Which are the Friendliest U.S. States for Small Business in 2013? Thumbtack.com Survey Reveals

Want to start a small business in the U.S.? The 2013 Thumbtack.com survey reveals U.S. States’ small business friendliness.

Thumbtack.com, local service listing company, has just released the 2nd annual Small Business Friendliness Survey. In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, Thumbtack.com asked 8,000 of their 275,000 listed local services about their local and state business environment: How easy it is to start a business, how easy it is to hire employees, how friendly is the local and state regulations, how helpful is the local business training and networking program, and so on.

thumbtack survey 2013

It’s a pretty comprehensive survey, and the results are interesting:

5 of the friendliest states for small business

Alabama, Idaho, New Hampshire, Texas and Utah are the friendliest U.S. States of all. Idaho and New Hampshire is best for ease of starting a business; Alabama is best for ease of hiring; Utah is best for overall friendliness; Texas is great for employment, labor and hiring. My favorite state, Florida, is not doing so well; although it’s doing quite well in its tax code, it’s not quite a friendly place for small business (ouch!)

5 of the least-friendly states for small business

Hawaii, Maine and Rhode Island get an overall grade of “F”, while California (with its poor tax code) and Illinois round up the Bottom-5 U.S. states in small business friendliness.

5 of the friendliest cities for small business

Three Texas’ cities, San Antonio, Austin and Houston, are 3 of 5 of the friendliest cities for small business. 2 other cities which join the rank are Virginia Beach and Colorado Springs.

5 of the least-friendly cities for small business

Three cities from the state of California, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego are the least-friendly U.S. cities. The Bottom-5 cities group is rounded up by Cincinnati and Newark.

Professional licensing is more important than taxes

Small business owners see professional licensing requirements as a detrimental factor in considering the small business friendliness. They were 30 percent more important than taxes – a similar finding from 2012’s study.

Small business owners are more than willing to pay taxes at the current rates

With regard to tax rates, more than 50 percent of small business owners think that they are at the right amount.


Canada has done what the U.S. hasn’t, despite the idea has been proposed quite a long time ago: Offering fast-track permanent residency Visas to budding International entrepreneurs via its Startup Visa Program, demonstrating the country’s openness to entrepreneurial ideas, innovation and economic growth.

While the U.S. is not doing so due to one reason or another, at least U.S. states need to do a better job in attracting entrepreneurs nationally by developing small business-friendly policies and environment. Some states are demonstrating that creating a pro-small-business environment is possible; Dane Stangler, director of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation, said that “Policymakers put themselves in the best position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to the voices of small business owners themselves.”

For the comprehensive report, click here. For the data visualization, visit the 2013 Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness survey page.

Ivan Widjaya, Noobpreneur.com