Is the burden of compliance high on the list of your complaints?
If so, then financial advisors — most typically small-business owners — will find they have much in common with small-business owners as varied as painters, math tutors and DJs, who ranked the ease of regulatory compliance as the No. 1 issue across some dozen metrics in rating their state and city’s business friendliness.
The third annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey, which purports to be the largest small-business survey of its kind, asked 12,632 small-business owners to rate their state and metropolitan area’s responsiveness on the issues of greatest importance to them.
Regulatory issues such as the ease of meeting professional licensing requirements consistently ranked highest, notably above tax rates, which most survey respondents did not overly lament, saying rather that they were paying their “fair share.”
The survey, conducted in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, drew its audience from businesses providing services on the Thumbtack site, which seeks to match consumers with professionals that can perform their desired projects.
(Related: 10 Best & Worst Tax States for Retirees)
Survey respondents were asked questions such as “Would you discourage or encourage someone from starting a new business where you live?”
The five best are first, followed by the five worst states:
Business is booming down by the bayou—or at least the ease of doing business is on the rise. The state’s biggest city rose from C- last year to B+ this year, scoring grades of A+ in the ease of hiring new workers and in the category of environmental regulations.
Said Thumback’s chief economist, John Lieber: “Small business owners appreciate how friendly the regulations in New Orleans are towards them.”
The South is rising again. Richmond, the cradle of the Confederacy, is now displaying Yankee-style industriousness, ranking 6th best city nationwide for starting a business.
Small businesses gave Virginia’s capital an A+ for the ease of starting a business, and Richmond excelled particularly in the category of licensing and in environmental regulations.
The LoneStar State is 3 for 3 in making the Top 5 business friendly states, and the honor roll of best cities sounds like a roll call in the Texas state legislature.
Houston (No. 3), Austin (No. 4), Dallas (No. 6), Fort Worth (No. 7) and San Antonio (No. 8) took up half the spots among the Top 10 cities.
Said one business owner from a Houston suburb: “It is very easy to get information on starting and building your business.”
They grow more than spuds up in Idaho, a three-for-three hall of famer.
The survey found that start-ups were twice as common in Boise as they were nationwide, with 23 percent of businesses reported that they had been operating for less than one year.
Indeed, the state capital and its largest metropolitan area ranked first among among all 82 cities surveyed in terms of the ease of starting a business.