Some of the best states for startups are northwest and way, way northwest

With no corporate or individual income tax, Wyoming is the best place in the country to get your company off the ground.

According to, northwestern states like Wyoming and even further northwest — Alaska — are the best places for startups when it comes to survival rate, productivity, cost of living, and six other factors. Nevada rounded out the top three.

“If you’re an entrepreneur, it might pay off to consider launching your latest endeavor in a business-friendly state,” says Cameron Huddleston, money columnist for GOBankingRates.

But it does depend on what kind of business you want to start and how many people you need. While Alaska and Nevada are great for starting new businesses overall, they actually rank among the worst for education. You may have to look harder for qualified employees, spending more time and money and possibly having higher turnover rates. Not a great way to start a company, right?

Maybe try Texas: they’re No. 4 on the list of best startup locations. They’ve already got really low cost of living and really high salaries. GoBankingRates says Texas is so big, you don’t need to move to one specific area to be successful, but rather, you have your choice between a few different metropolitan areas: Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.

If you need highly educated employees, try Utah. They have the second-highest education level in the country and are sixth on the list of best states for startups. You’ll be in good company, too: Utah has the third-highest startup business density.

Weather’s a little more important to you? There’s always Florida: It ranks number 10 on the list with the second-highest startup business density, even higher than number 6 Utah.

But don’t take it too easy. The report shows that the worst place to start a company has, unfortunately, some of the best beaches in the world. According to GOBankingRates, Hawaii has some of the highest cost of living, and major startup costs, along with some of the worst education rates in the nation. All of these factors make it the worst place in the country for starting a business.

Second-worst is Maine, with one of the lowest GDP rates in the country. Vermont is third-worst, with some of the worst startup costs in the country, three times more unemployed than there are available jobs, and the second-lowest density of startup businesses.

Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Maryland are also at the bottom of the pile. In Maryland, there are currently more business “deaths” than business “births.” With the third-lowest business survival rate, you’ll probably want to stay away.

Rounding out the top 10 worst states are South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, and West Virginia. While Virginia proper is actually the ninth-best, its baby brother to the west has the lowest startup density in the country. Education in West Virginia is above average and there are plenty of people looking for work in the state, but more businesses are closing than opening there.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Career and Business

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Article last modified on December 6, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Want to Start Your Own Business? Head Northwest - AMP.