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Best American Cities For Starting A Business


If there is one thing that perfectly encapsulates the American way of life, then it is entrepreneurship. It entails bravery, innovation and the freedom to pursue one’s dreams. Over the centuries, the American people have had more or less chance to start lucrative businesses and see them thrive. Of course, ever the many years, certain parts of the country and cities became renowned for their business-friendly atmosphere.

These are the cities we will be talking about today – big American cities where residents can launch their enterprises without fearing sudden closure or insurmountable problems.

The ranking of U.S. best big cities to start a business was done by WalletHub who have, once again, done a spectacular job of analyzing different types of data to come up with their list.

They analyzed 150 of the biggest cities – in terms of population – in the United States and they compared them across three main dimensions – Business Environment, Access to Resources and Costs.

Business Environment points (50 possible altogether) were awarded depending on how long the average work week is, the average growth of small businesses numbers, number of startups and other factors. Access to Resources (25 points) was calculated based on accessibility to finances, venture investment opportunities, higher education assets, college-educated workforce and so on. Costs (25 points) entailed affordability of office space, labor costs, cost of living and corporate taxes.

The cities were then awarded points, which were used to calculate the Total Score. The cities were also ranked in the three main categories, out of 150.

The city that earned the most points was Sioux Falls, South Dakota with the total score of 52.65. We have to say we were a bit disappointed to find out that the best city only barely made it past the half-point mark in total score. Sioux Falls did particularly well in the Business Environment category where it ranked 9th overall. Perhaps the most interesting detail is that Sioux Falls didn’t top any of the individual categories. They simply do everything well.

At a very close second spot, we find Grand Rapids, Michigan which earned 52.52 points altogether. Grand Rapids did well in the Business Environment category where it came in 16th and the Costs category where it finished 13th. It actually topped the list of cities with the highest average growth of number of small businesses. In short, Grand Rapids is the place to be.


Oklahoma City made it to third place, with the total score of 52.22. The city came in 7th in the Business Environment and 18th in Costs. In the fourth spot, we find Lincoln, Nebraska with the total score of 52.03. Lincoln did particularly well in the Accessibility to Resources category where it came in fourth. Rounding off the Top 5 is St. Louis, Missouri with the total score of 51.81. St. Louis came in 7th in the Costs category and only barely missed the Top 10 in Access to Resources category.

Other cities that made it to Top 10 include Salt Lake City, Utah in 6th spot with 51.07 total points; Charlotte, North Carolina in 7th with 50.85 points;Springfield, Missouri in 8th with 50.77; Tulsa, Oklahoma in 9th with 50.69 and Amarillo, Texas in 10th spot with the total score of 49.70.

The five worst big American cities to start a business are Ontario, California as dead last, followed (or preceded) by Providence, Rhode Island;Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Philadelphia only barely missed out on being in the bottom 5, while Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Phoenix didn’t fare much better.

Other major cities fared very differently. For instance, Boston made it to spot No. 14, mostly thanks to topping the rankings for Accessibility to Resources.Houston made it to 21st spot thanks to ranking 2nd in the Business Environment category. Atlanta ended up at spot No. 24, Los Angeles ended up 48th,Detroit was in spot No. 56 and New York City came in at #89.

One trend that is more than obvious is that the Midwest fared particularly well, with a number of major cities ranking very high.

Who knew?

You can find the entire list here –

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