5 Most Business-Friendly States – Is Yours One?

Doing business in the United States is quite different than doing business in other countries. Each of the fifty states has different laws for businesses, and work with businesses in different ways to help them succeed. Typically, this means that states will offer different incentives to help businesses move to their states.

Different states pass different laws to help improve their economy by bringing in jobs, businesses, and revenue to the state. States see this as an investment in the future of the economic well-being of their jurisdiction. Different states offer different types of incentives. For instance, by offering tax breaks, states can lure new businesses to within their borders, and offset the relocation costs that a business might incur when moving to a new location. Other states improve their prospects for attracting new businesses by providing a regulatory environment that won’t cripple small businesses. Some focus on providing quality workforce candidates so that local businesses can hire the best people. Still others promote a quality of life for its residents that is better than the state that businesses are looking to escape from.

If you’re looking to start a new business or move your business to a new place in order to expand and improve your business, these are the five most business-friendly states in America at the moment.

North Carolina

Located on southeast coast of the country, this state has been enticing businesses for a while. North Carolina has the lowest corporate tax rate in the United States, currently only 3%. North Carolina also has lower than average labor costs, which means it’s cheaper to hire people. Their energy costs are also well below the national average. They have the added advantage of sitting comfortably on the Atlantic Ocean, with Wilmington as a fair-sized shipping port for businesses working in import/export.

Duke University in North Carolina produces a highly intelligent and capable labor force, so your prospects for finding qualified candidates for your business is quite high. In recent years, North Carolina has attracted the attention of international businesses, many of whom have created American headquarters in Raleigh, Garner, and Charlotte. Among the companies that have taken advantage of all the state has to offer are Bank of America, Bayer, Lowes, and Sonic Automotive.

The explosive growth of business in North Carolina has seated it firmly at the top of this list, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to be giving up this place of honor anytime soon.


Don’t let the remoteness of Utah fool you, it’s been a great state for business for a while, ranking as the #1 state six times over the last 12 years. The reason for their continued success is they boast a strong, educated workforce that starts by connecting students with technical training while still in school. Utah’s tax rates are a low, flat 5%, making it easy for businesses to forecast their costs over short and long terms.

Utah also has an international trade surplus, which means business exports are far greater than its imports. Even small businesses have benefited from the healthy export market in Utah.

If you’re considering moving your business to Utah, there are several state programs that can help you with relocation, especially for startup and businesses in the technology sector.


Businesses that are looking for the best growth prospects need to look no further than the Lone Star State. Combined with a great quality of life and low business costs, Texas makes moving your business into the state easy and affordable. As one of the most economically viable states in which to do business, Texas has been working to attract small businesses for over ten years, providing tax cuts and easing regulations, improving the infrastructure of the state, and providing education opportunities to build a smart workforce. Texas also boasts that more people stay in the State of Texas for life than any other state.

Not only does Texas lead in both foreign and domestic investments, Texas claims a high percentage of people that invest privately in their own businesses, and who succeed. Combined with the growth of manufacturing and services, that’s why the governor of Texas claims they the state has the tenth largest GDP in the world.


Another east coast state, Virginia has long attracted small businesses. It reached the top spot in 2003, and has been #2 more than a few times. The proximity to the nation’s capital is an attractive draw, and other industries such as the military, manufacturing, and even farming, have made it the home for many businesses. Virginia ranks first for quality of life as well as its regulatory environment, which has been a priority of the Virginia government.

Virginia’s recent win as one of the two states chosen by corporate giant Amazon to build a new headquarters is expected to attract jobs and businesses for the foreseeable future.


Rounding out the top five is the midwestern state of Nebraska. Known for its tremendous beef and corn industries, Nebraska can also pride itself on having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, at 3.2%. Its business costs are lower than North Carolina and Virginia, making it an affordable option for relocating your business.

For businesses that are looking to start up or move, Nebraska ranks just under Virginia in regulatory environment, and better than both North Carolina and Utah for quality of life.

And, of course, Warren Buffet makes his home in Nebraska.

All of the states mentioned above offer a quality labor supply that will provide a good selection of workforce candidates, a friendly regulatory environment that won’t slow down or hinder business growth, an economic climate that can guarantee that businesses can thrive, and a good quality of life that can make you love not just your job, but life in your new state. If you already live in one of these states, now may be a great time to open your business. If you don’t, and you’re looking for your next big move, start your search in any one of these states. You’ll be glad you did.

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