High or low ranking? Is Maryland a pro-business state or not?

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is unquestionably enthused by a pro-business endorsement rendered the state by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. That entity gives Maryland high marks for business innovation and entrepreneurship, ranking it preeminent among all American states in those categories. O’Malley obviously likes to pass along that view, mentioning it frequently in speeches.

What the governor prefers not to note is an alternative view advanced by the national nonprofit group Tax Foundation, which gives the state comparatively poor marks for its business and corporate tax policies. In stark contrast to the chamber’s number-one ranking, the foundation places Maryland near the bottom of all states, making its business climate appear decidedly unwelcoming.

Which view is correct? Is Maryland a Mecca for business start-ups and efficient corporate policies or, alternatively, does the state place hurdles in front of business entrepreneurs and established corporate actors?

As is similarly true with many things in life, the truth would seem to reside somewhere in the middle. The chamber’s view is based on a single segment of business analysis, with the foundation’s assessment — based solely on tax-related matters — being similarly confined.

There are obviously many — and complex — components involved with business activities in Maryland and every other state. Tax policies obviously necessitate accurate and creative tax planning strategies. Contractual disputes must be anticipated and defended against, as must myriad other types of litigation that can potentially arise.

Corporate realities in Maryland often make it sensible for business principals to closely ally with members of a proven Maryland business law and litigation firm. Attorneys with long-tenured and broad-based business experience in the state can provide sound advice and aggressive representation in any business-related matter.

Source: Insurance News Net, “Studies ranking states’ business climates are all over the map,” Jim Pettit, June 10, 2014

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