RALEIGH – Starting a business can be challenging.  But doing so in North Carolina may give entrepreneurs an edge, as a new analysis shows that the state ranks 11th best in the nation in which to launch a new business.

Despite about half of all startup companies shutting down within five years of opening their doors, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina slightly outpaced the national average.

The new WalletHub study found that North Carolina ranked behind ten other U.S. states based on an analysis of 27 metrics across three primary categories.

And even though North Carolina was ranked the best state for business in 2022 by CNBC, the WalletHub analysis places the state at only 11th.  That’s even as the state ranks 3rd in the nation for effective tax rates on mature corporate headquarters and fifth for corporate tax rate.

Still, North Carolina ranks high in metrics that track job growth, economic growth, and the growth rate of working age people.  And North Carolina remains among a group of a dozen states where labor costs are below $56,700, according to the WalletHub data.

But companies who start in North Carolina face a challenging labor market, as the state ranked 29th for human capital availability, according to the data set.  And even when companies can attract workers, finding affordable places to work are challenging in North Carolina, too, with the state ranking 35th for office space affordability in the data set from WalletHub.

Still, North Carolina was named the top place to start a business in a study released earlier in the month by Motley Fool.

North Carolina ranks highly as best state to start a business, reports say

Who ranks ahead of NC?

According to the WalletHub analysis, there were 10 states that outranked North Carolina:

  1. Utah
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. Colorado
  5. Idaho
  6. Georgia
  7. Arizona
  8. Nevada
  9. Oklahoma
  10. California

North Carolina trailed California by just 0.07 points in the index, which was compiled after grading each of the 27 metrics for each state on a 100-point scale and then weighting the results.

A 2021 study ranked North Carolina 9th in the nation, while one from 2019 ranked North Carolina 14th.

North Carolina remains the ninth most populous state in the country.