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Top States for Doing Business: Cost, Business Friendliness, and Taxes

Area Development magazine asked a selected group of highly respected industry consultants to respond to a "flash survey" on their picks for the best states for business. The respondents considered eight site selection criteria: business costs, business friendliness, corporate taxes, overall labor climate, work force development programs, fast-track permitting, rail and highway accessibility, and shovel-ready sites.

Area Development Online Research Desk (September 2010)

Top States for Business: Cost, Business Friendliness, and Taxes (1/8)


According to this recent survey of consultants, southern states fared especially well in providing the best business environment when it came to costs, taxes, and overall business friendliness. Texas was the top pick, followed by South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Next: Cost, Business Friendliness, and Taxes

Cost, Business Friendliness, and Taxes (2/8)


Texas earned high marks from the surveyed consultants for its business friendliness, low costs, and taxes. It was closely followed by South Carolina and Tennessee.

Next: Texas

1. Texas (3/8)


The surveyed consultants chose Texas as the number one state for cost of doing business, business friendliness, and business taxes. This southwest state has been an economic powerhouse, especially over the past year, taking top honors of some of the most respected business rankings, including CNBC and Directorship.

Next: South Carolina

2. South Carolina (4/8)


South Carolina's business cost environment has attracted a slew of high-profile business relocations and expansions to the Palmetto State. Boeing selected the state for a $750 million, 1.2 million-square-foot facility that is expected to create 4,000 jobs. And Korean electric vehicle maker CT&T collaborated with the homegrown 2AM Group on an electric car facility.

Next: Tennessee

3. Tennessee (5/8)


Tennessee is becoming known not only for its strong music culture, but as a beacon for business. Low costs and business-friendly taxes have drawn a $120 million Whirlpool facility, two Japanese auto part company plants, and a number of additional business expansions.

Next: Alabama

4. Alabama (6/8)


Helping to anchor the south's fiscal strength is Alabama, whose business costs and taxes lured investments to the state over the past year. Huntsville is becoming a hub of the aerospace industry, with Boeing and Vector Aerospace choosing to grow their businesses there. Elsewhere in the state, Mercedes, Honda, and GE made significant investments.

Next: Mississippi

5. Mississippi (7/8)


Nearby Mississippi is also bringing in the investments thanks to its business-friendly cost environment. Since 2003, companies as large as Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Georgia-Pacific, Raytheon, and Toyota have selected the state for operations. Mississippi is especially showing signs of economic recovery: its once stalled Blue Springs Toyota plant recently resumed hiring for 2,000 positions.

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