Thinking startup? Consider these three special U.S. states

People migrate to where the jobs are. Similarly, it’s generally a wise strategy for entrepreneurs to migrate to where it’s easiest to found a business.

If that’s true, what should you be looking for? I suggest that you want a state with a good overall climate for business where you can easily find banks willing to lend to small business founders with a good plan.

With those criteria in mind, North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia currently emerge as the overall winners. I’m basing this on Forbes’ yearly ranking of states good for business and Biz2Credit’s recent survey of state loan approval rates.

Here are top 10 states with the highest small business loan approval rates:

  1. New Jersey (23.4% approval rate)
  2. New York (19% approval rate)
  3. Illinois (15% approval rate)
  4. California (14.2% approval rate)
  5. Pennsylvania (12.9% approval rate)
  6. Florida (11.1% approval rate)
  7. Georgia (10.2% approval rate)
  8. Texas (10% approval rate)
  9. Ohio (8.8% approval rate)
  10. North Carolina (7.9% approval rate)

Here’s the Forbes ranking of the states that are best for business:

  1. Utah
  2. North Carolina
  3. Nebraska
  4. Texas
  5. Colorado
  6. Virginia
  7. Georgia
  8. North Dakota
  9. Washington
  10. South Dakota

Those three states – North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia – represent a general demographic trend we have been experiencing in recent decades: The shift of people from the North to the South. Further, we know that even in the depths of the Great Recession, Texas was the lone star (pun intended), leading the way in job creation.

To create its ranking, Forbes looks for low business costs, an educated workforce, and pro-business regulatory climate. Combine those qualities with more cooperative bank loan officers, and you have a winning combination.