Excerpts from the article originally published in the August 2013 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The New Hot Spots: Best States.
“Two hundred and twenty-five years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the push and pull of states’ rights is still fought over by politicians. But Washington’s dysfunction is an entrepreneur’s gain. By letting each state define its own business regulations, taxes and policies, the founding fathers created a competitive marketplace for industries of all sizes looking to put down roots.
Today we have a solid grasp on which states are primed to jump-start new businesses and help them grow, thanks to a survey of 7,766 small businesses pulled together by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s partnership with San Francisco-based Thumbtack, an online marketplace for professional services. The states on this list scored the highest, receiving overall grades of A+ across 16 categories (including ease of hiring, tax-code friendliness and training/networking program availability).
The results surprised even the report’s authors. “Looking at what actually matters to businesses–not at what conventional wisdom would tell you–is something that state and local policymakers and researchers should keep in mind,” says Thumbtack senior analyst Nathan Allen, who points out that complicated regulations frustrated respondents and stalled industry growth far more than heavy taxes or fees.
It’s insights like these that let us say with certainty that the states here are “open for business.” Here is what the article says about Idaho:
Population: 1.6 million
Per-capita income: $22,788
College degrees: 24.6 percent
Thumbtack’s survey found Idaho to be the easiest place to start a business. “You could have a legally operating business in a matter of a few hours here,” claims a marketing consultant from Boise. Idaho offers straightforward and thorough online resources, top-level training and networking programs and scored the No. 1 ranking for simple licensing regulations. Wannabe entrepreneurs can get started at the Idaho Small Business Development Center, which serves as a one-stop shop for startups, with offices across the state that provide free consultations and workshops designed to help navigate city, county, state and federal regulations, plus financing, marketing and more.”