The uneven economic recovery has gotten many Americans thinking about starting their own businesses and moving to another state, but choosing where to move is a major consideration. Some states are better to do business in than others, considering tax consequences, state regulations and labor laws.
Regional economies are also growing faster in some states over others. The 10 best states for business determined by Money Examiners are generally more pro business or at least offer major advantages, and include some surprises.
10 Best States for Business
1- Virginia – The Old Dominion has been booming in recent years. The close proximity to the population centers in the Northeast and Washington D.C. benefits the state. Virginia offers hundreds of thousands of well-paid federal employees as customers, and the highest percentage of well-paid technology workers of any state’s work force. If that isn’t enough, Virginia benefits handsomely from cloud computing.
2- Delaware – This tiny state has the most economic freedom and the least regulation for business in the U.S., according to the Fraser Institute in Canada. That’s why all those giant corporations have headquarters there. Delaware is only a short train ride or drive from major cities, including Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia.
3- Nevada –offers lots of opportunity. In addition to low-priced real estate, the Silver state has no state income tax and a good location that’s only a few hours’ drive from California’s big population centers. It has also been attracting some industry in recent years, including distribution centers for companies.
4- Utah – Another pro-business Western state, one of the biggest attractions here is the energy costs that are 29% below the national average. Other benefits include a fast-growing population and a well-educated workforce. A drawback is the state’s location. It’s a long distance from population centers on the East and West Coasts.
5- California – Despite high taxes, gridlocked government, urban decay, and overpriced real estate, the Golden State is still a good place to do business. It has the nation’s largest economy, Silicon Valley, and the country’s highest per capita income city, San Jose. Workers in technology, real estate, and entertainment can still do extraordinarily well in California.
6- Texas – The Lone Star State is still among the fastest growing. Its economy has expanded 4.2% over the last few years, making it the second fastest-growing state in the nation.
Texas has no income tax and a very pro-business climate. The Fraser Institute ranked Texas as the state with the second highest level of economic freedom. Texas also has several of the nation’s fastest-growing cities.
7- Florida – Like Nevada, this state offers a lot of cheap real estate and no state income tax. It also offers some very interesting legal protections; you cannot lose your house or retirement benefits in bankruptcy in Florida, unlike most states. The lagging recovery in the Sunshine State means that some costs there are lower.
8- Nebraska – Don’t laugh, but Cornhuskers enjoy the third-lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Nebraska offers low real estate prices and a growing economy. The state’s principal industry, agriculture is doing well because of escalating prices for food and farmland.
9- Colorado – The Centennial State seems to be in full economic recovery with rising employment rates and sky-high real estate prices. Some of the attractions are a highly educated workforce with a higher standard of living and a booming tourism industry. Even though Denver is out of many people’s price range, other parts of Colorado like Colorado Springs are still very affordable.
10- Minnesota – Despite the cold weather, this state has a lot to offer. It has one of the best educated work forces in the U. S. with 92.5% of the population graduating high school. Minnesota also offers a high quality of life. Minnesota is well positioned to profit from both the energy boom in neighboring North Dakota and the agricultural renaissance taking place on the Great Plains. Its Minneapolis-St. Paul urban center is the big city closet to the oil and gas boom taking place in the Northern Great Plains.