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By the Delaware Prosperity Partnership
New York and Washington bookend the Mid-Atlantic region, with Philadelphia and Baltimore significant milestones along the way. But only one location – Delaware – lies at the heart of them all. And, increasingly, Delaware is where the world is choosing to do business.
Forbes recently ranked Delaware second nationally for lowest cost of doing business. Delaware’s cost of living is highly competitive as well, especially for a prime east coast location with a diversity of lifestyles from urban to rural. Delaware also has no sales tax, no value-added tax (VAT) and no inventory tax – yet offers highly competitive property taxes when compared with other parts of the Mid-Atlantic. Delaware’s core sectors include science and technology; manufacturing and logistics; business and financial services; food and agriculture; and healthcare and education.
“In Delaware, you really do get the best of all possible worlds,” says Kurt Foreman, president and chief executive officer of the state’s lead economic development organization, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP). “This includes an exceptionally experienced and diverse talent pool; some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Incyte, a Forbes ‘Most Innovative Company;’ and very competitive costs for doing business.”
Recent announcements from DPP have included Amazon, which is returning to Delaware after developing its first fulfillment center there in 1997 and adding a second site in 2012. Leasing a built-to-suit facility being developed by Dermody Properties, Amazon anticipates adding more than 1,000 jobs when this third fulfillment center is completed. The project is Dermody’s first development in Delaware, and the experience has been a good one for the company.
“Delaware officials and regulatory agencies have been very responsive to our needs, which is paramount in projects of this magnitude,” Dermody partner Jeffrey A. Zygler explains. “Their collaborative approach and commitment allowed us to attract Amazon to our project.”
Other recent successes include the west coast-based pet food market disruptor, JustFoodForDogs, which opened its second master kitchen at a site in New Castle in March and already has outpaced its first-year growth plans. Prelude Therapeutics, an early-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Wilmington that was named to the Fierce BioTech “Fierce 15,” has two clinical trials in progress and has outgrown its space twice since launching in 2016. FMC Corporation, an agricultural services company that is investing nearly $2 billion in research and development through 2023, moved its global R&D headquarters and 600 staff members to Delaware after purchasing and committing $50 million to renovations of a former DuPont site in Newark in 2017.
Delaware Gives You Access – Access to Anywhere, Access to Leaders
Delaware has a coveted centralized location with proximity to major airports, one of the busiest Amtrak hubs, convenient driving distance to other major cities and a busy international port. Northern Delaware is part of the nation’s seventh-largest metropolitan area, and 50 million people live within a 250-mile radius. Strategically located between New York City and Washington, Delaware is at the center of the country’s largest consumer market, with New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Baltimore all less than 150 miles (241 kilometers) away. Executives living in Delaware can have breakfast in D.C., lunch in New York and still be home in time for dinner.
But in Delaware, it isn’t just where you can get to but also who you can get to. Delaware prides itself on making things easy for business, and that includes access to elected officials and other relevant leaders throughout the state.
“Delaware’s elected officials are in constant contact,” notes Air Liquide Vice President Serban Cantacuzene, “and they visit to understand our local needs.”
Talent & Workforce
Nationally, Delaware has the fourth-highest concentration of employed PhDs in health, science and engineering. And more than 31 percent of Delawareans hold bachelor’s or advanced degrees. Delaware also boasts some of the nation’s most respected research universities, a nationally-recognized historically black university, a coding school and a design college, as well as easy access to more than 100 of the nation’s most respected universities, medical schools, liberal arts colleges and Ivy League institutions. Delaware’s workforce programs make it easy to find exactly the kind of employee you need, and they secure future growth with programs that start at the middle school level.
Fair Square Financial Services chief marketing officer Florian Egg-Krings says his Delaware-located company looks to its own backyard for new recruits. The market-disrupting credit card company now has 78 employees, many of whom have prior experience in Delaware’s credit card industry or lifestyle marketing.
One of French multinational company Air Liquide’s advanced fabrication centers is located in Newark, Delaware
“The number one reason why we located in Delaware,” he says, “is the talent.”
Ease of Incorporation
As one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, the world-class services of Delaware’s Division of Corporations (DOC) provide businesses and their advisors with prompt and efficient services. The DOC is open 15 hours a day to accommodate filing requests from around the world and offers expedited services for urgent and time-sensitive matters.
Because so many companies are incorporated in Delaware, a robust infrastructure has developed for corporate governance and intellectual property. Delaware also is home to a large community of business professionals with the experience and expertise to help get your business started. Most major financial institutions have a presence in Delaware, providing access to lending.
Internationally Trusted and Respected Business Law
With more than a century of experience, Delaware’s business law system is internationally respected and trusted. Delaware business law judges are appointed, not elected, which is particularly important as it allows companies access to a level of business law experience that surpasses other business law in America.
“A court of equity means it’s a court of equity and fairness,” notes Doneene K. Damon, president of Delaware’s oldest and largest law firm. “Unlike other courts where you are really looking for damages or money to compensate you for a harm you have suffered or something that has gone wrong, the Chancery Court really focuses on what is fair and equitable for the parties involved in a dispute.”
Delaware’s business law judges apply corporate law in a way that is consistent, which is one of the key reasons businesses look to Delaware as an internationally recognized legal brand. More than 1.4 million business entities from around the world call Delaware their legal home — including two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies.
DPP Helps You Access Delaware
DPP was created in 2017 and fully staffed by 2018. The 12-member team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business. The team helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analysis and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. It also issues white papers and publishes reports such as “Delaware in a FinTech Future” and helps publicize the successes of Delaware businesses and their talent.