Best Cities to Start a Business in Rhode Island

Last updated: March 19th, 2024

Famously the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island’s tax rates historically have been higher than those of its neighbors, preventing it from becoming an in-demand location for starting and maintaining a business.

However, in 2010 the Rhode Island General Assembly wrote and passed a new tax code lowering the maximum tax rate to 5.99% in hopes of drawing in new business growth. Moreover, the state, led by Governor Gina Raimondo (herself a former venture capitalist), has taken further steps in order to attract startups and young talent, most significantly by founding the Wavemaker Fellowship, which offers student loan repayment assistance to those developing businesses or beginning careers in the fields of technology and design.

Rhode Island’s rustic New England charm, coupled with its new small business-oriented government, gives reasons to believe that there has never been a better time to move to the state and build something from the ground up.


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.

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