30 Best Cities to Start a Business in 2023 and Beyond

Are you an entrepreneur scouting the perfect location to kickstart your business venture? We’ve meticulously compiled a list of the top 30 US cities that provide extraordinary opportunities for new businesses in 2023 and beyond. 

With thriving entrepreneurial cultures, supportive communities, and attractive financial incentives, these cities tick all the right boxes. 

Our comprehensive guide covers everything from beneficial tax regimes to funding accessibility and business-friendly environments. Join us as we explore the 30 best cities for your entrepreneurial journey.

The Top 30 Cities to Start a Business

When it comes to starting a business, choosing the right city can greatly impact your chances of success. To assist you in making an informed decision, we have curated a list of the top 30 cities that provide excellent opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in 2023 and beyond. 

Let’s delve into the key points of each city, including the unemployment rate, labor force size, average length of a workweek, state minimum wage, median rent, start-up cost index, and other factors that make it an ideal location for starting a business.

Here’s the breakdown for each city that you should consider to be a successful business owner:

Atlanta, Georgia:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Labor force size: 2.5 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.9 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,350
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, film and entertainment, logistics, healthcare

Austin, Texas:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Labor force size: 1.1 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.3 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,450
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, innovation, software development, clean energy, biotechnology

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Labor force size: 0.6 million
  • Average length of work week: 36.2 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $900
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Energy, aerospace, healthcare, manufacturing

Nashville, Tennessee:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%
  • Labor force size: 1.1 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.6 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,600
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Music, entertainment, healthcare, technology, tourism

Orlando, Florida:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Labor force size: 1.3 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.8 hours
  • State minimum wage: $10.00/hour
  • Median rent: $1,450
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Hospitality, entertainment, leisure

Charlotte, North Carolina:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Labor force size: 1.2 million
  • Average length of work week: 35.1 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,400
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Banking, healthcare, technology, energy

Boise City, Idaho:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Labor force size: 0.4 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.4 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,250
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, manufacturing

Sandy Springs, Georgia:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Labor force size: 0.1 million
  • Average length of work week: 35.6 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,800
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Professional, scientific, and technical services

Louisville, Kentucky:

  • Unemployment rate: 4.2%
  • Labor force size: 0.6 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.8 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,000
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, food and beverage

St. Louis, Missouri:

  • Unemployment rate: 4.1%
  • Labor force size: 1.3 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.9 hours
  • State minimum wage: $12.00/hour
  • Median rent: $900
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Biotechnology, healthcare, manufacturing, finance

Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Labor force size: 1.0 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.5 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,100
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Advanced manufacturing, food and beverage, water technology

Carmel, Indiana:

  • Unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • Labor force size: 0.1 million
  • Average length of work week: 35.1 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,300
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Healthcare, finance, technology

Sioux Falls, South Dakota:

  • Unemployment rate: 2.6%
  • Labor force size: 0.1 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.7 hours
  • State minimum wage: $9.45/hour
  • Median rent: $850
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Healthcare, financial services, professional services

Minneapolis, Minnesota:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Labor force size: 1.6 million
  • Average length of work week: 35.4 hours
  • State minimum wage: $10.08/hour
  • Median rent: $1,400
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, healthcare, education, retail

Indianapolis, Indiana:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Labor force size: 1.0 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.8 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $950
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Advanced manufacturing, logistics, life sciences, technology

Raleigh, North Carolina:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Labor force size: 1.0 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.7 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,300
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, healthcare, education, research, and development

Tulsa, Oklahoma:

  • Unemployment rate: 4.3%
  • Labor force size: 0.4 million
  • Average length of work week: 35.1 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $850
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Energy, manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare

St. Petersburg, Florida:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Labor force size: 0.5 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.9 hours
  • State minimum wage: $10.00/hour
  • Median rent: $1,400
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Tourism, healthcare, marine sciences, technology

Knoxville, Tennessee:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Labor force size: 0.4 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.6 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,000
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Manufacturing, healthcare, technology, tourism

Scottsdale, Arizona:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Labor force size: 0.2 million
  • Average length of work week: 35.2 hours
  • State minimum wage: $12.15/hour
  • Median rent: $1,500
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Tourism, healthcare, technology, retail

El Paso, Texas:

  • Unemployment rate: 4.7%
  • Labor force size: 0.3 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.5 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $900
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: International trade, healthcare, logistics, energy

Cary, North Carolina:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Labor force size: 0.2 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.8 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,400
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, healthcare, education, research, and development

Tampa, Florida:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Labor force size: 1.4 million
  • Average length of work week: 35.1 hours
  • State minimum wage: $10.00/hour
  • Median rent: $1,300
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Tourism, healthcare, finance, technology

Wichita, Kansas:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Labor force size: 0.3 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.8 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $800
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Manufacturing, aerospace, agriculture, healthcare

Denver, Colorado:

  • Unemployment rate: 2.8%
  • Labor force size: 1.6 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.8 hours
  • State minimum wage: $12.32/hour
  • Median rent: $1,600
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, renewable energy, aerospace, outdoor recreation

Salt Lake City, Utah:

  • Unemployment rate: 2.6%
  • Labor force size: 0.7 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.9 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,200
  • Start-up cost index: Low
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, healthcare, financial services, outdoor recreation

Portland, Oregon:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Labor force size: 0.9 million
  • Average length of work week: 35.0 hours
  • State minimum wage: $12.00/hour
  • Median rent: $1,550
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, sustainability, creative industries, food and beverage

Phoenix, Arizona:

  • Unemployment rate: 4.2%
  • Labor force size: 2.3 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.8 hours
  • State minimum wage: $12.15/hour
  • Median rent: $1,200
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Technology, healthcare, manufacturing, tourism

Miami, Florida:

  • Unemployment rate: 4.6%
  • Labor force size: 2.2 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.9 hours
  • State minimum wage: $8.65/hour
  • Median rent: $1,750
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Tourism, international trade, finance, healthcare

Fort Worth, Texas:

  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Labor force size: 1.0 million
  • Average length of work week: 34.6 hours
  • State minimum wage: $7.25/hour
  • Median rent: $1,250
  • Start-up cost index: Moderate
  • Thriving businesses: Manufacturing, logistics, technology, healthcare

Note: The above statistics are subject to change due to their constant evolution. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to websites such as Zillow, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and City-data.

Exploring the Ideal Cities for Entrepreneurship

In this comprehensive guide, we explored 30 cities that offer exceptional opportunities for starting a business in various industries. From the thriving tech hubs of Atlanta and Austin to the vibrant music scene in Nashville — each city has its advantages. 

As you set out on your entrepreneurial journey, ensure the financial success of your business with Doola’s bookkeeping services. Our expertise in bookkeeping, financial management, and tax support will provide you with peace of mind to focus on growing your business. Get started with Doola today and build your business in a new city.

FAQs

How can you determine which city is best for your business? 

Determining the best city for your business involves considering factors such as market demand, competition, infrastructure, access to talent, and cost of living.

Are there cities with a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem? 

Yes, many cities have developed supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems that offer resources like co-working spaces, networking events, and mentorship programs.

Are there any cities that offer tax incentives or other financial benefits? 

Yes, several cities provide tax incentives and financial benefits to attract businesses. These can include tax breaks, grants, subsidies, and special economic zones designed to stimulate economic growth.

How do you navigate the legal and regulatory requirements of starting a business in these cities? 

Navigating legal and regulatory requirements involves researching and complying with local laws, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and consulting with legal professionals or business advisors who are familiar with the specific city’s regulations.

How do you access funding and resources to start your business in these cities?

Accessing funding and resources often involves exploring options like venture capital firms, angel investors, government grants, small business loans, and crowdfunding platforms. Networking and building relationships with key stakeholders can also be beneficial.

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