Small Businesses Thrive in Entrepreneur-friendly States

Many western states are among those that are the best places to start a small business in the U.S.

For entrepreneurs, the mantra of real estate brokers - location, location, location - should be theirs as well when they are looking for the best state to start a new business.

Low tax rates, reasonable housing costs for employees and a well-educated workforce are some of the leading reasons that set apart business-friendly states from those that aren't as supportive to new enterprises.

Arizona, for instance, is the state where people are most likely to start a new business, reports CNN Money. In addition to low business taxes and workers' compensation costs, the state awards grants to firms that have in-house job training. Tech firms, software developers and semiconductor manufacturers have gravitated to Arizona along with solar and renewable energy companies.

Other states lauded for their business climates are Texas, California, Colorado, Alaska, Missouri, Nevada, Vermont, Idaho and Florida, in the latest top ten ranking of entrepreneur-friendly states compiled by the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.

While most states on the list are in the western U.S., Florida's small businesses comprise three-quarters of the state's gross domestic product. As the national space program winds down, Florida is making the most of existing space technology personnel and infrastructure by encouraging private companies interested in furthering space exploration. The state's many robotic device manufacturers are experiencing growth in the defense and aerospace industries.

Services that businesses need

One way that entrepreneurs can streamline their start-up costs is to find new technologies that make administrative tasks easier. Internet faxing allows faxes to be sent and received through a laptop, tablet or smartphone. By paying a small monthly fee, entrepreneurs and their teams can use personal mobile devices to fax online and have the flexibility to send a fax at any time.

It was innovations like these that undoubtedly helped entrepreneurs weather the Great Recession, according to the 2011 findings from the Kauffman Foundation in its annual measure of new businesses in the U.S. Although nationwide business creation went down slightly compared to 2010, more companies were begun by solo proprietors.

Geographically, the index found entrepreneurial activity rates remain highest in the western states, but last year's only regional increase was in the Northeast. In Vermont, the only eastern state in the index's top ten, small biotech, environmental engineering and other tech-oriented companies have grown alongside corporate giants such as General Electric and IBM. Vermont is particularly known for a thriving venture capital network and state funding for startups.
 


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