Best U.S. Cities to Start a Small Business in 2019

Any small business owner knows just how vital location is for a successful business. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs still regard location in limited terms.  If you’re planning on starting a small business and are thinking of how to get the best spot in town, a new rating of the best U.S. cities to start a small business may challenge you to think bigger.

Unlike demographics-based research which often results in bustling megalopolises topping the list, the 2019 rating by GOBankingRates relies on strictly financial factors: the business tax index, the U.S. local and state tax index, the rate of new entrepreneurs and the rate of startup growth for each location based on the Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship.

U.S. cities with lowest total tax rate

Portland, OR

0.00% state tax, 0.00% local tax

A place with no state or local taxes sounds like an entrepreneur’s dream. Amazingly, such a city really exists – it’s called Portland, Oregon. The winner of the 20 Best Places to Start a Business rating by the personal finance resource GOBankingRates, Portland is not only free of state or local taxes, it’s also third on the best cities for startup growth, making it the top city for small business owners in 2019.

Virginia Beach, VA

5.30% state tax, 0.70% local tax

If you live in the Southeast, have a fixed budget and are looking at best cities to start a small business, Virginia Beach may be a great choice. Here, you’ll avoid the tough competition of bigger cities and secure good financial conditions thanks to local programs for small businesses. Not to mention free sunsets on the beach at the end of the workday.

Boston, MA

6.25% state tax, 0.00% local tax

If you’re looking to conquer the megalopolis and get a good deal out of it, try Boston. According to TechCrunch, in 2018 Boston beat NYC 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.

U.S. cities with best startup growth rate

Best U.S. Cities to Start a Small Business

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

Rate of startup growth – 112.56%

Did you know Atlanta is among the top 3 cities with the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies? Or that it’s very environmentally friendly with over 100,000 shade trees planted courtesy of the nonprofit organization Trees Atlanta? Plus, Atlanta surely wins in the best startup growth rate category.

Nashville, TN

Rate of startup growth – 95.56%

Nashville is second best when it comes to the best startup growth rate. Reported for the overall quality of living, state support of business and multiple large markets, its only drawback is high taxes (total of 9.25%).

Portland, OR

Rate of startup growth – 93.84%

Portland is the only city in the nation that reconciles low taxes (or zero taxes, to be specific) with an impressive rate of startup growth. No wonder it crowns the 2019 list of best U.S. cities to start a small business.

U.S. cities with best new entrepreneur rate

Best U.S. Cities to Start a Small Business

South Beach, Miami

Miami, FL

Rate of new entrepreneurs – 0.56%

Like other Florida cities, Miami ranks high on the overall best cities to start a business rating. Top sectors include contracting and retail. In fact, 54% of Miami Beach retail businesses have reported growth in the past month.

Austin, TX

Rate of new entrepreneurs – 0.51%

If you’re a southern gal, consider starting a business in the Lone Star State – by far the nation’s top state for small business. With Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San-Antonio all making it into the top 10 cities to start a business, in 2019 Texas also became the top state for women entrepreneurs.

San Diego, CA

Rate of new entrepreneurs – 0.49%

California-based entrepreneurs who aren’t planning a far move can look closer into the encouraging business stats of San Diego. 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 can help you launch on the best path. Add to that perseverance and passion, and you’re sure to take your dreams to unforgettable places in 2019!

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