It is estimated that there are over 31 million entrepreneurs in the United States. Luckily, the US is a big place with room for all of those movers and shakers, and space for their businesses to thrive. When establishing or developing your business, you may find yourself pondering whether you’re in the right place. If you are considering a change, then it is in your best interest to consider cities which are equipped to help your business thrive. Onwards and upwards.
Whether you are looking for a strong pool of workers, you’re desperate for lower corporate taxes, or you could simply do with a shorter commute to work, we have you covered.
We have collected data from a few reliable sources, but have principally used the US census as a basis for our conclusions. Where the necessary data was unavailable in census results, we sought it elsewhere.
How We Determined Our List
General business success and low unemployment go hand in hand. Therefore, cities which boast low unemployment point in the direction of your business going well.
As of July 2022, the national unemployment rate in the US sat at 5.4%. This represents a notable increase from April’s 3.6%. This makes it all the more important to consider which local, microeconomies are surging, rather than sinking. Unemployment rates are a valuable indicator in determining this.
Median Non-Household Income
A central factor – how much you will be earning. Many business decisions are grounded in money, and how much you will be able to take home. As such, we have noted how much the median income is for non-household incomes. When glancing over these numbers, keep in mind that the national average is $44,225.
Within the entrepreneurial world, there is a strong pull towards starting your own venture, and thus being self-employed. Being your own boss is a common dream among young professionals. That’s why we have paid mind to the proportion of locals who are their own boss.
Of course, costs are salient when operating a business, and taxes typically account for a large chunk of business costs. Corporate rates are difficult to avoid entirely, as 44 of the 50 states levy taxes on businesses. However, amongst these 44 states, taxes range from 2.5% (in North Carolina) to 11.5% (New Jersey). When selecting a new location for your business, you should aim for lower taxes where possible.
A similar indicator to unemployment rate, but a more useful indicator, and more finetuned for entrepreneurs like yourself. Employment growth show you the direction the local economy is headed in. While raw unemployment rates show where the economy is right now, the growth rate shows you where the economy is likely to be, too.
A more trivial factor, but it’s of interest to many workers. The time you spend commuting represents further time you will be out of the house, even when not working.
- There Are Shining Cities All Over The US
Usually, data reports will naturally highlight a region of the US. However, when it comes to business-friendly cities, there is a respectable geographical spread. With gems located from California and Florida, with lots of exemplary cities in between, you could locate yourself – give or take – anywhere.
- There Is Huge Disparity In Employment Growth
Across the US, employment is expected to rise by 7.7% by 2030, with a start date of Jan 1 2020. Cities like San Jose, California, and Sanford, Florida have glowing employment growth rates. However, having a lower growth rate is still a growth rate!
- Fortune 500 Companies Are More Spread Out Than Before…
… paving the way for industrial growth. These companies are partly to thank for the factories and infrastructure in areas like Austin, Texas. If your business requires substantial infrastructure to operate, it is worth looking at which successful corporations are based there. We have provided a flavor of that in our descriptions, but we guarantee there are more than you think!
Best US Cities For Young Entrepreneurs
1. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston has a built in community for young professionals. With Harvard Business School and Business College in the area, there are opportunities to further your education, or to seek a workforce from. As the 10th largest urban area in the US, Boston is built up and set up to accommodate your business. If you choose to locate your venture in Boston, you will be joining a wave of more than 4000 startups which are based in the business hub.
2. Austin, Texas
Austin is no stranger to entrepreneurs, housing over 5,500 startups. Austin is also called home by larger companies such as Google, Facebook, Atlassian and Oracle. Not only does this add to the community of success stories, but it has drawn in talented workers. Wages in Austin are surging, being felt most deeply in the IT sector, whose paychecks were up 10% last year.
3. Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games – and it hasn’t looked back since. It has kept and carefully nurtured their sports arenas, and the area has seen an outstanding period of growth. Salt Lake City is not just known for their sporting prowess; Salt Lake City has won awards for being favorable for businesses. Most notably, in 2019 CNBC rendered them one of America’s top states for business.
4. Seattle, Washington
This index of cities perfect for young entrepreneurs would not be complete without a feature from Seattle. With Amazon, Starbucks and Microsoft located here, Seattle has watched its businesses not only survive, but thrive. Seattle’s growth is also progressive, with the number of female-owned businesses in the city having increased by 20% in the past five years. Seattle is also saturated with young families, so is a hotspot for a buzzing social life, as well as a professional one.
5. Sanford, Florida
Florida applies no personal income tax, meaning that your disposable income will be greater in Florida than it wold be elsewhere. Similarly, Florida’s corporate taxes are respectably low, meaning that the costs of operating a business are typically lower. WalletHub has taken a similar standing as us, concurring that Florida is one of the best places to start a business. Sanford, in particular, has a really homely, suburban feel, with a high home-ownership rate.
6. Nashville Tennessee
Nashville is known to foster a welcoming, countrified environment. Locating your business in Nashville means that you will find yourself in a ‘small town’-esque location, while enjoying the benefits of not-so-small-town infrastructure. Boasting lots of stellar offices, a variety of transportation systems, and shopping parks, Nashville is ready to support you on your adventure. And with 4.14 out of every 1,000 people there holding the title CEO, you could be next.
7. San Jose, California
San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley, so it comes as no surprise that it is popular among young entrepreneurs. It is populated with fantastic universities, namely San Jose State University and Santa Clara University, which offer both the opportunity to extend your education, as well as providing an exceptional talent pool to staff your company with. A report by Biz2Credit deemed San Jose the top small business-friendly city in the US.
8. Phoenix, Arizona
When it comes to Phoenix, there is no shortage of perks for young entrepreneurs with big dreams. Notably, Phoenix offers affordable workforces, with the average salary sitting a whopping 18% lower than the studied city average. Low costs means that businesses can invest more in R&D, and pocket more profits. Because of these low operation costs, Phoenix is renowned for its innovation, ranking seventh among US cities with the highest number of startups. Whether you are right at the start of your business journey, or simply relocation your existing venture, Phoenix is calling your name.
9. Jacksonville, Florida
Every new business has one main goal: to survive. In Jacksonville, surviving is that bit more likely, with a high rate of survival for new businesses. With low taxes and a reasonably low cost of living, Jacksonville is a realistic home for your business. Jacksonville has been acclaimed for this by WalletHub, who ranked them as the best city in the US to open a new business. More than 6% of the workforce work for start-ups, illustrating how pervasive the entrepreneurial spirit it. Additionally, Jacksonville is a vibrant place to live, meaning that there are perks not only for the business, but for you as well.
10. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis is bursting with young professionals. Minneapolis, along with Saint Paul, also known as the “Twin Cities,” has emerged as one of the leading tech hubs of the United States. With the tech sector becoming more and more prominent, Minneapolis is right at the core of the technological revolution. Minnesota ranks 11th nationally for its share of the workforce in tech jobs, and that’s not to mention the colorful culture that it has to offer.
11. Sacramento, California
If there wasn’t reason enough to want to make the move to California, Sacramento’s energised business scene provides even more. With workers succeeding in the manufacturing, clean energy, technology, health, and real estate markets, there’s something for everyone. Sacramento offers beautiful landscapes, respectable wages, affordably housing, and plenty of activities for the weekend. You are also a stone’s throw away from plenty of other business hubs in the state.
12. Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is making waves in the entrepreneurial waters. They are showing high projected job growth, and is filling up with businesses, big and small alike. The atmosphere in this city is incomparable; it’s friendly, with a ‘small town’ feel to it, and is easy to commute within. in fact, Columbus is the 32nd most walkable large city in the US. When thinking about where to live as a young professional, you should start by perusing Short North, the Italian Village and the German Village.
13. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas – a well known and well loved destination, but not historically because of its work culture. Even so, we are setting the record straight and featuring them in this list. Vegas offers well paid jobs, great neighbourhoods such as Paradise, and surging job growth. Take note that Vegas experienced more employment growth than anywhere else in the country between March 2021 and March 2022. Of course, there is the additional benefit that, when in Vegas, you work hard, you play hard. What are you waiting for?
14. Atlanta, Georgia
If you are a young professional, Atlanta could be the ideal destination for you. With successful companies such as Coca Cola, Delta Air Lines, UPS, Equifax and The Home Depot operating here, you could be joining the community of thriving businesses. Atlanta is a great place to start your career, with exceptional job opportunities from Fortune 500 companies and beyond. It comes as no shock that Atlanta has a history of drawing people from other locations: moving to Atlanta promises a successful professional future.
Best US Cities For Young Entrepreneurs
|City||Unemployment Rate||Median Income, Non-Family Households||Self Employed Population (2019 estimate as percentage of labor force)||Corporate Income Tax||Employment Growth 2022||Mean Travel Time To Work (Minutes)|
|Salt Lake City, Utah||3.70%||$45,472||–||4.85%||3.50%||21.6|
|Seattle, Washington||4.10%||$64,547||6.20%||0% corporate income tax, but levies gross receipt tax.||6.20%||27.9|
|San Jose, California||4.30%||$77,602||12.20%||8.84%||9%||29.3|
|Columbus, Ohio||5.40%||$42,220||4.10%||0% corporate income tax, but levies gross receipt tax.||1.80%||22|
|Las Vegas, Nevada||7.20%||$37,829||2.40%||0%||7.10%||24.6|