While the amount of venture capital raised or revenue generated are some of the most common startup metrics, they aren't the only--or even the best--indicators of the health of a business.

Nav, a site that helps companies manage their credit scores, released a list Thursday of the states with the "healthiest" small businesses. Nav compiled the list by taking the credit scores of 15,500 of its small-business customers and then calculating the average business credit score for each state. The top 10 states (with their corresponding average credit scores) are as follows:

1. Vermont (51.7)

2. Iowa (49.2)

3. Nevada (48.8)

4. Alabama (47.6)

5. Oregon (47.3)

6. Utah (46.3)

7. Wisconsin (46.1)

8. Alaska (45.7)

9. Maine (45.7)

10. Michigan (45.0)

The No. 1 state on Nav's list, Vermont, isn't one that's typically known for a robust startup community. While Vermont had the second-lowest startup density (defined as the number of new employer businesses per 1,000 employer businesses) of all 50 states, according to the Kauffman Foundation's annual Startup Index, some players in the startup community are working to make it a better place for fast-growing businesses. The state's most prominent venture capital fund, Shelbourne-based FreshTracks Capital, launched a new fund in January that aims to invest in 15 new businesses over the next several years. The state also introduced the Vermont Small Business Offering Exemption in 2014, which allowed small businesses to raise up to $2 million from an unlimited number of Vermont citizens. As Nav notes in its report--the better the credit score businesses have, the more types of funding they're able to pursue.

If it's venture capital you're after, you're still better off in California or New York. But it's never a bad thing to work on that credit score.

Published on: Mar 2, 2017