Selecting where to build a company is one of the most important startup decisions you'll face. We examined rents, taxes, and other factors in eight cities to help you evaluate your options. But there's more than cost to consider. Ted D. Zoller, director of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Kenan-Flagler Business School, put the cities in three categories on the basis of their entrepreneurial ecosystems--organic and mature, entrepreneur-led, and nascent and developing. While cost is key, access to other entrepreneurs, financing, new markets, and talent can be a more crucial concern when picking a place to set up shop.

From the February 2015 issue of Inc. magazine