How to Start a Business in Des Moines, IA – Useful Des Moines Facts 2023

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Start a Business in Des Moines, IA: When it comes to starting a business, entrepreneurs must look for the place with the most potential. Whether a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC, having a business in Des Moines, IA, is a plus for any entrepreneur. In general, setting up any form of business in Iowa, US, is the initial step to building an international brand.

Entrepreneurs across the globe are interested in starting and expanding their businesses in Des Moines, IA. With an urban population of 519180 (estimate), the city has a lot to offer to all emerging entrepreneurs. The main reason for this is the economic environment and flexibility of the business structure in Iowa. Like most places in the US, Des Moines, IA also offers business structures for all types of entrepreneurs; no matter what business you want to do, there’s a perfect solution for you. If you want to start limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, or a sole proprietorship, Des Moines, IA has a proper business environment for all.

How to Start a Business in Des Moines, IA

In this article, you will read about how to start a business in Des Moines and why you should choose Des Moines to start and run your business. We recommend you check below the important facts about Des Moines, IA; these might help you.

Des Moines, IA Household Income Statistics

Des Moines Median household income54843 USD
Des Moines households with dual income earners57.2 %
Des Moines households $150K+ Income7.9 %
Des Moines households $100K+ Income20.9 %
Des Moines households $100-150K Income13 %
Des Moines households $75-100K+ Income13.5 %
Des Moines households $50-75K+ Income19.9 %
Des Moines households $35-50K+ Income14.6 %
Des Moines households $25-35K+ Income10.8 %

Des Moines, IA Education & Labor force Facts

Des Moines residents with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)19.5 %
Des Moines residents with at least a 4-year degree28 %
Des Moines residents with a graduate degree8.5 %
Des Moines residents with a high school diploma but no more29.3 %
Des Moines residents with less than high school education13.3 %
Des Moines residents with some college but no more29.4 %
Des Moines residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (STEM fields)39.1 %
Des Moines households that own (rather than rent) their residence59.6 %
Des Moines residents 16 and older in the labor force70 %
Des Moines residents unemployed6 %

Des Moines, IA Demographics

Des Moines residents aged 0-913.8 %
Des Moines residents aged 10-1913.1 %
Des Moines residents aged 20-2917 %
Des Moines residents aged 30-3914.3 %
Des Moines residents aged 40-4912.1 %
Des Moines residents aged 50-5912.1 %
Des Moines residents aged 60-699.9 %
Des Moines residents aged 70-794.7 %
Des Moines residents aged over 802.9 %
The average size of resident families in Des Moines, IA3.26
Estimated population per square kilometer in Des Moines, IA943
Des Moines, IA urban population (estimate)519180
Des Moines, IA municipal population (estimate)215408

Now that you know what makes Des Moines of Iowa good for business, let’s get started with the exact steps on how to start a business in Des Moines.

How to Start a Business in Des Moines, IA

Starting a business in Des Moines, IA, needs planning, financial decisions, legal procedures, and a handful of other things. Be it a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC in Iowa, you must go through the following steps. These steps are general steps. They are subject to change depending on the structure of your business.Generally, starting a Limited Liability Company is easy to form. Read our guide on how to start an LLC before you start your own business. Here are the steps to set up your business in Des Moines.

Step 0: Decide on What Business to Start

Decide on What Business to Start

This is the first thing you work on, the type of business you want to start in Des Moines. Depending on that, you need to make your business plan. Apart from the legal documentation and process, you must include the following points in your business plan,

  1. Through market research on demand trend
  2. Complete Budget plan – funding your business. If you’re planning to start an LLC, then take a look at the cost of LLC
  3. What competitors are doing
  4. SWOT Analysis – check what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are
  5. Your targeted buyers

Once you have the entire plan with you, you can continue working on the legal structure of your business. LLCBuddy will guide you through the legal process of forming an LLC for your business. It’s very likely that you have already done this step 0, so that we won’t go deep into this step, let’s move to step 1.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

Choose Your Business Structure

The very first step after you decide on what type of business you want to start is to choose what type of business structure you want to form. You can form an LLC, a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a partnership. Each type of structure has different rules and regulations. For example, if you want to start a Iowa LLC, there are different types of tax and fee structures. An LLC formation is similar to forming a sole proprietorship. On the other hand, forming a corporation is much more complicated. The tax and fee structure is completely different in corporation formation.

Step 2: Name Your Business

Name Your Business

The next step in forming a business is to give it an appropriate name. Having a business name is not so easy task. You cannot pick a random name for your company. One has to follow proper naming guidelines before they name their company. Besides, before you settle a name, you must check if the name you are looking for is available to use. You can visit the official government site of Iowa to do the Iowa LLC name search before you pick the available name. Below are some of the naming rules you need to follow,

  1. You cannot name your business that has words or phrases like Bank, University, Government, or anything that can confuse people with a government sector. 
  2. If you are forming an LLC in Iowa, then you must include words like “LLC,” “LC,” “LLC,” “Liability Company,” and “L.L.C.” If it is an LLP, then you must include “LLP” in your business name.
  3. The name should reflect the nature of your business. Any name that can confuse people should not be picked.
  4. You can check if the name of your company is available. Through the business name search process, you can search if the desired name is available for use or not.
  5. You can reserve your business name for a certain time before you form your business in Des Moines, IA by filing a name reservation application.

The above-mentioned points are basic naming rules that all businesses have to follow while naming their company. As mentioned above, these rules are subjected to change depending on the structure of the business.

Step 3: Get a Registered Agent

Get a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person who receives all types of legal and official documents on behalf of the business. Whether a suit against your company or formation-related documents from the state, a Iowa LLC Registered Agent is responsible for receiving these documents at his/her official address. In general, anyone who has the right to conduct business in Des Moines can be a registered agent. However, there are some requirements to becoming a registered agent.

  1. The person has to be 18+ years of age.
  2. Must be a citizen of the Iowa
  3. Must have a physical street address in the Iowa
  4. Must have legal rights to conduct business in the Iowa

Anyone who fulfills the requirements can be a registered agent. Also, anyone from the company, your spouse, any relative, or yourself can be a registered agent. But, it is recommended that you hire a professional registered agent to look after your documentation. You can choose from the best LLC services that also offer registered agent for LLCs.

Step 4: Register Your Business

Register Your Business

The next step is to register your business under the Secretary of State, Iowa. The Articles of Organization (or certificate of incorporation) of your company should be submitted online, by mail, in person, or by fax to the Iowa SOS. You need to pay the state filing fee either by Credit Card or by check to the SOS while registering your business in the Des Moines, IA. Your Iowa LLC certificate of formation should have the following details about your business

  1. Company/Business name, address
  2. Registered Agent Name, address
  3. Member-managed or manager-managed (in case of LLC)
  4. Type of business

Depending on the type of business structure, you may have to add some more information to the formation document.

Step 5: Write the Operating Agreement

Write the Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that has all the structural information of your business. In most states, it is not mandatory to create an operating agreement. However, it is highly recommended to have one as an internal document. This document records information such as,

  1. About Business
  2. Members and management
  3. Capital contribution
  4. Profit Distribution
  5. Change of membership
  6. Dissolution

In future, if any member wants to leave the company or you want to dissolve the business, then the Iowa operating agreement has everything recorded, from clauses to contributions.

Step 6: Obtain EIN

Obtain EIN

EIN or Employer Identification Number is required to file taxes, open a business bank account, and if your business has employees. EIN can be obtained from IRS. It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. However, EIN is different from SSN. It is solely used for business purposes, especially for general tax filing. You have to fill out the form and submit it to the IRS website. It does not cost you anything to obtain EIN.

Step 7: Get Business Bank Accounts

Get Business Bank Accounts

Once you obtain the EIN for your business, you are free to open a business account in the US. Having a US business bank account can ease your business transactions in Des Moines, IA. It increases your business credibility and liquidity. It will also be helpful for business loans.

Step 8: Create Your Business Website

Create Your Business Website

Business websites are as important as your business structure. It is necessary to have a catchy business website with all the information regarding your company. Along with the website, you need some more things. Things such as logos, business cards, business emails, domain names, and social media accounts are needed to promote your business. You can hire a professional business service to get all of these services under one roof.

Other Things to do After Starting Your Business

  1. Once your company is set in the Des Moines, Iowa, you need to file your taxes and apply for licenses (if needed).
  2. Apart from the license and permits, you need to get insurance for your business. Such as General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance are some of the insurances you need to get if you are about to start an LLC.

Important Des Moines Stats for Starting a Business

Before you start a business in Des Moines, it is required that you know some facts about the city. Following are some of the stats to consider before starting a business.

Education & Employment

Des Moines has a diverse population that comes from various educational backgrounds. There are students who haven’t finished their high-school education, whereas there are people who are more than just college graduates. Check the table (Education & Labor Force) for detailed data. From the data, it is clear that the city has enough educated and skilled people who can contribute to the labor force.


As we talk about the urban population density, the young population percentage in the city is approximately 17 (people in their 20s) and 14.3 (people in their 30s). This means that having any business that is new and tech-based might be profitable. The median age of the population in the city is 34. On the contrary, if anyone wants to start a business that is related to any old-age service, such as caregiver, primary old-age support, or something of a similar sort, then Des Moines has approximately 2.9 (people in their 80s and above) percent of old people. Check out the table (Demography) above for more information.

Real Estate

Another important factor to mention about Des Moines is the home value of owned properties. The average value of owned houses is 140816. Also, the percentage of people living in their own houses is 59.6. This reflects the real estate market of the city. For a metropolitan city, this is a considerable number.


It is inevitable that living in a big city is different from living in a town or a comparatively smaller city. It directly affects lifestyle and health. It is obvious that having health insurance is important, no matter which city or region you are residing in. But there are people in Des Moines who still do not have health insurance. The rate of people not having health insurance is 6.4. This depicts the lifestyle and overall health demography of Des Moines. As you plan to start your business in this city, you must consider this stat as well.

Income & Lifestyle

The income pattern of the people in this city is given in the table (Income) above. In Des Moines, a part of the population has a dual family income that reflects a better standard of living. As in, people have more than one source of income. The table above shows the income percentage of various slabs.

Similar Read – How to Start Business In Murrieta, CA

Reasons to Start a Business in Des Moines

Des Moines offers a bunch of business-friendly services for entrepreneurs. A proper business environment, skilled labor, tax advances, deductions, and much more are awaiting if you are interested in starting your business in Des Moines. Here are some of the reasons,

Stable Economic Growth

Des Moines or any other city in Iowa has stable economic growth and an environment that helps any business to grow successfully. The economic structure of Iowa shows not only balanced but also a sustainable condition of economic growth, which in turn triggers the businesses to flourish in the state.

Minimize Personal Liabilities of the Entrepreneur

If you’re considering starting an LLC in Des Moines, then it will be your best choice. An LLC protects your personal assets and minimizes your personal liabilities. This is one of the many reasons why having an LLC in Des Moines is a wise choice. Also, if you are opting for an LLC, the tax deductions will be more than having a corporation.

Federal and State Tax Relaxation

There is a series of federal taxes that an entrepreneur has to pay when operating a business in the US. Depending on the state your company is located in, the state taxes are being imposed. For an LLC, both of these taxes are much lower compared to other business structures. Along with tax impositions, some tax deductions (state-wise) lower the filing fees and other government charges. Check out the Iowa LLC tax structure to know more about the tax structures for LLCs in the state.

Government Incentives for Entrepreneurs

Federal and state governments in the US ensure that entrepreneurs get a proper business environment in the state or city they are operating their business. The government provides a few incentives to the business holders in Iowa or any other state. That means if you are operating any business in Des Moines, then Iowa State will provide an incentive for creating jobs, contributing to the state’s GDP, and/or balancing the state’s tax structure.

Low Corporate and Other Business Taxes

Corporations and other business structures (except for an LLC) are liable to pay a corporate tax in Iowa. Also, there is a Sales Tax that all businesses, including LLCs, have to pay. However, the rate of taxes is very low. Besides, as the businesses receive incentives, the tax burden gets lower.

Skilled Labour & Quality Manpower

In Des Moines, it is easy to hire employees for your business. They are not only skilled but also well-educated to help your business grow. As mentioned above, the 70 is the percentage of labour participation. Hence, it is clear that having a business in Des Moines will make a lot of difference to the existing labor force.

Demand for New Market and Industry

In Des Moines, Iowa, there is an uprising demand for new industries and new markets. Entrepreneurs who are willing to start a business in any of the cities of any state are given enough opportunities to stay in business. Business licensing, tax deductions, incentives, and relaxation of business taxes are some of the benefits that encourage start-ups and budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in Des Moines.

If we follow the US Data, the median value of commute time for the residents to their work is approximately 19.1. If you are starting a business here, you must keep in mind that commutation can be a point to consider.

Intellectual Property Protection

The US government receives roughly more than 1 million applications for IPR every year. The federal government makes sure that there is no infringement of any patent or property rights. It does not matter which city in which state you are running your business. The rule of Intellectual Property Protection is the same for all. If you have a foreign business in the US, then you might get more benefits under the IPR act.

Other Benefits

Des Moines (aka ) is ranked at 2 in terms of importance. Apart from the above mentioned reasons, there are some other benefits that businesses enjoy in Des Moines. For example, technological advancement, a stable political environment, renewable resources, sustainable non-renewable resources, and some more benefits make things easier for entrepreneurs to start and run their businesses. According to US Data, the percentage of young people in Des Moines is 14.3. Hence, it would be great to start a business that is related to tech here as you might get a good number of clients.

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When Should You Start Business In Des Moines Iowa

Whether you’re just looking to start a business or are ready to expand your existing business, Iowa has you covered. The state ranks among the best places in the country to start a new business, and offers a wide range of services, enterprises, and industries. With a stable economy, a low unemployment rate, and a cost of living index that is significantly lower than the national average, Iowa is a savvy place to start a business.

To start a business in Iowa, you must choose the right business entity. Choosing an LLC (limited liability company) is a good way to get the benefits of a corporation without having to deal with the hassles. You can file your Certificate of Organization with the Iowa Secretary of State for just $50.

Iowa also offers a range of financial incentive programs to help new businesses get off the ground. These include half a dozen tax incentive programs. Some of these programs include exemptions for businesses that create 10 new jobs and capital investment of $500,000. The Iowa Business Resource Center also has a step-by-step guide on how to start a business in Iowa.

One of the most important things to do when you’re starting a business is to create a solid business plan. This is a great way to understand your market and to figure out how you can reach customers. It also helps you to decide how much you can afford to invest in your business.

A business plan is an essential part of starting a new business, as it helps you reach key milestones and get your business off the ground. A plan should include an overview of your company, an explanation of your business idea, and a list of any specific goals you have for the business. A business plan is also a great way to get a lender’s attention.

Another important part of starting a new business is finding the right people to help you grow. You’ll want to hire a good attorney, but you also need people to help with the day-to-day operations of your business. You may even consider hiring a marketing firm to help you build a social media presence.

To make sure your business name is unique and marketable, you’ll want to do a business name search. This can be done online or with the help of a local bookkeeper. If your search yields results, you’ll need to decide whether or not your name is available.

The business world is a competitive place, and you need to be able to outdo your competitors. If you don’t, you’ll end up losing out on the big bucks. You’ll also need to stay in compliance with state and federal laws. This is where hiring a dedicated bookkeeper can save you a bundle. They can provide you with tax advice and help you stay on top of your business finances. The average cost of a bookkeeper is about $100 to $200 a month.

FAQ About Des Moines, IA

Is Des Moines, IA a good place to start a business?

A vibrant and culturally diverse city, Des Moines, IA. Its economy is strong, its cost of living is cheap, and its population is growing rapidly. Numerous green businesses call the city home, and it is highly renowned for its green activities. A successful company may be launched in Des Moines.

What is the best area in Des Moines, IA to live?

Find the location that is perfect for your work or company while you’re trying to decide where to live in Des Moines, IA. You may choose your neighborhood in Des Moines, IA based on the clients your firm is trying to attract.

What business can I start with $1000 in Des Moines, IA?

You could start a business with $1000 in Des Moines, IA that offers a service to people who want to know what’s happening in the city. You could offer a service that provides a daily email with the top five events going on in the city today.

What is a Des Moines, IA registered agent?

A person chosen by the LLC serves as its registered agent in Des Moines, IA. The selection of a registered agent is required. Anyone over the age of 18 who is qualified to do business in Des Moines, IA may serve as a registered agent.

Is it hard to start a small business in Des Moines, IA?

If your company concept is sound, Des Moines, IA, is a terrific area to launch it. A lot of options exist for small enterprises in this thriving metropolis. Finding a niche that has not yet reached saturation is one of the finest ways to launch a small company.

How many unicorns are in Des Moines, IA?

There are now over a thousand unicorn enterprises in existence. Unicorns are also can be seen in Des Moines, IA. In contrast to other cities, the number is mediocrely excellent.

Why is Des Moines, IA so popular?

State residents love Des Moines, IA very much. The reason for this is that the city’s tertiary sector and industry have both recently seen significant growth. For business chances, both aspiring and established businesses desire to relocate to Des Moines.

How much does it cost to create an LLC in Des Moines, IA?

The formation of an LLC in Des Moines, IA, is not as costly as many people believe. You may form an LLC in Des Moines for as low as $50 if you already have a name. Additionally, a DBA or assumed name may be used to establish an LLC in Des Moines.

Do businesses pay taxes in Des Moines, IA?

In Des Moines, IA, the majority of enterprises are required to pay taxes. Whether a company is an LLC, LLP, corporation, or partnership will affect the tax rate. In Des Moines, IA, certain firms could benefit from tax benefits. That depends on the kind of company.

Why you shouldn’t move to Des Moines, IA?

Make sure the relocation will benefit both you and your company before deciding to make it to Des Moines, IA. You shouldn’t relocate to this location if the local government imposes more expenses on you as a company owner.

Why businesses are moving to Des Moines, IA?

The main reason why businesses are moving to Des Moines, IA is the strong economy the city has. The service sectors and existing industries in the city are making this possible. Other businesses are willing to move to Des Moines as the city’s economy is growing every day.

What kind of business can run itself in Des Moines, IA?

There is no self-running company in Des Moines, IA. Every company requires human interaction. It could take less of your time and effort if you select a company type that depends on technology than other types of enterprises in Des Moines, IA.

What requirements does Des Moines, IA require to start a business?

To start a business in Des Moines, IA you need to meet some requirements. First, you must have a right to conduct business in Des Moines, IA. Besides, you need to obtain a general business license to conduct business in Des Moines, IA.

What are 3 disadvantages of an LLC in Des Moines, IA?

An LLC in Des Moines, IA, offers many benefits, but it also has drawbacks. First, LLC owners must pay both income tax and self-employment tax. Second, in certain states, the death of any member results in the dissolution of the LLC. Finally, LLCs are more complicated than sole proprietorships.

Is Des Moines, IA good for startups?

Des Moines, IA, is an excellent area to go if you’re seeking for a spot to launch a business. Startups have access to a wealth of resources, not to mention tax advantages. For business owners, there are a number of excellent networking chances.

What is better than an LLC in Des Moines, IA?

Whichever is preferable to an LLC must be a single proprietorship in Des Moines, IA. However, it depends on the kind of company you wish to establish in Des Moines, IA. On the basis of it, you may decide whether an LLC or a single proprietorship is preferable.

How do I get an EIN number in Des Moines, IA?

If you live in Des Moines, IA, and need an EIN number, you may get one from the IRS. Through the IRS website, you may get the EIN in just a few minutes. If you are the proprietor of the business, you may even get an EIN number for it.

Is Des Moines, IA LLC friendly?

Des Moines, IA is regarded as a favourable location for LLCs. The many benefits that are accessible to business owners are the cause. Tax breaks and business financing are also accessible to entrepreneurs in Des Moines, IA.

Why is Des Moines, IA growing so fast?

In terms of economic development, Des Moines, IA is expanding quickly. This is taking place as a result of the city’s businesses and startups. In Des Moines, they make a significant economic impact. The city is attracting more enterprises. As a result, it is expanding quickly in comparison to other cities.

Is $18 an hour good in Des Moines, IA?

It’s not too awful for a startup to make $18 in Des Moines, IA. Even so, it would be fantastic to earn around $40 per hour in a place like Des Moines. But that is a solid income for a tiny company.

Which is the cheapest business to start in Des Moines, IA?

In Des Moines, IA, online companies are not only popular but also inexpensive to start. The least expensive businesses to establish in Des Moines, IA might be online legal consulting, online selling, or online education. Additionally, you might open a home office for your cake making company.

How much does a DBA cost in Des Moines, IA?

When launching a company in Des Moines, IA, a “Doing Business As” or DBA file is required. In Des Moines, IA, a DBA must be filed for $7. For LLCs in Iowa, use this sum.

Is a business license required in Des Moines, IA?

All kinds of enterprises may thrive in Des Moines, IA. You could have some inquiries concerning what is necessary if you are considering opening a company in Des Moines. A company license is necessary in Des Moines, right? It’s true that Des Moines, IA requires a business license.

Do I need insurance for my LLC in Des Moines, IA?

Yes, your LLC in Des Moines, IA needs insurance. According to the federal authority, if your LLC has employees, you must have workers’ compensation. However, some states have different rules. You can explore Iowa Secretary of State portal to know if insurance is mandatory in Iowa for LLC or not.

How hard is it to get funding for startup in Des Moines, IA?

It is hard to get funding for a startup in Des Moines, IA. Des Moines is home to several fantastic entrepreneurs that are in need of funding. The good news is that financing options are many. The bad news is that the competition is fierce, and the funding is limited.

How much does it cost to get a tax ID number in Des Moines, IA?

Numerous purposes call for tax identification numbers, but how much does obtaining one cost? In Des Moines, IA, obtaining a tax ID number is free. The IRS website offers a free tax ID number service.

How long does an LLC last in Des Moines, IA?

An LLC in Des Moines, IA lasts as long as you maintain the company and it is in operation. One has to renew the LLC in Des Moines, IA on time to prevent it from being shut down.

What does a registered agent do for a new company in Des Moines, IA?

In Des Moines, IA, you must use a registered agent when forming a new LLC. Anyone, including your friend, spouse, boss, or even you, might be the culprit. Every legal and official document you submit is accepted on your behalf by a registered agent.

Is moving to Des Moines, IA a good idea?

Whether relocating to Des Moines, IA, is a smart move or not is a little debatable. You may make a choice based on the kind of company you are doing. Des Moines offers fantastic prospects for aspiring business owners to launch their own enterprise.

What policies do I need for a small business in Des Moines, IA?

A few employee-related regulations are required if you run a small company in Des Moines, IA with a small staff. A few of these are equal opportunity, leave and attendance policies, workplace health and safety, and others. The most typical one is a health and safety policy.

What taxes do small businesses pay in Des Moines, IA?

Small companies must pay a certain amount of taxes in Des Moines, IA. It depends on how the firm is set up. Businesses are required to pay a variety of taxes, including sales tax, franchise tax, corporate income tax, and other taxes relating to company.

How long does it take to register a business in Des Moines, IA?

It’s not difficult to register a company in Des Moines, IA. Before you can begin, there are a few tasks to do. If you’re submitting online, it takes a day to register your company in Des Moines, IA.

How much does it cost to start my own business in Des Moines, IA?

Depending on the sort of company, Des Moines, IA’s startup costs may vary. A charge must be paid in order to register your company as an LLC. You also need to apply for a tax ID number and a business license.

Can I start my own business with no money in Des Moines, IA?

The kind of company you wish to launch will determine this. In Des Moines, IA, there might be government fees, license fees, and some other state taxes that you must be paid to start your business in the Des Moines, IA.

How fast can I create an LLC in Des Moines, IA?

In Des Moines, IA, setting up an LLC is a fast and simple procedure. All you have to do to complete the process is submit a document to the Secretary of State and pay the filing fee. The procedure may be finished in only one day, which is fantastic.

In Conclusion

Starting a business in Des Moines is not only easy but also profitable. A large portion of the US and even people from other countries are registering their business in the US for intercontinental brand building. Besides, Iowa has a sustainable economic atmosphere that is enough to encourage newbies to start and run their businesses in Des Moines, IA.

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