If you want to move to a hot startup scene without breaking the bank, consider heading to Austin, Texas. Bonus: When the music-and-technology conference South By Southwest rolls through, you won’t have to scramble to find a hotel.
Austin ranks as the No. 1 place to launch your business, according to a new ranking by GoodApril, a San Francisco-based tax-planning startup. The ranking compares the seven hottest startup scenes in the U.S. across measures that matter most to new entrepreneurs: median tech-employee earnings, maximum personal income tax, property tax, the cost of housing and the cost of office space. Perhaps surprisingly, San Francisco, the longtime Silicon Valley startup mecca, ranks as the worst place to launch, due to high costs and taxes, GoodApril found.
Florida, Nevada, Texas and Washington have no state income tax, making them good places to launch, points out Mitch Fox, a co-founder of GoodApril. Tony Hsieh saved a lot of money by moving Zappos to Nevada about a decade ago, says Fox. “It may take Las Vegas or Austin 25 years to challenge northern California as an incubator of new technology, but they are working on it. Zero state income tax gives them a big advantage,” says Fox in a blog post. See the infographic, which compares the costs of doing business in each city, below.
An earlier version of this infographic misstated the median tech wage in San Francisco on its map image. San Francisco's median tech wage is $123,497.