If you’re considering opening up a franchise this year, or even next, there are likely a lot of considerations that you’ve had to contend with. Though many aspiring entrepreneurs spend the bulk of their time considering which franchise to invest in, there’s another looming question that should be carefully considered, one that can dictate your overall success, expenses, and even the type of franchise opportunities to be considered: location.
If you’re willing to up and move to pursue your franchise dreams, there are a few states you’ll want to add to the list.
Best states in which to open a franchise
For years, Virginia was considered one of the most favorable locations for small businesses, and though business costs have dimmed some of that appeal, it still remains a top contender and definitely should make your list of potential locations. In part, Virginia’s continual presence on these “top location” lists, despite costs, is a byproduct of its convenient location. With the nation’s capital so close to the State for Lovers, businesses can thrive on patronage from the many D.C. workers who choose to reside in Virginia, though tourism can also bolster sales.
However, in addition to proximity benefits, Virginia is also notably kinder when it comes to business regulations. The same is true when you take into consideration the state’s business-friendly policies and incentives.
Related: 6 Ways to Finance Your Franchise
For several years now, the Lone Star State has received gold stars when it comes to business, and that trend appears to continue. Recently named the No. 1 state for businesses in CNBC’s annual Top States for Business report, Texas has a strong economy and growing job market, with over 350,000 jobs added in the last year alone.
While the city’s capital, Austin, has been a long-time favorite in startup culture, since Texas is home to four additional large cities (Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio), you can choose a location in or around the major metropolitan areas, tapping into the consumer spending habits of some of Texas’s 28 million residents.
Utah has notably been a fertile ground for business and economic growth over the past few years, and it’s not uncommon to see Utah claim the top spot on business outlook lists highlighting those very characteristics. Perhaps, in part, this is because Utah, along with North Carolina, has a corporate tax rate of only 5 percent, the lowest in the country.
While Utah isn’t home to a wide swath of huge, bustling cities like like Texas, according to a recent report on small business locations, Utah is home to several small cities that could become the prime location for your new franchise.
If you’re eyeing up Utah for a potential franchise location, consider St. George, Clearfield, Ogden, Bountiful and Midvale – they may not be metropolitan hubs, but they certainly can be great locations to lay down your entrepreneurial roots.
With the second lowest business costs in the U.S., the price of doing business in North Carolina is just over 10 percent lower than the national average. That’s one reason that the Tar Heel state may have made the Forbes Best States for Business for the last 11 years.
Depending on industry type, your franchise may receive a unique boost not necessarily available in other states due to its diverse landscape. Of course, the same can be true when you consider the healthy mix of long-time residents and tourists that can spark your customer base.
Don’t assume that Nevada is best left to casinos or that you’re limited to the tourist-focused confines of Las Vegas. Nevada has much more to offer.
In 2018, the International Franchise Association deemed the Battle Born state the “top state for employment and output franchise growth,” with Utah following directly behind. CNN Money also named Nevada the second-best state to start a business and combined, those accolades can be quite convincing.
Aside from a growing population, Nevada also offers entrepreneurs significant tax benefits as the state charges no income, franchise, capital gains or corporate gains taxes. Nevada also happens to have a relatively low cost of living and the lowest property taxes nationwide.
If you’re willing to move in an effort to find the best location to open a franchise business, then determining the best place will require you to review a variety of factors, including the cost of living, taxes and incentives, and the general quality of life extended to residents and business owners alike. As you compile your list of potential locations, be sure to include these five states in your search.
This article originally appeared on Nav.com by Jennifer Lobb.