Are you thinking of starting a business? Great! But where should it be located? Some cities are unaffordable. Others are less expensive but offer little access to the investment money and skilled talent you need. 

To help you make the right choice, the personal finance site GOBankingRates has crunched the numbers, combining info from The Kauffman Index with other information about resources for entrepreneurs, cost of living and projected job growth among other factors. They've used this information to determine the 30 best U.S. cities for starting a business. Here are the top five:

1. Austin

"Silicon Hills" is a great locale for starting a food business, or any kind of business, according to GOBankingRates. There's high "startup density" with 104.5 startups for every 1,000 businesses. Plus, entrepreneurs are 0.51 percent of the adult population, which means one out of every 200 people you meet will be an entrepreneur. On top of that, Austin is one of the best cities for Millennials to buy a home. And then of course there's SXSW...

2. Miami

You may think of Miami as a destination for tourists and retirees, but it's also a great place to start a business. Startup density is an impressive 107.8 startups per 1,000 businesses, and there are even more entrepreneurs per capita than in Austin. Plus there's the incomparable Art Deco beauty of South Beach, great Cuban food, and you can get a tan.

3. Dallas

Texas goes out of its way to be friendly to entrepreneurs, according to GOBankingRates. Dallas may not have the startup density that Austin does, or the percentage of entrepreneurs. But The Dallas Entrepreneur Center provides support and co-working spaces for entrepreneurs, and accelerators such as Tech Wildcatters can help get your company off the ground.

4. Los Angeles

L.A. is the second most populous city in the nation, but is tied with much-smaller Miami for the highest number of entrepreneurs per capita. One reason is "Silicon Beach," which strictly refers to the Westside part of town but is often used to refer to the L.A. startup scene in general. And you're near the epicenter of the entertainment industry. It may be enough to make the dense traffic and high housing costs seem worthwhile.

5. San Diego

San Diego has more entrepreneurs per capita than San Jose or San Francisco. StartUp San Diego provides support and peers for startup founders, as well as a week-long special event in June. There's Seed San Diego, a locally-focused VC. And, though it's not inexpensive, this is the most affordable city in California, according to GOBankingRates. With military bases, good schools, and biotech in the area, you're likely to find the talent you need. Plus, there's a legendary zoo.

Published on: Oct 30, 2018
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