Survey shows MN more business friendly than you think

When it comes to being business-friendly, Minnesota is a “B” student.

A survey, done by, an online marketplace that connects service providers with consumers, appears to counter previous business-related assessments which focus on state taxes.

Minnesota is generally considered a high-tax state but the survey found that taxes were not statistically significant in defining whether a state is friendly to small businesses.

The highlights of the Minnesota portion of the survey:

  • Minnesota rated 5th when it came to ease of starting a business.
  • Small businesses rated Minnesota’s training and networking programs at number two overall nationwide, given them an A+ grade.
  • Female entrepreneurs in Minnesota rated the friendliness of their state government 7 percent higher than their male counterparts.
  • Minnesota received C or C+ grades for its regulations, including the friendliness of health and safety, labor, licensing, regulations and the friendliness of the tax code.

This is the second year in a row Minnesota has scored highly for the ease of starting a new business.

The top-rated states were Utah, Idaho, Texas, Virginia and Louisiana.

“Minnesota has emerged as a top place for starting a business,” Jon Lieber, chief economist of Thumbtack, said in a release. “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and small businesses have recognized Minnesota for providing support.”

In its categories — such as starting a business, tax code, regulations — the state got B’s and C’s in 2012. In the most recent survey, Minnesota got a “B” in “overall friendliness.”

Over the last year, the Twin Cities, in particular, jumped from a “B” to an “A” in overall friendliness. It also jumped a grade in regulations (B-), health and safety (B), licensing (B-), environment (B), and went from a “C-” to an “A” in training and networking programs.

The Los Angeles Times notes that because the questionnaire was hosted online, “the educational level of participants was higher than the average American business owner.”

Full survey here.