Small businesses have long been the backbone of the American economy, employing hundreds of millions of Americans throughout the years. Unfortunately, increasing regulation, taxes, and globalism have taken a significant toll on many small businesses. Thankfully, there are still several states that possess a vibrant environment for them. The five best states to start a small business are Texas, Utah, Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Texas, one of the largest and fastest growing states in the union, has a great environment for small businesses. A state with no income tax, actually forbidding it in its constitution, Texas provides citizens with more disposable income, increasing the opportunity for small businesses to benefit. Texas has very low startup costs for businesses, a quickly expanding labor force, and a very good overall infrastructure. Also, unlike so many other major cities in other states, the large urban centers of Austin, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, and San Antonio all have good environments for small businesses.
Utah, the smallest state in this list, has been widely recognized by Forbes and CNBC as having a great small business environment. Utah has been ranked the best environment for small businesses by Forbes a record 6 times since 2006. With extremely low business costs and energy costs that are about 15% lower than the national average, starting a business in Utah is a very lucrative endeavor. Utah has a highly educated workforce, very low taxes, and few regulations, most notable regulations regarding zoning. Also, despite being located in the Mountain West, Utah benefits greatly from international trade.
Virginia has been consistently ranked as the best environment for small business 5 times by Forbes magazine since 2006. Its healthy labor supply and high quality of life ranking give it a vibrant workforce, and its business-friendly health and safety regulations allow small businesses to thrive. While some analysts note that perhaps the most negative aspect of Virginia’s small business environment is its networking and training programs, even these are better than those of most states in the United States.
Georgia, like Texas, has a rapidly growing population. Possessing very minimal start-up costs and regulations for new businesses, Georgia has a very good infrastructure in place for small businesses, and a strong, able workforce ready to participate. Perhaps the one noted downside of Georgia’s small business environment was its noted dearth of networking and training programs. Despite this factor, Georgia remains a powerful player for small business start-ups.
North Carolina, the final state on this list, has been ranked the top business environment for small businesses by Forbes 2 times. North Carolina has a very high-quality workforce, start-up costs that are far below the national average, and few regulations. North Carolina ranks highly in nearly every known economic metric for small businesses. Like Georgia and Texas, North Carolina’s population is growing rapidly, as many Americans see the value of the economic environment provided by North Carolina. North Carolina probably provides the best environment for start-up businesses in the United States, both now and in the foreseeable future.