Famous for the kindness and generosity of its inhabitants, Minnesota provides a comfortable environment in which to start a business. The state’s standard of living index is among the highest in the nation, and it’s also one of the wealthiest and best educated.

Budding entrepreneurs would be wise to head to Minneapolis, a lovely, cosmopolitan city and the largest in the state. Minneapolis has a high concentration of small businesses, largely owing to the great support resources for fledgling businesses offered up by the city government.

Hiring skilled workers is definitely not a challenge, as Minnesota’s network of universities churns out thousands of capable and talented graduates each year. To sweeten the pot for the prospective entrepreneur, Minnesota’s effective business tax rate is below the national average, an anomaly for a politically progressive Northern state.

In terms of art and culture, Minnesota has a lot to offer. The state has many fine art museums, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Walker Art Center. Minnesota’s impact and contribution to American music is vast, as Bob Dylan, Prince, Soul Asylum and the Replacements all emerged from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

For the enterprising business owner, Minnesota offers a variety of incentives that are tough to beat.

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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.