10 Best States for Small Business

Aerial of the Utah Stat Capitol in Salt Lake City Taken from a helicopter on a crystal clear blue sky day
Getty ImagesUtah leads the list of states with the happiest small-business owners.

The happiest small-business owners are all in the Midwest and South, according to a new survey. Online job marketplace Thumbtack and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation surveyed more than 12,000 small-business owners across 38 states in the U.S. on topics concerning how easy it is to start and grow a small business in their state.

"Thousands of small-business owners across the country told us that the keys to a pro-growth environment are ease of compliance with tax and regulatory systems and helpful training programs," says Jon Lieber, Thumbtack's chief economist.

Participants determined that the most important regulatory issue in determining their state's friendliness to small businesses was how easy it was to become licensed. Tax rates proved to be less of a concern than regulatory compliance for small-business owners, with two-thirds of those surveyed saying they paid neither too little nor too much.

Here are the 10 states that are friendliest to small businesses, according to the poll:

  1. Utah

  2. Idaho

  3. Texas

  4. Virginia

  5. Louisiana

  6. Tennessee

  7. Oklahoma

  8. Colorado

  9. Kentucky

  10. Georgia

Small-business owners in California, Rhode Island and Illinois gave their states an F for overall friendliness, and those in New York and Massachusetts both gave their states a D-plus. Main gripes concerned the difficulties regarding licensing requirements and filing taxes.

Thumbtack has an interactive map visualizing the results, as well as a thorough report that includes the survey questions participants answered.

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