2016’s Best Cities to Start a Business


With National Small Business Week in full gear and a record 14 percent of all working-age Americans starting or running new businesses, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best Cities to Start a Business.

In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs maximize their chances for long-term prosperity, WalletHub’s analysts compared the startup viability in the 150 most populated U.S. cities.

We did so using 16 key metrics such as business competition, financing accessibility and availability of human capital.

Best Cities to Start a Business
1 Sioux Falls, SD 11 Winston-Salem, NC
2 Grand Rapids, MI 12 Durham, NC
3 Oklahoma City, OK 13 Madison, WI
4 Lincoln, NE 14 Boston, MA
5 St. Louis, MO 15 Lubbock, TX
6 Salt Lake City, UT 16 Kansas City, MO
7 Charlotte, NC 17 Raleigh, NC
8 Springfield, MI 18 Shreveport, LA
9 Tulsa, OK 19 Omaha, NE
10 Amarillo, TX 20 Austin, TX

Comparing the Best & Worst:

  • Toledo, Ohio, has the lowest average annual rent per square foot of commercial office space, $11.63, which is nearly nine times cheaper than in San Francisco, the city with the highest, $99.42.
  • Detroit has the lowest labor costs per employee, $26,095, which is about four times lower than in Fremont, Calif., the city with the highest, $103,591.
  • Laredo, Texas, has the lowest cost-of-living index, 75, which is nearly three times lower than in New York, the city with the highest, 200.3.
  • Irvine, Calif., has the highest percentage of college-educated workforce, 65.6 percent, which is nearly six times higher than in San Bernardino, Calif., the city with the lowest, 11.7 percent.
  • Miami has the most startups per 100,000 residents, 246, which is nearly 12 times more than in Columbus, Ga., the city with the fewest, 21.

For the full report and to see where your city ranks, please visit: