If you have been thinking of starting a business, this blog post is for you.  Economic Development Workforce Coordinator Liesl Limburg shares her findings about Salt Lake City’s OpenCounter and how it can help you save a lot of time and money. Read on and as always, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Have you ever had a great idea and thought “man, I should start a business!”? Ever wondered what it really takes and how much it really costs to get a business started and off the ground? For you food lovers out there, have you considered what goes into opening a restaurant?

When it comes to opening a business, there are a plethora of factors to questions: how many of the same companies already exist in the area that you’re interested in? is the business you are wanted to start allowed in the city and area that has caught your attention? What building requirements need to be met in order to even open the business? And where on earth do you even start looking to find out all of this information?

For Salt Lake City, the answer is slc.gov/opencounter. Launched in 2017, OpenCounter is a one-stop shop for anyone who is interested in starting or opening a business in Salt Lake City proper. This user-friendly tool is comprised of data and information from multiple City divisions including: Planning, Engineering, Public Utilities, Transportation, Fire, and Building Services. The tool will show you what business operations are permitted in areas across the entire City and give you a cost estimate for each permit that may be required to either build or renovate your space – all from the comfort of your office, home, or a coffee shop! How awesome is that?!

Of course, each business will run into its own challenges as the project becomes more of a reality, but OpenCounter can be useful in mitigating potential problems at the onset of the project as well as help business owners and developers prepare ahead of time for bumps along the way. This cuts down on time that businesses and developers use to conduct research only to be told that their project won’t work.  On average, OpenCounter sees 196 visits; four of which turn into beginning permitting applications.

Liesl Limburg, coordinator for Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development on ABC 4 Utah talking about the benefits of using OpenCounter

OpenCounter asks the right questions, in the right order, so citizens can see the requirements, fees, and processing time that apply to their projects. By making information available across departments, OpenCounter also helps municipalities coordinate internal workflows, and build better relationships with the citizens that they serve.

Get your business idea off to the right start by logging onto slc.gov/opencounter today!