2009 Results: 10 Best States for Entrepreneurship

Do you think you live in a state that encourages and supports entrepreneurism?  You simply need to ask the Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council.  Recently, the SBE Council released data announcing the top states that have the best climate for entrepreneurs to excel – and the results may surprise you!

The SBE’s Take on the Small Business Environment

Who is the SBE Council?  The SBE Council is a non-partisan, non-profit small business advocacy group whose mission is to protect small businesses and promote entrepreneurship.  Part of their mission is to educate lawmakers and elected officials, as well as the public, to advance policies and laws that make entrepreneurship easier.

The SBE Council report states that the economic climate has not been kind to entrepreneurs over the last two years.  In addition, federal and state policies have not been entrepreneur-friendly either.  For instance, the SBE Council noted that 11 states raised their personal income tax rates in an effort to patch budget shortfalls, while 10 states raised the capital gains tax rate on individuals.  Since most small business owners pay an individual tax rate on business income, these are certainly features that hinder the progress of small business success.

How the States Were Judged

The SBE Council judged how states promote entrepreneurship based on a comprehensive list of criteria.  They looked at a broad range of industries and types of small business.  In addition, states were judged on how friendly their policies and decisions were toward small businesses.

The ten best states were, in order:

  1. South Dakota
  2. Nevada
  3. Texas
  4. Wyoming
  5. Washington
  6. Florida
  7. South Carolina
  8. Colorado
  9. Alabama
  10. Virginia

In contrast, the 10 worst states for small business policy were:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Minnesota
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Maine
  6. Vermont
  7. New York
  8. California
  9. New Jersey
  10. District of Columbia

High startup costs, high taxes, and high regulation make it much more difficult for an entrepreneur to make a business a success.  Check where your state falls.  If you find you’re not in the top ten, talk to your local lawmakers about changing policies that would help small businesses thrive.

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