If you are starting a new business and can do it anywhere, where should you be considering? While staying in your hometown might be the best option, moving might be a good way to get ahead during the tough startup years. Taxes, a low cost of living, a fun lifestyle and an entrepreneur friendly community are all things that should be highly considered. Here are the top places to start a business in America.
#10 Austin, Texas
Austin is a one-of-a-kind place that's not just unique to Texas but to the whole country. It defies stereotypes: It's progressive and fiercely entrepreneurial, pro-business and pro-environment. It's easy going and hard working.
Year after year the Austin area gets top marks for its quality of life. The country's 13th largest city with all the positive attributes of a smaller town: quality health care, low crime rates, affordable housing, outstanding schools, and a low cost of living. Their sunny climate includes lush green hills, cool natural springs and miles of hike and bike trails.
Texas ranks well for individual income taxes (6th). The median home value is $270,000.
#9 Wilmington, North Carolina
A growing population, strong tourism industry and proximity to the beach make this port city ideal for businesses. Wilmington has about 15 businesses for every 100 people, with nearly 900 businesses downtown.
North Carolina ranks well for individual income taxes (15th). The average home in Wilmington cost $190,000.
#8 Tampa, Florida
Good schools, excellent health care, an array of water sports and professional sports teams give Tampa residents plenty to cheer for. Tourism, agriculture, technology and construction industries anchor Tampa's economy. A thriving restaurant scene, fun attractions and museums draw many visitors and keep residents entertained.
Comprised of the waterfront cities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa, this sun-soaked region of 4 million residents is making a serious play to create one of the country’s most desirable entrepreneurial hubs.
Florida ranks well in all business tax categories. 1st in individual income taxes, 12th in sales tax, 14th in corporate taxes and 16th in property taxes. The median sales price for homes in Tampa is $190,000.
#7 Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University. Many high-tech companies including Hewlett Packard, Intel, AMD, among others, have relocated to Fort Collins to take advantage of the resources of CSU and its research facilities. Up and coming industries within the area include clean energy, bioscience, and agri-tech businesses. The large college-age population supports the local music circuit and a number of well known microbreweries, which give the city, its college-town atmosphere.The Downtown Business Association hosts a number of large festivals each year in the historic Downtown district, including the NewWestFest in late summer, which features local cuisine, music, and businesses.
Colorado ranks well for corporate taxes (12th) and individual income taxes (16th), but poorly for sales taxes (43rd). The median sales price for a home in Fort Collins is $313,000.
#6 Charleston, South Carolina
Considering its rich history and architecture, booming restaurant scene, proximity to the beach and Southern hospitality, it’s no surprise that Charleston, South Carolina, is a major tourist destination. However, Charleston’s small-business owners and experts also say it’s a pretty attractive place to own a business.
South Carolina ranks well for corporate tax rank (13th) and sales tax (18th), but poorly for individual income taxes (41st). The median sales price for homes in Charleston is $245,000.
#5 MISSOULA, MONTANA
Missoula is dubbed the Garden City for its mild winters relative to the rest of Montana. Depending on the season, you can hike, ski, fish, enjoy rivers and ride mountain bikes. Missoula is located in an old, glacial lakebed, which is now cut by Clark Fork River. The University of Montana is also here.
Just as the university students leave each year, the tourists arrive. Missoula is 3 hours south of Glacier National Park and 3-and-a-half hours west of Yellowstone National Park. It is surrounded by national forests and a handful of wilderness areas. In short, it's not a bad place to hang out in the summer or (if you like the snow) winter.
Montana ranks well in all business tax categories. 18th for corporate taxes, 20th for individual income taxes, 3rd for sales taxes and 8th for property taxes. The median sales price for a home in Missoula is $230,000.
#4 Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is a cheap place to live, and taxes are low. Even better, the cooperative atmosphere that fosters its formidable music scene also makes it a great place for entrepreneurs.
Songwriters here work together, and the business community takes the same approach. There's a really connected, collaborative spirit. That sense of community also makes it easier for startups to strike deals with other business owners. Because you have such a transient population, it's a very open community.
Tennessee ranks well for individual income taxes (8th) and corporate tax rank (15th). The median sales price for homes in Nashville is $230,000.
#3 Ann Arbor, Michigan
This quintessential college town lays claim to the University of Michigan. Residents have easy access to the more than 300 restaurants located in a 20-mile radius of Ann Arbor, as well as the city's growing metropolitan area that features great schools, medical facilities, culture and more.
Michigan ranks well for corporate taxes (10th), individual income taxes (14th) and sales taxes (7th). The median sales price for homes in Ann Arbor is $256,000.
#2 Asheville, North Carolina
Visitors strolling around the cool art deco buildings or finding farm-to-table cuisine and craft beer everywhere they turn may presume Asheville has long been an affluent place. In reality, Asheville suffered decades of shuttered buildings, areas with a full-on “ghost town” feel. But starting in the mid-80s, a group of visionary citizens led one of the most amazing economic transformations in the US. Forward to 2015: Calendars full of next-level music / arts /
North Carolina ranks well for individual income taxes (15th). The median sales price for a home in Asheville costs $235,000.
#1 CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE
The transformation started in 2010, when Chattanooga got the Gig—one-gigabit-per-second fiber-optic Internet service that’s taxpayer owned and available to every home and business at affordable rates. The Gig showed that Chattanooga was committed to developing business. Over $50 million has been pumped into new businesses over the past five years.
There are also plenty of ways to take advantage of Chattanooga's waterfront location. The city sits on the banks of the Tennessee River, and its Riverwalk serves as a launching point into the Tennessee River Blueway. Along the Blueway, kayakers and canoeists can visit nature preserves or paddle right into the breathtaking Tennessee River Gorge.
Chattanooga also offers plenty of hiking trails, like the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway, and the Tennessee Riverwalk, Both are linear parks located in a reserved area, called Greenways.
Tennessee ranks well for individual income taxes (8th) and corporate tax rank (15th). The median sales price for homes in Chattanooga is $143,000.
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