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North Carolina Ranked #1
Best State for Business by FORBES


The Forbes’ website states in its profile of North Carolina, and I quote…

“North Carolina ranks as FORBES’ Best State for Business for the first time. With one of the highest net migration rates in the U.S., people have been flocking to North Carolina for the past decade. The state has the second smallest union workforce in the U.S. in terms of percent of total employment (South Carolina is first). The resulting benefit is labor costs that are 10% below the national average—fifth lowest in the country. North Carolina has ranked in the top five overall for 13 straight years.”

Choosing the right state to start your business might mean the difference between success and failure. This is because different states have vastly different tax environments, labor pools, costs of living, and more. To help you make the right decision, Fit Small Business compiled publicly available data from sources such as the Kauffman Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Small Business Administration. They then analyzed the data for each state to put together a definitive ranking of the best states to start a business.

In ranking each state, they chose seven categories that significantly influence an entrepreneur’s chances for survival and success:

• Access to Capital–Venture capital and small business loans
• Startup Activity–Rate of new entrepreneurs and survivability of business
• Taxes–Corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, and property tax
• Cost of Living–Grocery, housing, utilities, transportation, and health
• Labor Market–Location desirability, and bachelor degree attainment
• Quality of Life–Access to healthcare, education, and physical safety
• Cost of Starting a Business–Per capita income and commercial rent

The Tar Heel State comes in at the #1 spot for states to start a business, as it dominated the two categories that are considered the most important to starting a business: labor market and taxes. The State of North Carolina has high rankings in corporate and unemployment insurance taxes. Its labor market is flourishing as the state grabbed the 6th spot in location desirability. External job seekers are likely lured to the state by thriving businesses, a great sign for would-be entrepreneurs. North Carolina ranks 15th in both rates of new entrepreneurs and business survivability sub-categories.

Raleigh's educated population and its high-quality research facilities earned it the top spot among cities statewide for starting a business. More than 40 percent of Raleigh's population over 25 held at least a four-year degree, compared to just over one-third of Americans nationally.

The state of North Carolina is home to more than 800,000 small businesses and the NC Department of Commerce is strongly committed to their success. The Commerce Department serves as a one-stop resource for small businesses and start-up companies with big ideas. Many partners and allies support NC Commerce’s work in assisting North Carolina’s small businesses, but the Commerce Department provides a centralized point of contact to assist them. Services include planning and feasibility assessment, licensing, individualized research-based products around change management, strategic performance and leadership development, help accessing and acquiring government contracts, and assistance in commercializing new technologies and accessing innovation research. Through marketing and outreach activities, the NC Commerce Department reaches small business owners and those considering a start-up to offer services and support designed to ensure these businesses are afforded the best opportunity to thrive in North Carolina.

Forbes. 2017, Nov. “Best States for Business”.Accessed 11/6/18 from


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