Wondering which states are the most business-friendly? Tax rates, regulations, growth stance, and the quality of life in each state can have a big impact on your business’ success.
In Chief Executive Magazine’s "2015 Best and Worst States for Business” survey completed by 511 U.S. CEOs, states were measured on three categories to achieve their overall ranking:
- Taxes and regulations
- Quality of the workforce
- Living environment (which includes quality of education, cost of living, affordable housing, social amenities and crime rates)
Top 10 List
Here are the 2015 top 10 states for business according to Chief Executive Magazine.
10. South Carolina (No. 5 last year)
South Carolina offers a highly educated workforce, low business regulation, and favorable weather conditions that result in continued growth in its manufacturing sector.
9. Arizona (No. 7 last year)
In addition to low taxes, a quality workforce, reasonable housing costs and favorable weather conditions, Arizona continues to attract and keep big-name businesses such as Wal-Mart, FedEx, Honeywell, JPMorgan Chase and dozens of others.
8. Nevada (No. 8 last year, also)
CEOs are pleased with the business-friendly tax rates, low governmental regulations, highly-educated, quality workforce and reasonable cost of living in Nevada.
7. Louisiana (No. 9 last year)
During 2015, Louisiana showed strong improvement in attracting and retaining technology businesses, while also benefitting from a downstream position in oil and gas. CEOs are pleased with the state's industrial incentives, cheap energy and non-union workforce.
6. Indiana (No. 6 last year, also)
The only Midwest state to make the top 10, the right-to-work state's business growth strategy has been paying off. Indiana boasts 68 company headquarters, including Cummins, Eli Lilly, Brightpoint and Delta Faucet Company.
5. Georgia (No. 10 last year)
Georgia is experiencing business growth. Its low tax and regulatory hurdles, along with a high-quality workforce and a strong living environment recently attracted Mercedes-Benz.
4. Tennessee (No. 3 last year)
Tennessee is becoming a center for automotive industry manufacturing, including a Nissan plant in Knoxville.
3. North Carolina (No. 4 last year)
North Caroline continues to outpace other states in new job growth, and dominates the south in areas such as laptop exports and agriculture. Tobacco is still the state’s leading grown product.
2. Florida (No. 2 last year, also)
This southeast state, which has held its second-place position for four years, has much to offer businesses, including a world-class infrastructure, flexible enterprise zones and tax credits for R&D.
1. Texas (No. 1 last year, also)
Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas, while 700,000 net jobs were created in the other 49 states combined. From climate to transportation to cost of living, Texas has proven it can't be beat. Texas has held the number 1 position in the CEO survey for 11 years.
The Good News is…
In his article for Chief Executive Magazine, Texas: Beyond Black Gold, Dale Buss comments on the Texas economy.
“Even as Texas hung on to its No. 1 ranking for 2015 in the Best States & Worst States list, can the Lone Star State withstand the continued hit from the global surplus of oil because of its diversifying economy—or even outperform its previous benchmarks as the U.S. economy gains steam?”
“…internal players and outside observers alike give Texas good odds of finishing No. 1 again in the 2016 Chief Executive index based largely on four factors: only about 4 percent of the state’s workforce is in the oil and gas industry now, a fraction of a generation ago; other industry pillars keep rising; regions outside the oil patch have made their own prosperity; and the Abbott administration has some strengths of its own.”
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