Choosing where to do business is a big decision. From workforce to costs of doing business, infrastructure to economic health – there are many factors that come into play and many of these elements vary widely from state to state. With so many options and locations to consider – 50 to be exact – what are the elements that make a state a good place to do business?

Each year, CNBC releases a data-driven report detailing the economic climate of all 50 U.S. states. To reach this conclusion, CNBC begins by scoring each state on 64 metrics within 10 categories: workforce, infrastructure, cost of doing business, economy, quality of life, technology and innovation, education, business friendliness, access to capital, and cost of living. Next, CNBC analyzes each state’s economic development marketing materials, then assigns weight to the qualities a state communicates as a strong selling points for business. Learn more about the categories and methodology here.

This year, Idaho ranked 11 overall with a total score of 1496. Our state improved in all 10 categories since 2017, where Idaho landed 20 overall.

Idaho received the most points based on our strengths in cost of doing business, business friendliness and economy, followed closely by cost of living and quality of life.

Cost of Doing Business
Cost is undoubtedly top of mind for companies considering where to do business. Key factors that companies consider include a state’s tax climate, tax incentives, and utility and real estate costs.

Companies that choose to do business in Idaho benefit from low operating costs and the lowest per capita tax burden of any other state. Our top corporate tax rate and top individual income tax rate is 6.925 percent. In addition, qualifying companies reap the benefits of a variety of state-sponsored tax incentives, property tax exemptions, and workforce training grants.

Business Friendliness
In Idaho, we choose to stand besides businesses rather than in their way. We don’t see the need to put restrictions and requirements in place that will slow companies down. Instead, we want companies to work hard and focus on growth and success. We strive to be a partner in helping companies access the people and information necessary to get things done and get down to business.

Idaho’s Rapid Response Team is just one example of our efforts to be a quick and collaborative partner for companies. This team includes representatives from ten of Idaho’s state departments that proactively engage with companies to communicate regulatory requirements and help companies quickly secure permits, discuss infrastructure needs, and uncover opportunities for grants and incentives.

Economy
It’s obvious – a healthy, diverse economy is important, especially for business. Idaho boasts one of the strongest economies in the nation.

Our state budget is balanced, our tax structure is stable, and we have zero state debt. We don’t defer taxes in one business category while increasing taxes in another. Our unemployment rate is low and we’re leading the pack in job creation and growth.

Idaho also has a small and accessible government. Businesses are able to access decision makers and leaders in a variety of industries and sectors. We value relationships and connection in Idaho and recognize the value the ability for a new or expanding business to meet with the people and partners that, in the end, make our state stronger as a whole.

In celebrating our strengths, we must recognize there will always be room for improvement.  This recognition lends the opportunity for businesses, decision-makers and community members across Idaho to seek out ways to take steps forward toward creating a stronger, healthier Idaho for tomorrow.