Business Climate

The Madison Region’s cooperative spirit and strong support network create a culture built to sustain growth, and offers a business climate that enables industries to flourish.

From business-friendly policies to competitive incentives, the Madison Region provides a welcome home for companies looking to start, expand, or locate.

As the region’s lead economic development agency, MadREP has cultivated solid relationships across all eight counties, including business and community leaders, elected officials, industry councils, and economic development professionals to increase the region’s global competitiveness by addressing the current and future needs of our diverse businesses, entrepreneurs, and workforce.

Both the Madison Region and the State of Wisconsin continue to create a climate conducive to business success. MadREP works with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) – the state’s leading economic development agency – to provide programs, resources, and support to new and growing businesses. And organizations such as the Madison International Trade Association provide export assistance to help the region’s businesses look beyond domestic markets and take advantage of global growth opportunities.

Wisconsin has taken great strides to make our state a better place for business. The success of businesses in Wisconsin is the result of many forces, new and old, coming together: our location, skilled workforce, commitment to cutting-edge research, and business policies.

Wisconsin has a wide range of state tax incentives in place to help businesses grow and create jobs, including targeted tax credit, loan, and grant programs.

The Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit offers tax credits and exemptions on sales and property tax for qualifying businesses, virtually eliminating tax on income from manufacturing or agricultural activity in the state.

Businesses beginning to operate, relocating, or expanding in Wisconsin are eligible for Business Development Tax Credits for creating or retaining full time jobs.

Training Grants are available to assist businesses in upgrading or improving job-related skills for full time employees.

Certified in Wisconsin sites are shovel-ready to help your business expand or relocate in less time. A Certified In Wisconsin site has the key reviews, documentations and assessments most commonly required for industrial uses. 

MadREP offers our own Gold Shovel verification program using the same criteria as the State program with a simpler review process and lower cost.

To learn more about programs and business incentives, visit Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for details on tax incentives for businesses.

Please contact us to learn more about incentives available in the Madison Region, as well as loans available to assist with working capital, infrastructure improvements, and training costs

Wisconsin has recently risen through state rankings, climbing from from the lower ten (higher taxes) to the upper half (lower tax burden). Important tax and regulatory reforms have been implemented in the state, with more underway to ensure Wisconsin remains a competitive place to do business.
  • Regional Sales and Use Tax: The Wisconsin statewide sales tax rate is 5%. All counties in the region assess an additional 0.5% county tax rate for a total sales tax of 5.5%, below the national median of 5.95%.  
  • Unemployment Insurance Tax: Wisconsin employers pay unemployment insurance taxes on each employee’s wages up to the taxable wage base of $14,000. For more information about unemployment insurance, visit Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. 
  • Individual Income Tax: Wisconsin individual income tax rates vary from 4% to 7.65%, depending upon marital status and income. A table of individual income tax rates can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website.