Austin is the friendliest overall to small businesses, but Virginia Beach rates as the easiest place to start one.
The huge inrush of federal dollars is a big reason. Virginia Beach is only a half-hour from the world's largest naval station in Norfolk. The community is a haven for veterans, including members of the famed SEAL Team 6.
Virginia Beach's status as a vacation town helps too. When the government isn't spending, tourists are.
"We've got the best of both worlds. The military and resorts provide a constant influx of consumers buying goods and services," said Kevin Kordek, president of A-Active Termite & Pest Control, which he started in 1995.
The steady flow of new people also means it's easier to hire. Job postings are seen by fresh pairs of eyes every few weeks. Kordek's most recent staff addition is one example: His new service technician is a Navy veteran who stuck around town after leaving the service.
"It brings a talent pool here that doesn't necessarily exist in other places," Kordek said.
Thinking about starting a business? These 10 states saw more startup activity than anywhere else nationwide, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.