Why Companies Leave California

For those wanting to know more about the report, “Why Companies Leave California,” please scroll down to see the summary below.

“A study by business relocation consultant Joe Vranich estimates that … about 13,000 companies have left the state since 2008. Over the last decade, $76.7 billion in capital and 275,000 jobs have moved out of the state.” – Wall Street Journal.

Summary of Report: ‘Why Companies Leave California’

California’s business climate continues to deteriorate, so much so that a record number of companies are leaving the state. Joe Vranich, the report’s author, finds that the business-hostile climate continues to worsen at the state and local level. After reviewing legislation introduced through the end of 2018, he sees virtually no signs that the business climate will improve.

The report is the latest update to a series of studies about companies departing California for business-friendly states and foreign nations. One finding is that 1,800 relocation or “disinvestment events” occurred in 2016 (the most recent year available), setting a record yearly high going back to 2008 – and that at least 13,000 companies moved out of state during that nine-year period.

Three Previous Governors Quoted Earlier Reports

Three previous California Governors – Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian – cited findings from an earlier edition of Joe Vranich’s disinvestment report when expressing concerns about companies shifting their activities and expanding their operations out of state.

The Last Straw: Legal Environment Now Merciless

The top reason to leave the state has long been high taxes. But California now has such a brutal legal environment that business owners and corporations should consider jurisdictions where they will be treated fairly and respectfully.

“California politicians threaten businesses with one harsh law or regulation after another. Now, the state has reached a new low with an awful law,” said Joe Vranich. The report states:

California politicians triggered a “tipping point” with a new statute that puts businesses in a terrible “lose-lose” situation no matter how hard a company tries to operate in a legal manner.

California’s benign-sounding Immigrant Worker Protection Act specifies that an employer following Federal immigration law is now violating state immigration law and is committing a crime. However, it remains true that an employer failing to follow Federal immigration law is also a crime.

Think about it: California may put in legal jeopardy a business that is in compliance with all Federal and local laws, and all other state laws, an entity that pays a myriad of taxes and fees to public agencies, and one that creates employment – and all that seemingly can count for nothing in the state’s eyes.

The Future Holds What Other Cruel Laws?

The fact that it is an immigration law is irrelevant because it makes us wonder what comes next.

It’s little wonder that for several years the American Tort Reform Foundation said California is among the nation’s worst ‘Judicial Hellholes’ for businesses, a label that will persevere considering the laws passed in 2018 and 2019.

Business Departures

The study is brimming with information about companies that have left, why they did so, where they moved to, and what business owners and CEOs have said to support their decisions. One finding in the report is that many companies relocate even though they have not been offered economic incentives in their new state or community.

Departures are understandable when year after year CEOs nationwide surveyed by Chief Executive Magazine have declared California the worst state in which to do business. The state has a high-cost business tax climate, with the Tax Foundation in 2019 ranking California at No. 49 – the second worst in the nation, ahead of only New Jersey.

Where California Companies Relocated

The states gaining the most from California’s losses are Texas – it has held the first-place distinction for at least a decade – followed by Nevada and Arizona. Other states, including in the South and Midwest, also are gaining California companies.

The top municipalities gaining migration from California are Austin at No. 1, followed by Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Also, cities unfairly disparaged for being in “flyover” country are successful in attracting California companies, with Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis and Nashville among the top twenty.

Foreign nations have successfully recruited California companies with Mexico being No. 1, followed by India and China.

California’s Disinvestment Events by the Numbers

The ten California counties losing the most businesses were Los Angeles in the top spot, followed by Orange, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Diego, Alameda, San Mateo, Ventura, San Bernardino and Sacramento.

More headquarters leave California than any other type of facility and more manufacturers than any other industry.

During the study period, $76.7 billion in capital was diverted out of California along with 275,000 Jobs – and companies acquired at least 133 million square feet of space elsewhere. All such findings are understated because such information often went unreported in source materials.

The report addresses the state’s many years of hostility toward businesses, high utility and labor costs, excessively punitive regulations, worrisome housing affordability for employees, signs that more workers plan to leave California, and how the state lags behind other states in acquiring facilities that are being reshored from overseas.

How You Can Use this Report

A leader in a large corporation may relay findings in this study to their Board of Directors to justify shifting facilities, capital and jobs to business-friendly states. Doing so will reduce costs for taxes, fees and regulatory compliance, and lessen litigation risks.

The report also helps to identify out-of-state locations that offer welcoming and gracious business environments along with excellent quality of life factors.

Leaving the state may increase the ROI based on cost savings for labor, taxes, compliance and utilities – savings of 15 percent and up to 30 percent depending upon the location selected – along with peace of mind assuming that a prudent location choice is made.

Economic Development agencies have permission to quote information in the report to present to prospects seeking a new location.

The new report has received recognition in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes and countless local media outlets.

Joseph Vranich is a site selection consultant providing location advisory services to companies. In recent years he has discussed California’s business environment with more than 100 economic development agencies located in North America and Europe. In 2018 he relocated his company from Irvine, California to Cranberry Township, Pa. a suburb of Pittsburgh.

Company Website: http://spectr17.wwwaz1-ss35.a2hosted.com/


To purchase this report, please complete the boxes below. After hitting Submit, you will:

  1. See a new page open with a box for a Password – Keep that page open!
  2. Receive an email with a Password. Retrieve that Password and place it in the box on the Password page
  3. Hit Download
  4. The download will begin.