Time and again, Iowa is recognized as one of the most business friendly states in the nation, owing to low tax rates and other costs associated with doing business. It’s highly diversified economy, with no sector claiming over 22.9% of the state’s gross product provides ample opportunity for entrepreneurs in a number of fields and keeps the unemployment rate very low.

Considering Iowa’s reputation as an agricultural state, it’s no surprise that many of the tech startups located in the state focus on applications and technology focused on revolutionizing the industry, rendering farms more efficient, clean and cost effective.

Renewable energy is another rapidly growing sector in the state, and electric generation from wind turbines has increased exponentially in the past thirty years.

The state’s top universities, Iowa State and University of Iowa, are both home to massive business incubators, Iowa State University Research Park and the BioVentures Center, respectively, which host dozens of companies in the healthcare and technological fields, furthering the incentive for entrepreneurs to take advantage of the resources available in Iowa to help along a new business.

IAWaterlooBlack Hawk
IAIowa CityJohnson
IAWest Des MoinesPolk
IADes MoinesPolk
IACedar RapidsLinn
IACouncil BluffsPottawattamie
IASioux CityWoodbury

Only cities with over 50,000 inhabitants are reported in the results. Some data had to be interpolated to the county level and extrapolated to all the cities in the county. We concentrated on the following metrics to obtain our ranking: Cost of livingBest state for businessUnemploymentKauffman index, and Universities.


I'm an entrepreneur myself. When talking to others who want to start their own business, they often get wrapped up in the nitty gritty of paperwork and forming the company. They forget that what really matters is customers, sales, and profit. That's why I created How to Start an a simple resource and guide so you can spend less time on forming your company, and more time on building it.

My lawyers want me to remind you that I'm not a lawyer and that I'm completely unqualified to offer legal advice. This site is meant to serve as a reference for you on your journey. If you have questions or concerns, please contact a qualified lawyer (or accountant) to help you. Also, as a general rule, never take random legal advice on the internet.