No U.S. state can claim a cultural heritage as heterogeneous and Old World influenced as Louisiana’s. Centuries of intermingling between different groups: the French, the Spanish, African Americans, landed southern gentry types and Native Americans contributed to its funky, multitudinous vibe and left Louisianans a tolerant bunch; unnerved by voodoo magic, unfamiliar cuisines or hordes of wasted coeds stumbling down Bourbon St. in the heat of Mardi Gras.

This broad-mindedness is reflected in the state’s friendly climate for small businesses. There’s seemingly always room for an entrepreneur to carve out a special niche in New Orleans.

Fishing and agriculture may be the backbone of Louisiana’s economy, but it’s the chance to make a name for oneself in the Big Easy’s restaurant or club scene that pulls in outsiders.

In the years following Katrina, young entrepreneurs filtered into the city, buying hurricane damaged properties for cheap and opening hip clubs and restaurants more in style of Brooklyn than NOLA. Yet this informal urban renewal project brought in much needed development, and again reshaped the face of New Orleans.

Louisiana is always in flux and welcome to newcomers. The state wants your business, too. A host of government sponsored programs provide various incentives and guidance for those wishing to open a business in the state.

LANew OrleansOrleans
LABossier CityBossier
LABaton RougeEast Baton Rouge
LALake CharlesCalcasieu

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.