Utah is not so “business friendly” for innovative new companies disrupting markets where established and powerful “crony” interests have bought years of political favors and established laws that keep out competition.
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These popular companies—and more—have struggled to navigate unfair laws in Utah that
have harmed their ability to serve Utahns. Their business models, in some cases, are illegal!
Utah law requires vehicle manufacturers to sell through a car dealership. Tesla's model involves direct-to-consumer sale, which means their business model is against the law. Tesla is currently suing the state seeking to overturn the law.
Short-term rentals have increased in popularity in recent years, in large measure due to Airbnb helping connect hosts and guests. Unfortunately, many cities prohibit home owners from sharing a room or portion of their home, levying hefty fines for those who do it.
Disrupting the traditional process of buying and selling homes using licensed realtors, Homie empowers buyers and sellers to avoid losing thousands of dollars in the transaction by providing them the tools they need to do it themselves.
Utah's majestic scenery brings thousands of tourists each year, many of whom wish to avoid hotels and stay in a home with their family. VRBO empowers home owners to provide their property to travelers, but many cities have outlawed this opportunity.
Traditional taxi services are riddled with problems, and Uber has stepped in to pair drivers and riders efficiently at a lower cost and higher service. But when they came to town, Salt Lake City ticketed drivers $6,500 whenever they were discovered.
A Utah-based company, Kirkham produces aluminum Cobra vehicles for the world's wealthiest people. But because they sell direct to the consumer, like Tesla, Utah law prohibits this Utah manufacturer from selling directly to Utah customers.
This creative company, also based in Utah, produces some interesting vehicles that they are disallowed from selling directly to Utahns because their model does not include selling the cars through a licensed auto dealership.
The Utah Insurance Department recently attempted to shut down this innovative online human resources startup company from operating in our state, ruling that their free software violated Utah law governing the sale of insurance.
Single moms, students, and hard-working Utahns flocked to this company as a means to earn cash using their vehicle, driving passengers and making friends along the way. But Salt Lake City initially banned this new business model.
Year after year, a new innovative company struggles to succeed in a state that bills itself as "best for business." These protectionist laws need to be repealed so that all entrepreneurs have a fair playing field to serve Utahns.
—Connor Boyack, president, Libertas Institute