Being your own boss can be a pretty solid gig. You make your own hours, give yourself a day off when you need it, and reap all the rewards once you’ve earned your success. But if you’re not ready to take the plunge tofull-time just yet, consider starting a little side hustle to get you going. The extra cash flow certainly doesn’t hurt.

So where are the best places to launch a side business? Whether you’re dog walking and house sitting or graphic designing and blogging, here’s my pick of the top 10 states to launch your side gig.

  1. It’s all about Utah. Not only did CNBC recently ranked it as the no. 1 state in America for business, Forbes also ranked as no. 1 in 5 out of the past six years. Utah offers a low cost of doing business and a solid workforce if you plan to hire any employees, not to mention an incredibly strong economy.
  2. Colorado offers a mega strong economy, and they rank high in technology and access to capital. You’ll need that access to capital, though, because cost of doing business in Colorado isn’t cheap. Their workforce, however, is one of the best in the nation—not surprising, considering they have a large population, and Coloradans tend to be well-educated.
  3. Texas ranks as the strongest economy in the nation, and they’re close to the top for infrastructure, making it an ideal location to launch a side business. They have tremendous job growth as well (the second fastest in the nation).
  4. Washington is the land of technology and innovation—the perfect environment for an entrepreneur like yourself! They also have a thriving economy—one of the strongest in the country—and the cost of doing business there is below the national average.
  5. The main draw for Nebraska is that the regulatory environment is conducive for small business owners. Nebraska also ranks high in “business friendliness” and quality of life.
  6. When most folks think of Minnesota, they think of cold weather and sprawling landscapes, but there’s a lot more to Minnesota than that. They rank second in the nation for both quality of life and education, and they have a super-low cost of doing business and a surprisingly strong economy. Watch out for taxes, though. Minnesota has some of the highest corporate and individual income taxes in the country.
  7. This one’s also a bit of a shocker…but North Dakota has a lot to offer. Excellent quality of life and available workforce make this state an ideal location for setting up shop. Low cost of doing business and strong economic growth in North Dakota doesn’t hurt your chances for success here, either.
  8. Georgia offers one of the strongest infrastructures in the nation and a solid workforce. They offer reasonable cost to do business, decent economic environment, and strong prospects for growth in the coming year. And let’s face it, the weather here is nicer than most other states on the list!
  9. If low cost of doing business and access to capital is what you’re after, head to North Carolina. Be cautious investing here, though. North Carolina has a ton of potential, but their recent “Bathroom Bill” has really dragged their economy down.
  10. Virginia is for lovers, as their slogan says, but it’s also for entrepreneurs. An excellent workforce due to large population and highly educated individuals make Virginia appealing to many young entrepreneurs. However, cost of doing business is high here, and the infrastructure is not as strong as many other states. Still, with an excellent quality of life and an easy regulatory environment, there are plenty of reasons to start your business here.

A lot of what these states have to offer varies depending upon the structure and type of business you want to start. If you plan to keep it small-scale without additional employees, a state’s workforce won’t matter much to you. If you’re pursuing a business in an industry that is highly regulated, make sure you do a deep dive into that particular state’s regulation requirements. Regardless, pick your passion, do your research, and get that side hustle going.

This first appeared in Forbes.


  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.