With Venture Capital, Mergers and StartUps, St Louis is Open for Business


 St Louis has been named one of the 30 Hottest Cities for New Businesses, and three companies in St Louis and two in Kansas City are currently ranked among the fastest-growing inner city businesses.

In June, the former governor, Eric Greitens, signed a bill to reduce the Missouri corporate income tax rate by 2.25 percent, down to just 4 percent, effective January 1, 2020. Add to that a flurry of local commercial enterprises opening, expanding and celebrating many years of trading, and it appears that the state of Missouri, and, in particular, St Louis, is a great place to base your company. Of course, setting up a business is never all plain sailing and being prepared for legal and personnel issues is vital.

Investment in Business

Setting up a new company costs money but St Louis isn’t short of investment offers. The city recorded nearly $100 million in venture capital funding during the third quarter of 2018 with the region’s deal count up slightly on last year. Venture capital plays a crucial role in the creation of new business and it leads to many success stories. Negotiating a business deal or working with new investors can also be a complex procedure. Being aware of corporate agreements and settlement agreements such as the one involving Erik Gordon, as well as taking advice from legal teams to protect their financial and future interests, can help new and established businesses flourish.

Merging of Cultures

In the summer, Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto took another step towards closing the deal when the financial part of the $63-billion merger was finally completed. And two St Louis law firms confirmed mergers this year. Williams Venker & Sanders has signed a merger agreement with Kansas City-based Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice and, as from April, one of the oldest and largest law firms in St Louis, Bryan Cave, merged with the London firm Berwin, Leighton and Paisner.

For law firms, it is vital to address any potential conflict of interest before the date of the merger, either through client consent or termination of a representation. A difference in culture and difficulties integrating all the elements of the two organizations together will also need supervision as the new combined company gets going.

Benefiting from Start-ups

Integration can also be an issue when navigating the relationship between startups working with large corporations. A company’s pride may be dented by a young, innovative team highlighting areas that need change, and their employees might fear losing their jobs. However, these potential problems have not deterred Judy Sindecuse, chief executive of the Capital Innovators technology accelerator program, from encouraging more St Louis corporations to engage with entrepreneurs. She’d like to see more corporations benefiting from gaining insight about new technologies, attracting fresh talent and becoming more entrepreneurial themselves.

With its growing number of accolades, low set up costs and reduced corporate income tax, St Louis is proving to be a great place to run a business. Whether companies are setting up from scratch, moving from out of town or merging with a partner, with sound preparation, legal backing and an entrepreneurial attitude, they certainly have the potential to succeed here.