RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Durham comes in at No. 7 and Raleigh at No. 8 in a new study about best cities to start a business, according to financial resource site WalletHub.

Charlotte scores even better, taking the No. 6 spot lifted in part by a shared No. 1 ranking with Austin and Winston-Salem for the highest average growth of new small businesses.

Wallet Hub’s survey, which was announced Monday morning, ranked the nation’s largest 100 cities based on several economic and other criteria.

“Today, more than 15.3 million people in the U.S., or nearly 10 percent of the labor force, work for themselves. And there is always room in the market for new ideas, products, services and multi-million-dollar success stories — if one knows where to look,” WalletHub says.

“In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs — from restaurant owners to high-tech movers and shakers — maximize their chances for long-term prosperity, WalletHub compared the relative startup opportunities that exist in 100 U.S. cities. We did so using 19 key metrics, ranging from five-year business-survival rate to office-space affordability.”

Orlando topped the list followed by Oklahoma City, Miami, Austin and Tampa.

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Durham’s score came in at 58.86 with a No. 39 ranking for business environment, No. 11 for access to resources, and No. 8 for business costs.

Raleigh’s score of 58.61 reflects a No. 40 ranking for business environment, No. 3 for access to resources, and No. 23 for business costs.

Charlotte received a score of 59.03 based on a No. 18 ranking for business environment, No. 28 for access to resources, and No. 29 for business costs.

Other North Carolina cities in the top 100 were Winston-Salem at No. 33 and Greensboro at No. 41.

Study criteria

In order to determine the best cities for launching a business, WalletHub says it compared 100 cities, across three key dimensions:

1) Business environment

2) Access to resources

3) Business costs

“Our sample considers only the city proper in each case, excluding cities in the surrounding metro area,” Wallet Hub adds.

Read the full study online.