(QUEEN CITY NEWS) — North Carolina has many attractive aspects that drive people to move here, and starting a business is now one of them. 

Along with the weather and combination of cities, mountains and beaches, a new study from Simplify LLC found the Old North State to be the No. 5 least expensive state to start a business.  

Inflation and rising interest rates have many business owners closely watching their expenses and cutting costs, the study states. However, the Census Bureau reported an unprecedented number of businesses have formed in recent years in the U.S. — including 429,800 in February.  

Simplify’s study used the most recent data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Small Business Administration and Census Bureau. The independent publication for small businesses analyzed myriad metrics, including the cost of labor, corporate tax rates, available commercial real estate, commercial electric bills and the health of the business environment in all 50 states and D.C. 

North Carolina garnered a score of 11.03, just ahead of South Dakota’s 10.86 and trailing fourth-place Montana (11.06). How did our state reach that level? 

For starters, N.C. is tops for average corporate income tax at 2.5 percent, and is 10th for an average monthly commercial electric bill of $461.77. Business owners pay workers $53,592 on average annually. 

South Carolina ranks 28th with a score of 9.33. The average income tax rate is 5 percent, and the average annual wage is $50,591. Mississippi has the lowest average salary at $43,145, with Washington, D.C. having the top-ranked of $92,595. 

Nevada is the No. 1 least expensive: Business owners pay workers $51,885 on average annually, pay 0% corporate tax rate, and the average monthly commercial electric bill of $463.41.  

Minnesota No. 1 most expensive: Business owners pay workers $60,958 on average annually, pay 9.8 percent corporate tax rate, and pay an average monthly commercial electric bill of $673.61.  

The five Most Expensive States are Minnesota, New York, Louisiana, Alabama and Alaska. 

The five Least Expensive States are Nevada, Colorado, Arkansas, Montana and North Carolina.


Simplify calculated each state’s rate across nine business-related categories compared to the national rate or an average of the states to determine which state gives entrepreneurs the best chance of success. States were awarded point values based on how better or worse their metrics were compared to the national rate; points in all categories were then totaled to arrive at overall scores for each state.

For example, top-ranked Nevada scored a total of about 12.4 points across the nine categories, ranging from a high of 2.52 points in the corporate tax category to a low of 0.78 points in the educational attainment category.