Texas Moves to Number 1 For Business Climate

The Lone Star State passed North Carolina for the No. 1 spot on Site Selection Magazine’s ranking of top business climates.

Texas had been in second place behind the Tar Heel State for almost a decade, but edged to first place in November’s rankings. Texas claimed more than half of the inbound business relocations and about 40 percent of all the new jobs in the United States since 2009.

An annual study of corporate relocations by Atlas Van Lines showed 7,200 companies moved to Texas in 2010.

Part of the publication’s ranking comes from a close look at each state’s new and expanded facilities, total projects in relation to population, the state’s business tax climate and how each state did in the magazine’s “Competitiveness Ranking”, published in the spring.

The rest of Site Selection’s ranking criteria comes from comments from business owners themselves gathered in an executive survey. The publication heard repeatedly that Texas’ available workforce was a key component to choosing the state for a business location. But the magazine also heard that the state’s 2003 tort reform and comparatively low barrier to entry also played a big part. Some of the respondents said the state’s lack of an income tax played a role and others said the government simply makes it easier to do business there.

As Texas businesses climate continue to be attractive, so will Texas’ mergers and acquisitions activity. Across a span of industries from health care and technology to construction and real estate, a more vibrant business community feeds an appetite for acquisitions.

The magazine’s business climate analysis of Texas included a look at the top cities in each size category. Forbes Magazine published a list of Best Cities for Jobs. In that ranking, Texas owned the field.

In the small metro area category, Texas has three of the top five cities in the country. In the mid-sized metro area, Texas has three of the top five cities in the country and in the large metro area category, four Texas cities are in the top five in the nation, including Dallas.

The publication also looked at office space as an indicator of where companies are doing business this year. The analysis showed that Dallas is drawing relocating companies from California and the city expects more activity as the market continues to improve.

Executives at new companies, emerging companies and relocating firms all see Texas as a business-friendly environment where their business can grow and thrive, according to the magazine.

Seth Wilburn writes for the Gomez Law Group, a Dallas employment lawyer and Dallas business lawyer. To learn more, visit Gomezlawyers.com.