Where are the best business-friendly states in America?

states business
(John Matychuk/Unsplash photo)

It’s 2019 and let’s face it, you could start a business from anywhere. You can work in your bedroom at your mom’s house with barely more than a laptop and an internet connection. Almost anyone can start a business. You could hire out your services as a dog walker and with a great website and social media presence you could take your local area by storm.

But, not all businesses are equal, if you want to do more than make a little pocket money, if you’re going to start a serious business with room to grow and you want to take on the global market, then where you are matters.

In 2018, the consensus showed that there were over 30 million small businesses in the US. Some of these were based solely online. Some, were 100% brick and mortar. Most, were a bit of both.

Some sold products, others services and a fair few didn’t sell anything at all. Some businesses made peanuts, others a heftier sum. There were small businesses in the health and wellbeing industry — others in the electronics business and many in between. The best places to start your business to an extent will always depend on what it is.

A new hip restaurant serving authentic street food fusion won’t do well in an old money part of town where most of the residents are joining the (now virtual) pension queue. A hairdressers in silicon valley doesn’t sound quite right either. When planning your business and finding the right spot, what you do, and who you serve should play a significant role in your considerations. Find your audience, and go to them, whether that’s off or online.

There are other things that we consider when we think about what makes an excellent place to start a business, and some states come out on top. We think about how much it will cost to rent premises, and what the target market looks like. We should consider the costs of suppliers and advertising space, as well as the local competition.

You should always think about the areas reputation and the connections that you might be able to make. Taxes and other startup costs should also come into consideration.

It’s also vital that you remember, the best place to start a business, might not be the best place for you to live. As well as thinking about the pros and cons for your business to put our list together we also need to think about things like the cost of living and quality of life. The unemployment rates and the housing market.


Ohio can be a fantastic place to start LLCs. Once upon a time, Ohio was home to much of the country’s heavy industry. It was filled with manufacturing plants and factories. Then, as the economy declined, factories closed down, jobs were lost, and the area fell into decline.

For a long time, the economic ecosystem in Ohio was distraught. It needed something to help it to recover. This gives the entrepreneurs of the area a chance to shine. To bring something new to the table, to offer the people of Ohio new jobs, a repaired economy and a breath of fresh air.

The cost of starting a business is relatively low compared to other areas, and the startup activity levels are high. People are looking for new opportunities and keen to turn the area around. The cost of living in Ohio is much cheaper than other areas, giving people moving into the area a chance to find their feet, and the quality of life is improving as the economy recovers.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a hotbed of new businesses. Many of which thrive and develop in time. It’s got low startup costs and a great labor market that are skilled, well trained and looking for work.

New Hampshire offers an educated and relatively affluent market, with plenty of opportunities to make connections with other businesses. While this can mean that competition is high, it also means that there’s a fantastic small business community to help you get started.

New Hampshire is also popular with tourists, which can be hugely beneficial to new business and perhaps why so many succeed in the area.

New Hampshire is also home of the Free State Project, an initiative for freedom-loving Americans who believe in free market capitalism, fiscal responsibility and libertarian ideals which are supportive of business and commerce.


New businesses in Nebraska have exceptional access to capital. Banks are more likely to lend. Coupled with low startup costs and lower than average costs of a premise, this can make Nebraska an ideal state to start your business.

Nebraska also has a high level of education, with The University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising producing talented and knowledgeable workers all of the time. Omaha also attracts theatergoers and lovers of the arts, giving you a good audience for your new business.


If you are considering a move to Colorado, the fantastic access to healthcare and other benefits can be a big perk. The quality of life is great, and the cost of living around average. The city of Denver boasts 390 new entrepreneurs out of 100,000 adults each month, and almost 72% of them claim to rely on their businesses for income. People are starting up, and they are making it work.

Businesses are starting every day, people are inspired and keen to succeed. The markets are vibrant, employees are available, and there is an active business community to support you.


A great advantage of starting a business in Texas is that unlike most other states, it doesn’t have just one or two economic centers. Instead, it has multiple clusters of substantial economic growth. Wherever in Texas you chose to set up, you’d be near to an economic hotspot. It’s also home to a massive energy industry and a bit of a housing bubble.

Texas also has a high level of startup activity, with new business opening and doing well, regularly. The cost of living is reasonable, the quality of life high, and there’s good access to healthcare and education.


Utah offers some financial perks to entrepreneurs. Business taxes are low, and access to capital is good. Banks are lending, startup costs are low, the cost of living is low, and business premise are cheap to rent. Utah also offers fantastic education with The University of Utah, Utah State, and Brigham Young University shelling out knowledgeable and keen staff each year.

Away from business, Utah also offers some advantages. As well as access to education your family will have excellent healthcare services, cheaper than average housing and a good quality of life.


Florida is home to excellent business tax levels as well as no personal income tax. It’s got a fantastic tourist market, a healthy housing market and good access to education and healthcare. Florida hosts over 100 startups to every 1000 businesses, making it one of the best states for startup activity. Miami, in particular, has a great startup rate as well as a large amount of venture capital funds. Orlando is another big city for startups.

North Dakota

North Dakota has a high density of startups, as well as good startup taxes and a favorable economic ecosystem. However, despite the good quality of life, it has the second lowest percentage of available employees in the US, so might not be the state for you if you are looking for skilled and well-trained employees and you don’t have the budget to tempt them away from their current posts.


While having one of the highest cumulative sales taxes and property taxes in the Midwestern United States, Tennessee has been making some changes which will make the state more attractive to businesses.

The Tennessee legislature voted in 2016 to repeal the Hall tax, which was levied on wage income in place of an individual income tax. It called for the reduction of the tax to 5 percent during 2016 and annual reduction of 1 percent until January 1, 2021, when the tax on all wage income is eliminated.

Additionally, with no taxation on interest and dividend income as well as retirement income and a flat 6.5% corporate tax, it creates for a business-friendly environment. It may be easier to establish in a less populated locale, as cost of living in and around Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville will be high.


Wyoming is quickly becoming one of the best states to start a new business in 2019. They don’t have a corporate income tax, individual income tax or gross receipts tax. The sales tax rate is also low. This all means that starting your business is affordable, and sustaining it even more so. Because of this, there’s a high rate of small businesses and a strong startup activity as well as a fantastic record on small business survival past the first two years.

From a personal point of view, the Wyoming housing market is active, the cost of living very affordable and plenty of access to health and wellness facilities. Not to mention plenty of fresh air.

When it comes down to it, you need to think about your own situation. Ohio might be a great place to start a business, but if you live on the other side of the country and can’t afford to uproot your life. Or, you’ve got other things tying you down, then it’s not right for you.

Think about your situation and whether you can really afford to move. Think about school for the kids and jobs for your partner. Consider what you’d be leaving behind and weigh up whether that’s really worth it, before you decide to move somewhere else to start your business.

Whatever you do, take your time to make the right decision, and make it with those that it affects, as that is unlikely to be just yourself.

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