The 5 best states to start a business in 2024

Best states to start a business
Facundo Bermudez
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Published on 20 May 2024 Time to read 9 min read Last update on 20 May 2024

With over 50 states and a population exceeding 300 million, the United States offers a wealth of opportunities. However, not all states are created equal. Some truly stand out as exceptional places. In fact, the following five states that we’re about to present not only offer great living conditions but are also among the best states to start a business, providing an ideal mix of quality of life and business opportunities.

Whether you are seeking the best states to start a business or looking for an ideal place to call home, our comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision.

However, navigating the legal landscape can be tricky, so consulting with an immigration lawyer is a crucial step to ensure you’re making the best decision for your future. Let’s start.

#1. Best states to start a business – Florida

Florida stands out as a top choice for both living and investing, and it’s easy to see why. A recent study by the International Franchise Association highlighted Florida as one of the fastest-growing states in terms of business establishment and franchise output. In 2024, Florida’s franchise sector is expected to hit a whopping $69.05 billion, up 7.2% from 2023. This growth underscores the state’s robust economic environment and its appeal to entrepreneurs and investors alike.

One of the key reasons Florida attracts so many people is its favorable economic conditions. The state’s economy is set to outpace the national average, bolstered by a strong job market, no state income tax, and a climate that draws residents from colder regions. This combination of factors creates a thriving environment for both new and established businesses.

Starting a business in Florida is notably straightforward. With just a $125 filing fee and a $138 annual fee, establishing an LLC here is both cost-effective and simple. While Miami often grabs the spotlight, cities like Orlando and Jacksonville offer fantastic living conditions at potentially lower costs. These cities provide a balanced mix of affordability, services, and leisure activities, making them attractive places to live and work.

For families, the quality of education is a crucial consideration. Florida shines in this area as well, with its educational system receiving high marks in various rankings. For instance, WalletHub’s 2023 ranking highlighted Florida for its excellent schools, ensuring that children receive top-tier education.

#2. Best states to start a business – Texas

Texas truly embodies the idea of ‘big’—big opportunities, big cities, and big benefits for entrepreneurs. According to the International Franchise Association, Texas is the top state for franchise growth and development, making it an ideal location for those looking to invest and thrive in the business world.

Many of our clients choose to settle in Dallas, drawn by its robust economy, rich cultural scene, and high quality of life. Dallas, along with other major Texas cities like Houston and Austin, offers a dynamic blend of business opportunities and vibrant living conditions.

Launching a business is relatively straightforward. The cost to establish an LLC is around $300, and for most LLCs, there are no annual fees required. Like Florida, one of Texas’s biggest perks is its lack of state income tax. This means that if you live and work there, your income is only subject to federal taxes, potentially increasing your take-home pay.

Housing costs are also relatively lower compared to other major U.S. cities, allowing families to secure comfortable and affordable homes without stretching their budgets. This affordability extends to both urban and suburban areas, making it easier for families to find the perfect place to live.

Education is top-notch, offering a broad range of options for learners of all ages. The state boasts over 9,000 public schools and numerous prominent universities and colleges, catering to those planning on higher education. This extensive educational network ensures that families have access to excellent schooling options, from elementary levels to advanced degrees.

#3. Best states to start a business – North Carolina

North Carolina is an excellent choice for those looking to live and invest in the US. Our clients consistently highlight North Carolina for its lower cost of living, affordability of essentials, and mild climate. The friendly communities and easy access to gorgeous beaches further enhance its appeal.

Take Hickory, for example—one of the most affordable cities in the US. Set in a moderate climate with stunning mountain vistas, Hickory has become a comfortable haven for retirees and families, and it’s quickly turning into a hotspot for young professionals as well. This blend of affordability and natural beauty makes it an attractive place to live and work.

Starting a business is both simple and cost-effective. The filing fee for local companies is just $125, while businesses from outside the state need to pay $250. This low cost of entry, combined with the state’s supportive business environment, makes North Carolina an excellent choice for entrepreneurs.

Real estate taxes, which are levied locally, vary depending on your location. According to the Tax Foundation, the average property tax rate in North Carolina was 0.82 percent of a home’s assessed value in 2021. This favorable tax environment means you can enjoy the benefits of a well-funded state infrastructure without the high tax burden typical of other regions.

Additionally, North Carolina’s educational system is another significant advantage. The state is home to a range of reputable schools and universities, providing quality education for all ages. This is a critical factor for families who prioritize their children’s education when choosing where to live.

#4. Best states to start a business – North Dakota

Establishing an LLC in North Dakota is remarkably budget-friendly. The initial filing fee is just $135, and the annual report fee is only $50. This means you can start a business for less than $200, allowing entrepreneurs to focus their resources on expanding their ventures.

Living in North Dakota is also cost-effective. According to Rent Cafe, the overall cost of living is 5% below the national average. Housing costs are especially favorable, being 16% lower than the national average. Utilities and essentials like groceries and clothing are also cheaper, making daily expenses more manageable. This affordability is reflected across various cities in the state. For instance, Fargo, the most expensive city in North Dakota, has a cost of living that is 4% above the state average but still 2% below the national average. Conversely, Grand Forks, the least expensive major city, boasts a cost of living 3% below the state average and 8% lower than the national average.

North Dakota is also celebrated for its family-friendly environment. The combination of a low cost of living and a high quality of life makes it an appealing choice for families. Despite its cold winters, the state frequently ranks among the happiest in the nation. The warm and welcoming communities contribute to a strong sense of belonging and well-being among residents.

#5. Best states to start a business – Indiana

Indiana is a prime destination for both entrepreneurs and families, thanks to its advantageous tax policies and cost-effective living expenses.

Forming an LLC in Indiana is both simple and cost-effective. The initial filing fee is $95, and the state requires an annual report with a $50 fee. These minimal costs help ensure your LLC remains compliant with state regulations and maintains good standing, providing a secure foundation for your business venture.

The tax structure in Indiana is particularly advantageous. With a flat income tax rate of 3.15%, you pay the same rate regardless of your income level or filing status. On the other hand, all 92 counties in the Hoosier State impose local taxes, which can bring your total income tax rate to over 6%, depending on your location. Despite this, Indiana’s overall tax burden is still relatively low compared to many other states, making it an attractive option for both business owners and residents.

Housing affordability is another key benefit of living in Indiana. The median sale price of homes is $250,200, significantly lower than the national median of $411,868. This makes homeownership more accessible to a wider range of people. In Indianapolis, the state’s capital, the cost of living is 7% lower than the national average, further enhancing the state’s appeal for families and individuals seeking affordable living.

How to start a business and move to the US

If you’re considering starting a business and moving to the US, the E-2 visa is an excellent option to explore. This category is designed for entrepreneurs who want to invest a substantial amount of capital in a US business. It offers a renewable, long-term option for business owners and their families to live and work in the US. The key benefits include the ability to stay in the US for up to five years (depending on each country’s eligibility), with unlimited extensions as long as the business remains operational and meets the necessary criteria.

To qualify for the E-2 visa, you must be a citizen of a country that has a trade and commerce treaty with the US. Additionally, you must also own at least 50% of the business or have operational control through a managerial position or other corporate structure. Passive investments, like owning stocks or bonds, do not qualify; you must be actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.

How can we help you?

At Visa Franchise, we specialize in helping entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting a business in the US and securing an E-2 visa. Our services include providing customized business plans that align with your goals and the E-2 requirements.

We assist in establishing the best business structure to maximize your investment and operational efficiency. Furthermore, we support you in opening a corporate bank account, a crucial step in setting up your business. Our soft landing solution program is designed to offer thorough planning and seamless execution throughout your relocation journey, ensuring you have everything you need for a smooth transition to the US.

According to our former clients, the process of moving to the US with an E-2 visa typically takes between 3 and 5 months. This timeframe includes securing the visa, establishing your business, and relocating. If you’re interested in learning more, request our free guide here.


Choosing the right state to start a business and build a life is a critical decision that can significantly impact your success and quality of life. With over 50 states and a diverse range of opportunities, it’s essential to consider various factors beyond just business statistics. The top states highlighted in this guide—Florida, Texas, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Indiana—each offer a unique blend of benefits that make them exceptional places to live and invest.

If you’re interested in learning more or checking your eligibility for our solutions, click here to complete our form. If you qualify, we will schedule a free 30-minute discovery call. Your American dream is within reach, and we are here to help you make it a reality.

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Mentioned visas

EB2-NIW (green card)

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

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E2 Visa

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

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