The Best States for Business 2014


As a digital marketing agency, we’re always interested in the world of business. We just read Forbes’ “The Best and Worst States for Business 2014” and thought it’d be interesting to share the results (along with some added information)…

1. Utah

Utah was actually ranked #1 three years in a row, from 2010-2012. Its unemployment rate is well below the national average (5.2% compared to 7.7%) and energy costs in the state are ranked third lowest in the country. Utah has also had 10 consecutive years of export growth and a business-friendly climate.

2. North Dakota

When it comes to North Dakota, the state boasts growth all over the place. It’s #1 in job growth (3.9% annually), income growth (3.6%), and gross state product growth (9.5%). North Dakota has been a big part of the oil movement recently and has boasted the most jobs created in the country for five consecutive years.

3. North Carolina

Home of the Research Triangle (an area in the Piedmont known for its numerous high-tech companies), North Carolina boasts workers who are 36% more productive than the average U.S. worker. The state also has labor costs that are 16% below average and provides a low cost of living.

4. Virginia

With easy access to domestic and global markets, low workers’ compensation costs, and a corporate income tax that hasn’t been raised since 1972, Virginia was named the top and #2 spot for business eight years in a row. The state also offers business-friendly government policies and values.

5. Colorado

Colorado’s workforce is one that is highly educated, and the state’s outdoor recreational options, diverse economy, and 5.1% unemployment rate continue to attract young professionals. Also, many high-tech companies have relocated to Colorado to take advantage of Colorado State University’s resources and research facilities.

6. Texas

The state of Texas ranks first for both growth prospects and current economic climate (the economy is second-largest in the country). It also offers low taxes, pro-business policies, and predictable regulations, making it an easy state to grow in.

7. Nebraska

Nebraska is considered a very business-friendly state (ranked #3 by CNBC) and sports a good quality of life. The state also has a solid economy, relatively low business costs, and a number of tax relief measures. To top it off, its agriculture and food processing industry has helped keep the unemployment rate to 3.6%.

8. Washington

With no individual income tax, the state of Washington makes for a bit of easier living and allows for a different level of business competitiveness. Other tax systems like property, unemployment, gas, and more allow for the state’s economic growth and is a great place to start a small business.

9. Minnesota

Minnesota’s economic climate has been improving in recent years and the state was ranked #2 for quality of life. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area serves as the state’s economic hub and is home to major corporations like General Mills, Target, and U.S. Bancorp. The area has created thousands of new jobs and has a continuously falling unemployment rate.

10. Oklahoma

Oklahoma boasts one of the best business tax climates as well as energy costs that are 26% below average, thanks to the booming energy sector. The state jumped four spots from last year based on its improved economic outlook.

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