FILE - Fort Myers Florida businesses

Small businesses line a city street in Fort Myers, Florida.

(The Center Square) – The state of Florida ranks second in the country among best states to start a business, a new WalletHub study finds.

The personal, finance website released its "2023's Best and Worst States to Start a Business" study where researchers compared all 50 states across 27 key indicators of startup success, among them financing accessibility, a skilled workforce and office-space affordability.

"Florida is the second best state to start a business,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told The Center Square. “It has the best business environment, with a large number of startups per capita, strong industry clusters, the highest entrepreneurship index, an almost 2% job growth rate over the past four years and an almost 7% GDP growth rate – some of the highest in the country.”

Gonzalez also notes that the state benefits from easy access to human capital, such as higher education assets, and a growth rate of nearly 7% in the working-age population. Overall, Florida also ranks fourth in the country in terms of average growth in the number of small businesses.

With roughly one in five new businesses across the country now failing within one year and the Bureau of Labor Statistics adding nearly half of them don’t make it to see their fifth anniversary, Gonzalez said she sees a consistent set of commonalities among the states most often making the grade.

"The states that are best for starting a business typically have a better existing business environment, easily accessible resources and lower costs,” she added. “The states ranked at the top have a higher growth rate in the number of small businesses, more industry cluster strength, more fast growing firms, are more digital and have a higher GDP growth rate. In terms of resources, the top states have larger venture investment amounts per capita and a higher growth rate in the working age population."

For those states not measuring up quite as well, Gonzalez offers a bit of advice for turning things around.

"The states that are ranked lower can try to implement policies that will attract more businesses,” she said. “This could mean tax breaks, or incentives offered. They should also improve their transportation and communication infrastructure, as well as provide amenities for employees, such as good schools, parks and quality healthcare."