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February 13, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Nashville, Memphis make this listing of top 50 cities for starting a business

It seems like there’s at least one ranking each week on best places to live or start a business. Last week, the latest entrant that came on our radar was courtesy of Real Estate Witch. The organization evaluated a variety of criteria from 50 cities and weighted them as follows:

  • 3x: Business applications per 100,000 people in the last five years.
  • 3x: Employment growth in the last 12 months.
  • 2x: Average annual income.
  • 2x: LLC filing fees.
  • 2x: Incorporation filing fees.
  • 2x: Corporate tax rate.
  • 2x: Chief executives per 1,000 people.
  • 1x: Google Trends data.
  • 1x: Patents filed per 1,000 people in the last five years.

What city topped the list? Las Vegas was ranked the best city to launch a start-up due to its lowest corporate tax rate (0.65 percent) and highest employment growth rate in the last 12 months (8.5 percent) of all 50 cities studied.

Two Tennessee cities made the top 25 – Nashville at #15 and Memphis at #24. In addition, Music City was the best place to network with founders — 4.14 out of every 1,000 people there have the job title “CEO.”

About Nashville, the enterprise wrote: Music City is finding its voice in the business world. Nashville is still the top destination for burgeoning country artists, but the city is attracting creatives of another sort — healthcare entrepreneurs. Nashville is home to nearly 4,000 healthcare companies that garnered $940 million in venture capital from 2005 to 2015, 60 percent of total investment dollars in the city at that time. The metro’s high number of healthcare companies creates the perfect environment for competition and innovation, especially among students. Vanderbilt University is ranked No. 13 for best medical school research, while Meharry Medical College is the country’s largest historically Black college, dedicated to treating underserved communities through research-based patient care.”

What are the worst cities for starting a business based on the criteria used? Hartford, CT tops the list followed, in order, by: (1) Buffalo, NY; (2) Pittsburgh; (3) Chicago; (4) Boston; (5) Philadelphia; (6) New York City; (7) Providence, RI; (8) Milwaukee; and (9) Minneapolis.

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