Whether you like to dream big dreams, blaze new trails, or are just looking for a change, starting a small business can be incredibly fulfilling. However, it can also be a challenge, which is why finding the right location for your business is crucial. Tax laws, population, and many other factors will play into how you choose the best spot for you to dig out your own niche. If you’re considering taking the plunge, check out this list of small business hot spots.
It’s no surprise that Houston, as well as many other metropolitan areas in Texas, tops many lists of business-friendly cities; the state of Texas is famous for the low regulatory burden it imposes on businesses, making business start-up comparatively headache-free. In Houston, the cost of living is low, city zoning laws are relaxed, and — best of all — there is no state personal income tax. It may also interest female readers to know that Houston won second place on Forbes.com’s list of the fifteen best cities for female entrepreneurs.
Austin, Texas is a chart-topper when it comes to business-friendly metros, winning notoriety for still managing to add 170 businesses within a year during the worst of the recession. Its suburb, Georgetown, may be particularly attractive to small-business entrepreneurs — it has a little more breathing room, less of the big-city feel than Austin, and skips out on the heavy traffic and metropolitan congestion. However, Georgetown still enjoys the economic successes of Austin, having added 270 new businesses in the last two years. The city also offers low utilities cost, low property taxes, and is noted for being particularly beautiful among its neighboring municipalities.
Williston, North Dakota
Like Georgetown, Williston offers a chance to get away from the madness of the big city while still building a successful business in a growing local economy. In the last few years, Williston has become known as a leading ‘boomtown’ because of oil discoveries and drilling. As a result, the town’s population has nearly tripled, and its unemployment rate is almost zero. Small business success stories abound — read about Megan Wold’s dream-come-true coffee shop and Dave Ludwig’s lucrative cell service booster business for some inspiration.
Looking for a slightly cooler climate? Try Minneapolis, Minnesota on for size. According to The Business Journals, Minneapolis-St. Paul is the ‘best of the Midwest’ for small businesses for the second year in a row. It boasts about 27 small businesses per 1000 residents and has a population that still appears to be growing.
Raleigh, North Carolina
In Raleigh, you’ll find that the barbecue is delicious and the sweet tea and small business are thick. Average incomes are high, and cost of living is low. The city is known for its growing research and technological industries and has seen steady growth for the last fifty years, according to Kiplinger. No local income tax and lots of opportunities to attract private investors are added incentives to check out Raleigh if you’re thinking about starting a business.
Beautiful on the eyes, and hopeful for the spirit. Take your pick from any of these welcoming cities and towns.
Shahsi kumar works at Jobs8Home where he writes about small business in India. If you are looking to start a small business, don’t forget to read his advice & ideas.