Overhead image of downtown Austin, TX.

Home to entrepreneurs, startups, growing companies, and tech giants, Austin is fiercely entrepreneurial and pro-business. But just don’t take our word for it. The Texas capital recently was named the “top place in America to start a business” by CNBC, the “top city for small-business vitality” by American City Business Journals, and the “top city for launching a technology startup” by Sungard Availability Services.

Austin has several unique selling points that help attract many entrepreneurs and startup ventures. Two standout qualities are its business-friendly attitude and community mentality. Here are some other important qualities that make Austin such a great place for business.

Tax Incentives

In 2017, the Small Business & Entrepreneurial Council ranked Texas second in the country for best tax environment for small business.

Texas has created a tax structure that’s competitive and designed to make companies feel welcome. How? For starters, Texas has no corporate income tax. Comparatively, corporate tax rates range from 2.5 percent in North Carolina to 12 percent in Iowa. In addition, Texas is one of only a handful of states with no individual income tax.

Overall, the state has one of the lowest state and local tax burdens in the nation, ranking 38th among the 50 states in taxes paid per $1,000 of personal income.

Without corporate or personal income taxes, companies in Austin are able to invest in growing their workforce, improving facilities, and boosting their bottom line.

Other significant tax advantages are sales tax exemptions on selected equipment and machinery, R&D-related exemptions, and property tax abatements.

High Quality of Life

Maintaining work-life balance is an important aspect of a healthy work environment. Maintaining work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace. Luckily for local business owners, when it’s time to unwind and take a breather, Austin is famous for its live music, creative food trailers, films, theater, museums, sports events, parks, and recreation.

Explosive Growth

The population in the five-county Austin metro jumped to an estimated 2,295,303 people as of July 1, 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau. That was an increase of 3 percent from the prior year. This growth means more consumers with a greater demand for an increasingly diverse number of products and services.

As an Austin business owner, you’ll be in good company. There are great opportunities for a diversity of B2B companies to grow in support of other businesses. Whether you start a gluten-free food truck to supply mid-sized companies or offer software to track and analyze logistics and deliveries for large companies, more fellow companies mean more opportunities within the support and service industries.

Large Pool of Well-Educated Employees

Thanks to the presence of University of Texas at Austin, Austin Community College, Concordia University, St. Edward’s University, Huston-Tillotson University, plus other universities and trade schools, the city is known for having a well-educated workforce — a big draw for business owners. Austinites are some of the most educated in the nation. Ranked repeatedly in the top 10 most educated cities in America and the second-best city for college graduates, there’s no shortage of vibrant, youthful employees to fill the ever-increasing number of jobs in the Austin metro.

Geographical Location

Austin is centrally located in the heart of Texas along the Colorado River and on the edge of the pretty Texas Hill Country. Due to this centralized location and close proximity to many other major cities, Austin is a great place to start a business for those who have rapid growth plans.


The Austin region offers the necessary tools for businesses to be successful — transportation, telecommunications, electric and water capacity, quality healthcare, and a modern international airport.

Supportive Resources

With a goal of creating a business climate that’s user friendly and truly supportive, Austin’s Small Business Program in the Economic Development Department provides entrepreneurs with resources to help start or grow a business. It provides business training, educational events, and coaching to empower entrepreneurs. The program’s mission is to foster job creation and support the growth of new and existing businesses by providing capacity building information, tools, and resources. The Austin Independent Business Alliance (AIBA) is a local organization that advocates for entrepreneurs.

Austin consistently places as one of the best major cities for business in numerous rankings. Our economy is thriving and we’re eager to welcome you to join us as a new business owner. For more information on why Austin is a great place for business, to stay up-to-date on the current Austin commercial space market trends and/or to open or relocate your business and your employees’ residences, contact our team.