Editor's note: This column has been updated to provide attribution to original sources.
Approximately 15 million people, or 10% of the labor force, work for themselves. When deciding where to start a business, various factors are considered, including the availability of talented employees and cost of office space. WalletHub analyzed the 150 most populated U.S. cities and ranked the top 10 Overall Cities to start a business:
1. Oklahoma City, OK
"The ease of getting a business started here is another big sell," Susan Urbach, director of the University of Central Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, told CNN Money in 2014. "You can file all the paperwork online or head downtown and get it all done in a single morning."
2. Salt Lake City, UT
"EBay, Google, and others have massive call centers here because of this language capability that's not found many other places, especially towards the center of the country," Founder of Salt Lake City incubator Boom Startup John Richards told Fast Company. "So you have an affordable workforce that has a lot of loyalty to their employer and they have a lot of language skills."
3. Charlotte, NC
According to Business Insider, North Carolina "offers tax credits, funds and grants, and [is] among the nation's lowest effective business taxes and lowest mandatory expenses such as workers' compensation and unemployment."
4. Tulsa, OK
Like Oklahoma City, there are tax breaks for qualified manufacturing, research and development, and computer/data processing companies.
5. Grand Rapids, MI
To draw startups to Grand Rapids, Amway heir Rick DeVos "launched a $15 million investment fund called Start Garden, which will invest $5,000 in each of two business ideas every week," Inc. reported.
6. Durham, NC
Raleigh-Durham has four startup accelerators, Fast Company reports: "Joystick Labs puts on; Launchbox Digital is a standard franchised incubator; and Bull City Forward and Durham Coworking are local efforts." Research Triangle Park (RTP) is also home to tech giants IBM, Cisco, Nortel, Sony Ericsson, and GlaxoSmithKline.
7. St. Louis, MO
"To the question of what makes St. Louis great for startups, first of all the cost of doing business in St. Louis is unbelievable, Keith Alper, CEO of Creative Producers Group, told Fast Company.
8. Austin, TX
Texas is one of the few states with no individual or corporate income tax, which is another benefit SVP of global technology and innovation at the Austin Chamber of Commerce Michele Skelding told CNN Money in 2014. The cost of living in Austin is below the national average, and the University of Texas and high-tech industries offer innovation and a largely educated workforce. It is also the "Live Music Capital of the World," home to the international South by Southwest festival and many musicians, artists, and writers.
9. Amarillo, TX
"There's a lot of opportunity and there's a lot of first Amarillo hasn't had yet like larger more metropolitan market. Here, you can start up a French restaurant and be the first person to do that. It's not too hard if you have a good business plan to go and get yourself a loan and some capital and get in the game," West Texas A&M University Assistant Economics Professor Dr. Neil Meredith told ABC7 in 2015.
10. Sioux Falls, SD
Credit business costs that are 26 percent below the national average, and the economy is expected to expand 4.1 percent annually over the next five years. Like Texas, South Dakota does not levy individual or corporate income taxes.
To compile these rankings, WalletHub ranked cities based on three key dimensions: 1) Business Environment, 2) Access to Resources and 3) Business Costs.
Business Environment included such considerations as the length of the average work week, the average growth in the number of small businesses, and the five-year business survival rate.
Highest Average Growth in Number of Small Businesses
Access to resources was measured by such factors as financing accessibility, prevalence of investors and share of college-educated population.
Most Accessible Financing (six-way tie)
Business costs were calculated on factors, including office-space availability and cost of living.
Cheapest Office Spaces