EB-5 visa regional centers are located in Utah

A Regional Center is a United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) approved and monitored organization. Regional Centers are created by a U.S. citizen who identifies potentially profitable projects within a defined geographical area in the U.S. These projects must also be associated with specific market segments that can result in job creation and economic growth with additional capital investment. With USCIS’ approval, the Regional Center oversees EB-5 related compliance and management of the project.

Salt Lake City Foreign Trade Zone

The Salt Lake City Foreign Trade Zone is comprised of 57 acres (23 hectares) adjacent to the Union Pacific Intermodal Rail Terminal and close to the city’s international airport and major interstate highways. Companies operating within the foreign trade zone can import parts and other products into the zone then store, repackage, or use them for manufacturing without paying import duties.

Top industries in Utah (Utah GDP in billions of USD)

  • Manufacturing: $17.6
  • Retail/wholesale trade: $14.3
  • Finance and insurance: $13.9
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: $7.8
  • Health care and social assistance: $7
  • Information: $4.5
  • Mining: $2.8

Strong business ecosystem

A sensible regulatory environment

Utah’s elected officials govern with consistent and business friendly policies. This predictable style of governance has earned Utah recognition from many credible sources. The Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2012 ranked Utah #1. The Pew Center, an American think tank, praised Utah for it’s “sound government” and emphasis on “long-term results.” Foreign Direct Investment in Utah International Trade ITDO GOED

Utah’s dynamic, educated workforce

Utah has ten public and three Utah-based private universities and colleges. More than one out of every three Utahns has a college degree. Utahns conduct business in over 130 languages daily. Many residents have lived and worked abroad. This enhances their ability to make immediate contributions to the success of companies and divisions based in Utah that operate internationally. Utah’s workforce is also the youngest in the U.S. with a median age of 29.

  • 24 total public and private universities, colleges, and other accredited higher education institutions
  • 39 percent of the workforce has an associate degree or above
  • Utah’s workforce has been recognized for its productivity

Capital resources: diverse, effective and available

Utah doesn’t just house successful businesses, it grows them. A deep supply of capital resources are at the disposal of Utah-based companies. Industrial loans, tax incentives and start-up money are regularly used to expand, relocate and open new businesses in the state.

Utah’s Economic Development Tax Increment Financing incentive provides tax rebates to local companies expanding in Utah, or companies outside the state relocating or developing new operations in the state. The incentive generally lasts 5-10 years with a tax credit of up to 30 percent for the entire project.

Twenty-one state-chartered industrial banks are authorized to make commercial loans without a deposit to companies whose assets are equal to or exceed US$100 million.

The Utah Fund of Funds program supports the state’s thriving venture capital industry. The state-sponsored fund uses its portfolio of US$5 billion of investable capital to inject money into local and regional venture capital and private equity funds.

  • Utah is home to the majority of commercially owned industrial loan companies in the USA
  • 38 Utah companies have raised over US$201 million for the Utah Fund of Funds portfolio
  • Nearly US$1.3 billion of capital commitments have been made in Utah-based venture capital and private equity funds

Quality of Life

Winter and summer recreation

In the winter, Utah’s 14 ski resorts provide the world’s finest skiing and snowboarding. Ski magazine has named Utah’s Deer Valley Resort “North America’s Top Overall Ski Resort” five of the last six years. Park City Mountain Resort was ranked the “#1 Family Destination.”

In the summer, Utah’s outdoors offer numerous recreation activities including camping, hiking, mountain biking, ATV riding, rock climbing, fishing and hunting in some of the most varied and spectacular scenery on earth. Utah is also ranked 6th in the U.S. for the amount of boatable water. The state is a global destination for water sports enthusiasts seeking adventure while whitewater rafting, kayaking, boating, jet skiing and scuba diving.Foreign Direct Investment in Utah International Trade ITDO GOED

National parks, monuments and recreations areas

Utah is home to the greatest concentration of national parks in the U.S. The state’s five national parks – Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion – are famous around the world for their spectacular and diverse natural beauty. In addition to its five national parks, Utah’s seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and 43 state parks attract millions of visitors every year.

Arts and culture

Utah offers a wealth of artistic and cultural activities. There are hundreds of theaters, dance and music organizations in Utah including the renowned Ballet West, Festival Opera, and the Utah Symphony. Distinguished cultural and artistic events are also found in Utah: the Sundance Film Festival, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival.

Families and education

Surveys show that Utah’s citizens are among the happiest, its communities among the safest and its citizens the healthiest in the U.S. The overall cost of living in Utah’s capital, Salt Lake City, is below the national average. Parents and children can depend on Utah to deliver world-class public education. Utah students regularly score above the national average on standardized tests.