Louisiana Sees Growth in Entrepreneurial Spirit

Marid Gras

Louisiana has the nation’s fourth highest rate of entrepreneurial activity, with 460 new business owners per 100,000 adults, according to the 2011 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. The state offers tax incentives and innovative developments that  helped spur many entrepreneurs to invest in the Pelican State’s pro-corporate atmosphere.

Why this state is a good place for entrepreneurs:The Small Business & Entrepreneurial Council ranked Louisiana the 21st most entrepreneur-friendly state in the country. Louisiana Small Business Development Centers provides a wealth of information to aspiring and established business-owners. The state has multiple programs set up to help small businesses establish themselves as vital members of the business community. The Small Business Loan Program supplies banks with loan guarantees to provide financial assistance in development, expansion and retention of small businesses. The Bond Assistance Program offers qualified emerging businesses with new bond guarantees.

Tax advantages in the state for new and existing business:The state of Louisiana has enticed businesses by erasing certain taxes. Sales tax on manufacturing equipment, natural gas and business utilities have been cut. Capital gains tax on selling private businesses and the minimum corporate franchise tax have both been eliminated. Louisiana places the ninth lowest tax burden in the nation on its residents, as of the Tax Foundation’s most recent assessment.

Business climate and cost of livingThe Tax Foundation’s 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index ranked Louisiana as only having the 36th most favorable tax climate for businesses in the nation. But Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana’s overall business climate as the seventh best in the United States. Louisiana Economic Development reports that the state was ranked first in the nation for both per capita project expansions and competitiveness. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center lists Louisiana as having the 20th most affordable cost of living in the United States. Nevertheless, it is important to note that cost of living can fluctuate within states, and Louisiana is no exception.