The Best States for Business in America

Some states are clearly better for business than others. We’ll list the 10 best states for business, according to a ranking by CNBC, alongside their respective average rent prices for a one-bedroom apartment. The report by CNBC also addresses states’ rankings in 10 categories relating to business, in addition to their overall ranking.

10. Ohio


Ohio is ranked as the number 10 best state for business by CNBC. However, when you look through a microscope, you see that where Ohio really shines is in infrastructure investment. Ohio is ranked fourth in the nation for their infrastructure, by the report.

The Columbus Navigator reported in 2016, “Ohio received a lot of money in 2016 to keep our roads, bridges, waterways, airports, railroads, drinking water systems and wastewater systems in tip-top shape.” Ohio also ranked very well in terms of the cost of doing business — garnering a ranking of eighth in the U.S. for low costs of business.

If Ohio seems like the state you’d like to call home, you’ll be delighted to know that the average rental price of a one-bedroom apartment in Ohio is currently just $961, well below the 2018 U.S. average for one-bedroom apartments at $1,140.

9. Colorado


Next on the list of best states for business is Colorado. The Centennial State is known for its natural beauty, outdoor activities and bustling tourism industry. However, Colorado has a strong economy and is a great place to call home.

Colorado has a very high quality of life ranking, earning the seventh spot out of 50 states in the CNCB poll. This high ranking is perhaps because two of the nationally-recognized cities with the highest quality of life are within Colorado, even within driving distance of each other.

Colorado is slightly more expensive than some other cities on this list to live in, however, the strong workforce will compensate for this fact. The average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Colorado is $1,582.

8. Nebraska


Nebraska might not conjure up images of “business” in your mind, but it’s the eighth-best state for business according to CNBC. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development says, “Doing business in Nebraska is affordable, but not in a cheap way,” and they’re right.

When comparing Nebraska to Ohio, the first state on this list, you’ll see that Nebraskan workers add much more value to the state economy per dollar invested in production — $7.24 vs. $6.07 in value added per dollar wage increase in Nebraska and Ohio, respectively.

Nebraska also has a low cost of living. The average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Nebraska is a mere $900.

7. Minnesota


The CNCB report places Minnesota in the seventh spot on the list of best states to do business. However, the North Star State ranks higher than seven in more than one sub-category of the study. Minnesota boasts the third-highest spot in the categories of both education and quality of life.

CNBC says, “Schools are great and life is good, but high costs and heavy regulation is weighing down the North Star State.” That’s true considering, despite the extremely high rankings in quality of life and education, Minnesota still ranks as the 39th most costly state to do business and the 31st most costly state to live. The average rental rate for a one-bedroom apartment in Minnesota is $1,270.

6. Georgia


Georgia is the first southern state to crop up on this list, at number six of best states for business. Georgia has a strong economy, infrastructure and workforce and plenty of access to business capital alongside a low comparative cost of living. In fact, Georgia ranks 11th overall, out of all 50 states, in the report for comparative cost of living.

You can live in a one-bedroom apartment in Georgia for $1,180 on average.

5. Washington


Washington is well known as a tech center in the U.S. and for good reason. The conglomeration of business data by CNBC shows that Washington ranks second in the nation for tech and innovation.

After all, Washington is home to major tech players like Amazon, Expedia, Google, Facebook, Zillow, Uber and Apple — a very serious roster of tech companies.

However, access to this sort of opportunity doesn’t come cheap. Washington ranks 38th in terms of cost of living according to CNBC, a drop from their spot in 37th place last year. A one-bedroom space in Washington will cost you $1,840 on average.

4. Utah


Utah is the fourth-best state for business in the CNBC study. Utah is quite average in many regards, ranking somewhere between 17 and 25 for seven out of 10 categories. The Beehive state has a superb economy, though, making it one of the best states for commerce.

The cost of living in Utah is also quite reasonable. A one-bedroom apartment averages just more than $1,100.

3. North Carolina

North Carolina

North Carolina shows up as another representative for the south on this list at number three. North Carolina tops the list for best economy in the U.S., lending to its favorable spot overall.

The state also has a good chance for accessing capital for prospective business people, ranking sixth out of 50 in that regard. The access to finances is likely because of North Carolina’s geographic location. Charlotte’s status as a banking hub doesn’t hurt either.

It’s actually fairly reasonable to live in North Carolina cost-wise. The average rate for a one-bedroom apartment in North Carolina is $1,117.

2. Texas


You might be surprised to see Texas near the number one spot on this list, but the Lone Star State has more to offer businesses than cowboys and southern charm. With nearly 30 million people in the state of Texas, it’s no wonder that the economy and workforce are so strong.

Texas is so large that rental prices can vary drastically. Texas is home to some very large cities with millions of people but also has rural locales. As an average, the rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Texas is $1,137.

1. Virginia


Lastly, the best state for doing business is Virginia. Virginia earned this spot in the CNBC ranking through two top recognitions: number one in workforce strength and number one in education. With easy access to the D.C. Metro area, Virginia is quickly becoming a powerhouse of earnings for business people.

However, the cost of living in Virginia is something you should consider. The average rental rate for a one-bedroom is $1,504.

The best states for business are open for business

The best part about each of the previously listed 10 best states for business is that they’re all open for you to live and work in. Moving isn’t always easy, and there will always be pros and cons. But, if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, a move to one of the best states for business might be just what the doctor (CEO?) ordered.

The current rent information included in this article is based on July 2019 multifamily rental property inventory on and and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein does not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
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Timothy HarrisTimothy Harris is a freelance writer based in Albuquerque. He brings a professional background in event marketing, residential real estate and journalism to the table to provide useful and relevant content for the modern renter. Timothy has previously written content for Karsten & Associates in New Mexico and Up 'til Dawn, a philanthropic fundraiser that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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