America’s most small business friendly states

Rhode Island and Illinois are among the worst states for small business owners, says a new survey, while Texas and New Hampshire are at the top.

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A new survey of nearly 18,000 small business owners nationwide finds that entrepreneurs really want just one thing from government – simplicity.

In’s recently released small business friendliness survey, developed with the Kauffman Foundation, the states ranked highest are the ones that offer the easiest-to-navigate licensing and tax regimes, along with proactive help for small business owners. What matters much less: the actual burden of taxes or regulation.

“The tax rate is often talked about but it’s not a particularly meaningful measure,” says Thumbtack’s chief economist, Jon Lieber. “The amount paid in taxes matters significantly less than the complexity of the tax system and the difficulty people have complying.”

By these standards, the states ranked best in Thumbtack’s survey are Texas, New Hampshire and Utah, while the states ranked worst are Rhode Island, Illinois and Connecticut, along with New York and California.

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