Wisconsin Incentives and Workforce Development Guide
For a list of Wisconsin economic development agencies that can help with the site selection process, visit our Online Site Seekers’ Guide.
- Business Opportunity Loan Fund:
- Financing options ranging from loans to loan guaranties for businesses making investments to expand in or relocate to Wisconsin
- Impact Loan Program:
- Forgivable loans to businesses with expansion projects providing job creation or retention; capital investment; and significant impact
- Industrial Revenue Bonds:
- A unique type of revenue bond organized and issued by a state or local government, the proceeds of which are directed to a private, for-profit business
- Clean Energy Revolving Loan Fund:
- Low interest loans funded through the State Energy Program in partnership with the State Energy Office available to manufacturers in the clean energy sector seeking to expand operations
- Brownfield Grants:
- Grants to local governments, businesses, non-profits and individuals for developing commercial and industrial sites that have been adversely affected by environmental contamination
- Brownfield Site Assessment Grant:
- Grant funds to approved projects to assist local governments with conducting initial environmental assessment and demolition activities on an eligible abandoned, idle or underutilized industrial or commercial site.
- Idle Industrial Sites Redevelopment Program:
- Highly competitive program offering grants to Wisconsin communities for the implementation of redevelopment plans for large industrial sites that have been idle, abandoned or underutilized for at least five years
- Community Development Investment Grant Program:
- Financial support for shovel-ready projects with particular emphasis on downtown community driven efforts that deliver significant, measurable benefits in job opportunities, property values, and/or leveraged investment by local and private partners
- Capacity Building Grants:
- Grants to assist local and regional economic development groups to create an advanced economic development network within the state
- Certified Sites Program:
- Consistent standards developed for Wisconsin sites consisting of at least 50 contiguous, developable acres signaling that key approvals, documentations and assessments for industrial uses are already in place
- Capital Catalyst Program:
- Grants to local organizations that contribute matching dollars to locally-managed seed fund for investments in high-growth, technology based companies.
- Technology Development Loan Program:
- Flexible lending program designed to assist high-tech startup and emerging growth companies in financing the development and launch of innovative products and services
- Seed Accelerator Program:
- Provides grants to eligible communities and other organizations to support a pre-seed business model program that incorporates training, mentoring and financial assistance to entrepreneurs in their area. Grant funds may be used as seed capital for companies in the accelerator, as well as for costs associated with initiating the accelerator program.
- Global Business Development Grants:
- Grant funding to support the growth and expansion of exports by Wisconsin companies
- Development Opportunity Zones:
- Non-refundable tax credits for new and expanding businesses in the cities of Beloit, Janesville and Kenosha to assist with capital investment and the creation and retention of new, full-time jobs
- Qualified New Business Venture (QNBV) Program:
- Allows eligible investors to claim a 25% tax credit on the amount they invest into QNBV-certified businesses
- Jobs Tax Credit:
- Available for businesses for taxable years that begin on or after January 1, 2010. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) must certify that the company is operating or intends to operate a business in Wisconsin and that a contract has been entered into with the WEDC. The credit is based on the amount of wages paid to eligible employees in the taxable year, subject to a maximum amount of 10% of such wages, and the costs incurred by the claimant to undertake training activities in the current year. If the allowable credit exceeds the tax due, the balance will be paid to the company.
- Job Creation Deduction:
- A subtraction from federal income is allowed based on the increase in the number of full-time equivalent employees that are employed in Wisconsin during the taxable year. The subtraction from federal income is equal to $2,000 per eligible employee for businesses with gross receipts greater than $5 million or $4,000 per eligible employee for businesses with gross receipts of $5 million or less. The employer can be an existing or a new business and must increase the number of full-time equivalent employees employed in Wisconsin during the taxable year. The business relocation credit or deduction cannot also be claimed.
- “Full-time equivalent employee” means an employee who is a resident of Wisconsin, is employed in a regular, non-seasonal job, and who, as a condition of employment, is required to work at least 2080 hours per year, including paid leave and holidays.
- “Employee” means any officer of a corporation or any individual who has the status of an employee or any individual who performs services for remuneration for any person.
- Relocated Business Tax Credit or Deduction (Expires 12/31/13):
- Available for taxable years that begin on or after January 1, 2011 and before January 1, 2014. A corporation or tax-exempt corporation may claim the relocated business credit. An individual, estate or trust may claim the relocated business deduction. To qualify, the claimant must (1.) locate to Wisconsin from another state or country and begin doing business in WI during the taxable year; (2.) must move at least 51% of the business workforce payroll or at least $200,000 of the workforce wages to the state during the year the credit is claimed; (3.) must not have done business in Wisconsin during the two taxable years preceding the first taxable year the credit or deduction is allowed. The credit is equal to the amount of income or franchise tax liability, after applying all other allowable credits, deductions and exclusions, for two consecutive taxable years beginning with the year in which the taxpayer’s business relocates and begins doing business in WI. The deduction from federal income is allowed for the net business income earned by the relocated business for two consecutive taxable years beginning with the year in which the taxpayer’s business relocates and begins doing business in WI.
- Wisconsin Dairy & Livestock Farm Investment Credit:
- A nonrefundable credit equal to 10% of the amount the claimant paid in the taxable year for dairy or livestock farm modernization or expansion related to the operation of the claimant’s dairy or livestock farm. The aggregate amount of credits that a claimant may claim is $75,000. The credit must be claimed within four years of the unextended due date of the tax return. This credit is available for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2006 and before January 1, 2014. The maximum credit available during this six year period is $75,000 except that no more than $50,000 of this amount may be based on costs incurred prior to May 27, 2010.
- Wisconsin Dairy Manufacturing Facility Investment Credit (Expires 12/31/13):
- Businesses engaged in processing milk into dairy products or processing dairy products for sale commercially may be eligible to claim a refundable credit equal to 10% of the amount paid for modernization or expansion of a dairy manufacturing facility in the taxable year. The credit is available for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2006, and before January 1, 2014; however, dairy cooperatives may claim the credit in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2008, and before January 1, 2014. The maximum credit that the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) may allocate to all claimants other than dairy cooperatives for fiscal year 2008-09 and thereafter is $700,000.The maximum credit that DATCP may allocate to all claimants who are members of dairy cooperatives for fiscal year 2010-11 and thereafter is $700,000.
The total maximum credit that a claimant may claim is $200,000. However, for tax-option (S) corporations, partnerships, LLCs treated as partnerships, and dairy cooperatives, each shareholder, partner, or member may claim a credit in proportion to his or her ownership interest, except that the aggregate amount of credits claimed by all persons who own and operate the facility may not exceed $200,000. The credit is refundable.
- Wisconsin Meat Processing Facility Investment Credit (Expires 12/31/13):
- Businesses engaged in processing livestock into meat products or processing meat products for sale commercially may be eligible to claim a refundable credit equal to 10% of the amount paid in the taxable year. The credit is available for taxable years beginning on or after January1, 2009 and before January 1, 2014. The maximum credit that the DATCP may allocate to all claimants for fiscal year 2010-11 and thereafter is $700,000. The total maximum credit that a claimant may claim is $200,000. However, for tax-option (S) corporations, partnerships, and LLCs treated as partnerships, each shareholder, partner or member may claim a credit in proportion to his or her ownership interest, except that the aggregate amount of credits claimed by all persons who own and operate the facility may not exceed $200,000. The credit is refundable.
- Wisconsin Manufacturing & Agriculture Credit:
- Available to individuals and entities for taxable years that begin on or after January1, 2013, for manufacturing and agricultural activities in Wisconsin. The credit is a% age of “eligible qualified production activities income.” The credit is calculated by multiplying eligible qualified production activities income by one of the following ages.
- For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012, and before January1, 2014, 1.875%
- For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013, and before January 1, 2015, 3.75%
- For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2014, and before January1, 2016, 5.526%
- For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, 7.5%
For individuals, the credit is limited to the amount of income tax paid on the income from which the credit is based.
For a corporation, eligible qualified production activities income is the lesser of:
- eligible qualified production activities income,
- income apportioned to Wisconsin, or
- income taxable to Wisconsin as determined by
- combined reporting law, if the corporation is a member of a Wisconsin combined group
- Workforce Training Grants:
- Grants for businesses to upgrade or improve the job-related skills of a business’s full-time employees
- Export Technical Assistance:
- Assistance to expand the sale of Wisconsin-made products outside of the United States and to help companies develop an export strategy
- Export acceleration program to help Wisconsin companies expand their global market reach through targeted export strategy development and execution
WEDC’s Division of Business and Industry Development delivers customized solutions—technical and financial—to established business associations, consortia and industry cluster organizations in order to create favorable conditions for expanding existing Wisconsin industries and attracting new companies to priority industry sectors in Wisconsin. The division also supports minority business development by working with and providing resources for revolving loan funds and technical assistance to minority business development groups.