Do you want to start a business in USA? If YES, here are 20 best cities in USA with lots of opportunities for you to start a profitable business as a foreigner.
The economy of the United States is hedged by small businesses that spring up on a daily basis, and because of the friendly entrepreneurial atmosphere of the country, many people are drawn to start their businesses there, small or large.
Though the United States as a country is friendly to business startups as a whole, but there are some states, by virtue of the laws they make and their positions in the country, that are more profitable for business startup.
If you are in the United States and you are looking for the best city to start a business in the country, you are not alone as this is quite a popular dilemma. Depending on the business you want to set up, we have lined up for you cities that rank well based of different criteria when it comes to setting up a business in the Unites States.
20 Best Cities in USA to Start a Business and Succeed
- Austin, TeXas
Based on performance index, one of the cities in the United States that came tops when it comes to starting a business is Austin, Texas. This city was also named the number one business city in America by CNBC.
This city is known to be great for startups as startup businesses grew faster in the city than others with their startups growing by 81.2 percent, may be except Washington, D.C. This is according to the 2016 Kauffman Growth Entrepreneurship Index.
The Austin metropolitan area has a lot going for it, including a population growth rate of 2.67 percent per year between 2010 and 2017, which is projected to continue unabated at a rate of 2.65 percent per year, making it one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country.
Because of the presence of the University of Texas at Austin and other universities’ in the area, Austin is known for having an educated workforce. Employers and people interested in growth industries are drawn to the youthful, smart energy that flourishes there. For this reason, creative talent is abundant in the city.
Austin also stands out for its affordability. Many small-business owners who often pay taxes at the individual level, appreciate the fact the state has no personal income tax. The state also has a corporate tax rate of zero. Combined, these factors point to available money for business owners to invest in their ventures. Some of the businesses that thrive in Austin are ice cream businesses and restaurants.
- Salt Lake City
Utah has just been named Forbes Best State for Business for the third consecutive year. Since 2006, Utah’s economy has expanded at an annual rate of 2.3%, versus 0.5% for the nation as a whole. Tech giants such as Adobe, Electronic Arts, and Oracle all have offices here.
For good reasons, this capital city — located between Ogden to the north and Provo to the south — has emerged as a hot spot for tech entrepreneurs and other tech-related start-ups. The picturesque city offers small business owners low taxes, affordable real estate and an educated pool of potential workers from Brigham Young University, the University of Utah and Utah State.
These qualities are what attracted eBay several years ago to open a 241,000-square-foot facility in the suburbs of Salt Lake City that now employs more than 1,500 workers. The city is benefiting from ongoing investments at the state level in technology.
In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently ranked Utah the No. 1 state in innovation and entrepreneurship. Small businesses in the state also benefit from the more than $20 million going to the state’s universities to help them fund programs to promote tech outreach and innovation. One business that thrives mostly in Salt Lake City is the tech business.
This former tobacco and textile town has been transformed into a software hub. Raleigh’s revitalized downtown is home to a number of fast-growth startups, including business software maker Pendo, which closed a $50 million Series D in 2019.
Numerous unique resource organizations are located within the Raleigh metropolitan area to serve local businesses and support their growth and success. The resources in the area serve everything from the high-tech research and development companies to the entrepreneurial start-up venture.
Forty-seven percent of the local talent pool holds a bachelor’s degree or higher, and many are from well-regarded local universities like Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and NC State. These schools all offer strong engineering and computer science programs, so the startup scene is software heavy.
But there’s also a thriving food scene that includes Seal the Seasons, which freezes and distributes farmers’ crops. Overall, North Carolina companies raised $1.1 billion in 2017, up 36 percent from the previous year.
Venture capitalists see an average of 3.2-times their ROI in Raleigh, according to PitchBook. But that’s not all Oak City has going for it. The city’s Research Triangle is hub for life sciences, and Raleigh has received $425.4 million in venture funding as of 2018. The city is good for tech businesses as well as agricultural related businesses.
- Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is located in the southwest corner of Missouri, and one of the reason why entrepreneurs take to this city is that it makes life easy them. The workforce in Springfield has grown nearly 9 percent over the past four years, with men and women attracted by a variety of companies, big and small, that have either relocated or started here.
Again, the cost of housing is nearly 22 percent lower than the national average, and the overall cost of living is 10 percent cheaper, making it easier for millennials to start their careers and families there. The city landed at number one on Forbe’s 7 Cities You Didn’t Expect to be Great for Business list last spring, and that’s only one of the Queen City’s recent accolades.
The city is also nurturing its burgeoning start-up scene. Missouri State University’s Small Business & Technology Development Center, with offices located in Springfield, provides small businesses with training, products and solutions designed to help them become part of Missouri’s thriving small-business sector. Businesses that thrive in Springfield include edible creations, health care and manufacturing.
- St. Louis
St. Louis is becoming known today as a start-up hub that’s creating new jobs at a healthy pace and is drawing more families with its affordable housing, central U.S. location and lower cost of living. From household names like Square, Yurbuds and Answers.com, to newer ventures like Lockerdome, Aisle411 and MediBeacon, the St. Louis region is exploding with new companies and new ideas.
These new companies are innovating in plant and life science, financial services, information technology and advanced manufacturing. The extensive range of private funds and public support in the St. Louis region is an asset. Venture capital, angel investors, high-profile accelerators and public funds are all readily available for high-growth startups.
A report released late last year by the Census Bureau, along with the Kauffman Foundation — a nonprofit that researches and promotes entrepreneurship — showed that health-care firms made up the biggest share of new businesses in the state and that women started more businesses in Missouri than in any other state. Businesses that thrive in this city are health related businesses and the area is quite favorable to female startups.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan
This city, perched on the Grand River — the longest waterway in Michigan — has transformed from a hub of furniture production into a robust center for small-business start-ups, thanks to a low cost of doing business and access to a sizable talent pool. Grand Rapids grew its economy more than 3 percent last year. Similar growth is expected this year.
The Michigan Small Business Development Center helps entrepreneurs get whatever they need to start and grow their companies, from business-plan development and market research to the best ways to raise capital. The city’s central location and affordable housing has been especially attractive to millennials who are moving into the area to work and start families.
And if a healthy local economy wasn’t enough of a draw, just consider that the metro Grand Rapids area is also home to a pretty significant craft beer scene. In fact, the Beer City Ale Trail leads to more than 40 breweries in the area offering tastings and tours.
- Charlotte, North Carolina
The city of Charlotte in North Carolina leads the way when it comes to the growth of small businesses, and the Queen City is ranked No. 1 in the category of average growth in number of small businesses, and No. 8 in the U.S. when it came to industry variety.
The City is growing at a healthy clip, with all age groups contributing to its population. In fact, the city is expected to double in size by 2030. A host of corporate headquarters (Bank of America, Duke Energy, among them) make Charlotte a great place to start a new business.
Housing is affordable, and the cost of living is 1.2 percent below the national average. The city also offers a good quality of life, making it easier to attract and keep workers. Aside from being home to the NFL’s Panthers and the NBA’s Hornets, Charlotte also boasts of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
- Oklahoma City
Oklahoma was recently ranked No. 5 in WalletHub’s Best States to Start a Business. This capital city of the Sooner State ranks tops for entrepreneurs looking to start a business. Oklahoma City offers a host of attractive features to small-business owners. The city ranks in the top five across the nation in terms of low cost of doing business, low energy costs and reasonable local and state taxes.
Its cost of living is 15.4 percent below the national average, making it particularly attractive for young people. In fact, Oklahoma City ranks in the top 10 U.S. cities as the best place to start a career. The state offers a number of incentives to small-business employers that start or expand here.
For instance, companies with 90 or fewer employees can receive up to 5 percent cash back on payroll for up to seven years to locate or expand in Oklahoma. They can also earn cash back for creating jobs that pay better than the county’s average.
A business accelerator — i2e — is also helping start-ups based in the capital city get funding of up to $250,0000 to expand and grow. Oklahoma City has been investing in its burgeoning startup scene for years, and it’s certainly been paying off as various businesses have been known to take their root from this city.
- Boston, MA
Boston is a well-balanced metropolis of professionals, academics, college students, and families. It’s this diversity that makes it such a great place to start a venture and add even more life to the city. According to TechCrunch, in 2018 Boston beat New York City as the nation’s second biggest startup funding hub. With no local tax and a top-five ranking startup growth rate, it’s the best tax deal in the Northeast megalopolis.
The city recently ranked first among the top 25 startup hubs in America, according to a report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The findings are based on talent, specialization, capital, density, connectivity, and cultural statistics, among other data.
- Seattle, WA
Seattle has always been a trendsetter of sorts: first with grunge music and the coffeehouse craze, and then with its burgeoning startup scene. Today the Pacific Northwest city continues to set trends with innovative new businesses.
In fact, three of the companies that are always in our faces – Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft—reside in Seattle. The Emerald City is youthful and educated, so there is an abundance of educated workforce. But one factor that counts against this city is that it is expensive.
- San Diego, CA
Sixty-four of the 5,000 companies on Inc.’s 2015 list of the fastest-growing companies in America hail from San Diego. In addition, the southern California city has the fourth-largest number of women-led companies on the 2015 Inc. 5000, with 12. The only California city to make it into GOBankingRates’ top-20 best cities to start a business, San Diego is an attractive alternative to extremely competitive (and high-tax) cities like LA.
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur considering a move or a young enthusiast on the business crossroads, researching the best U.S. cities to start a small business, San Diego can help you launch on the best path. With an affordable cost of living, solid infrastructure, and a community of service and product vendors, San Diego has seen a spike in entrepreneurial activity.
The diversity of its innovation might be San Diego’s best feature, which provides solid ground for Small Businesses to take root.
- Nashville, TN
Nashville is second best when it comes to the best startup growth rate with 95.56%. This city enjoys good quality of living, state support of business and multiple large markets. Its only drawback is high taxes (total of 9.25%).
Nashville was recently named one of 8 cities with booming entrepreneur communities, mostly due to their music scene and healthcare industry ties. While the Tennessee epicenter shows a healthy start-up growth rate of 95.6%, relatively low rent and housing, and a large younger demographic.
Nashville is one of the nation’s leading centers for health care, but this second largest city in the state is best known for its thriving music scene.
- Miami, FL
Miami’s has a reputation for being great for new businesses. The Kauffman Index recently named Miami the second most entrepreneurial city in the U.S., with the country’s highest startup density, 247.6 startups per 100,000 people. The city isn’t just the home of new businesses. Large companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Apple have offices there, as well as 139 companies on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies.
Florida receives the fifth-most venture capital funding out of all states, with $511 million pouring in from investors. Most of that capital finds its way to Miami. There are a host of programs, like the Knight Foundation, and venture capital funds, like 500 Startups, along with entrepreneurship programs from local universities.
In 2018, Miami ranked No. 1 as having the most co-working spaces anywhere in America. WalletHub ranked Miami as having the fifth-lowest labor costs out of all big cities that made its list.
- San Francisco, CA
Due to its progressive attitude and proximity to Silicon Valley, the Bay Area is ripe for hosting cool, new businesses and entrepreneurship ideas. The concentration of startups, especially tech startups in the city by the bay is worth applauding. You can find Twitter next to Square and Uber, and Dropbox, Pinterest, and Zynga within blocks of each other.
The whole city feels like a self-perpetuating machine, where venture capital draws in startups, which pulls in more venture capital, and so on. The city at a point has been nicknamed the “Hollywood of Technology” because of the high level of business tourists it receives.
- Denver, Colorado
Denver is a hotspot for new companies, with 92 out of 1,000 businesses being less than one year old, according to Fit Small Business. This year, 124 Colorado companies made the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing businesses. Millennials also see Denver as a prime place to live, despite the high cost of housing. The city ranked No. 2 on the U.S. News and World Report’s best places to live, with high marks for job availability and quality of life.
Denver has a lot of young people, and they’re working. The City has the lowest unemployment rate when compared to the others. The levels of college education and start-up growth hover around the middle, however, and the rent is on the expensive side.
Besides hosting the largest startup event in the US, Colorado’s startup scene is very welcoming, especially for tech industry ventures. Professional, scientific, and technical services and construction industries generated the most new businesses at a total of 29% of new businesses in the city.
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is situated on the Arkansas River at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in northeast Oklahoma, a region of the state known as Green Country. Once heavily dependent on the oil industry, Tulsa’s subsequent diversification efforts created an economic base in a number of other industries including aerospace, technology and finance.
A diverse small-business ecosystem is finding root in Oklahoma’s second-largest city. Tulsa’s low-cost operating environment and affordable housing market mean that start-ups are in an ideal position to attract and keep workers and offer them competitive wages.
There’s a robust pipeline of talent coming out of Oklahoma State University–Tulsa, the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University. State-sponsored small-business incubators, such as i2E, are providing Tulsa small-business owners with the capital, networking capabilities and advise they need to grow their companies.
Oil and gas and aerospace are the major small-business hubs, but there is also growth in advanced manufacturing, distribution and logistics, software and IT.
- Lubbock, Texas
The city of Lubbock is enticing for entrepreneurs looking for financing, as Texas’s 11th-largest city scored No. 2 in most accessible financing. The city is home to numerous colleges, including the Texas Tech University, whose Innovation Hub is a hub for entrepreneurs that host events with the local community to promote fledgling companies.
Aside from being the home of Texas Tech University, Lubbock is famous for the musical acts that hail from the city, fine dining, museums, a rich art and culture scene but also for its friendly, hospitable atmosphere.
- Aurora, Colorado
Aurora’s pro-business attitude, ample land, cost-effective lease rates, extensive infrastructure, and educated workforce makes this city an ideal place to start a new business. Here aerospace industries and bioscience firms rub shoulders with business services suppliers and retail trade companies.
These local businesses serve regional, national, and international markets by virtue of Aurora’s location in the center of the United States. Already Colorado’s third most populated city, Aurora’s reasonable cost of doing business and low tax rates are attracting more enterprises to set up shop on its 144 square miles of opportunity.
- Portland, OR
Portland, the largest city in Oregon and seat of Multnomah County, is located in the northwest part of the state on the Willamette River. Portland has a diverse economy with a broad base of manufacturing, distribution, wholesale and retail trade, regional government, and business services.
Major manufacturing industries include machinery, electronics, metals, transportation equipment, and lumber and wood products. Technology is a thriving part of Portland’s economy, with over 1,700 high-tech companies located in the metropolitan area. Tourism is also important to Portland’s economy, drawing more than 7 million visitors annually.
- Jacksonville, Florida
The city with the largest area in the nation, Jacksonville, has a very encouraging business climate. With a population of around 820,000 people, it stands on 12th number among the most populous cities in the nation providing a huge customer base for every business that is flourishing there.
Jacksonville has had a steadily growing tech sector since 2012 and workers in the field are paid 15 to 20 percent below the national average, according to a study by Forrester Research. Tourism is one of the industries which contributes a lot to the economy because of the scenic beaches, numerous tourist attractions and not to forget the ethnic and lively culture of the city.
Financial services, biomedical and healthcare services, consumer goods and manufacturing industry keep balancing the area’s economy perfectly besides tourism.
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