The 20 Best Large Cities To Start A Business In 2021

best cities to start a business

Even in the face of adversity and a global pandemic, the number of entrepreneurs is growing exponentially.

Thousands of successful companies launched at what might have seemed like the worst possible time, and there are countless reasons to start your own business from scratch, and there’s never been a better time than 2021.

In the third quarter of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau’s records of business applications showed a 77.4% increase over the second quarter of 2020. Compared to 2019, 2020 business applications are nearly 38% higher.

Even more important than starting a business is the knowledge of knowing how to run and grow your business and where to start a business. As always, location, location, location is key.

WalletHub released its report this week on 2021’s Best Large Cities to Start a Business and compared 100 U.S. cities across 21 key indicators of startup viability.

Conditions in the U.S. are improving as people get vaccinated, and states reopen, though. In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs — from restaurant owners to high-tech movers and shakers — maximize their chances for long-term prosperity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub compared the relative startup opportunities that exist in 100 U.S. cities.

We did so using 21 key metrics, ranging from the five-year business survival rate to COVID-19 cases to office-space affordability.

Here are the best large cities to start a business, according to WalletHub’s findings:

1. Laredo, TX
2. Durham, NC
3. Lubbock, TX
4. Orlando, FL
5. Boise, ID
6. Charlotte, NC
7. Raleigh, NC
8. Austin, TX
9. Fort Worth, TX
10. Tampa, FL
11. Atlanta, GA
12. St. Petersburg, FL
13. Reno, NV
14. Dallas, TX
15. Winston-Salem, NC
16. Colorado Springs, CO
17. Jacksonville, FL
18. Kansas City, MO
19. Nashville, TN
20. Irvine, CA

Key Findings

Miami and Hialeah, Florida, have the most startups per 100,000 residents, 244.10, which is three times more than in Toledo, Ohio, the city with the fewest at 81.97.

Toledo, Ohio, has the lowest average annual rent for office space, $11.93 per square foot, which is 6.7 times cheaper than in San Francisco, the city with the highest at $80.22 per square foot.

Laredo, Texas, has the lowest cost-of-living index, 79.00, which is 2.5 times lower than in Honolulu, the city with the highest at 198.60.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, check out WalletHub’s 2021’s Best Large Cities to Start a Business.

Chris Illuminati

Chris Illuminati is the author of five books and has written about personal finance, wealth, debt management, and entrepreneurship for numerous outlets including Wise Bread, Grow or Die, and Bankrate.