Cities with the Lowest (and Highest) Startup Costs

Posted on 23rd Mar, 2017 by Barbara Davidson

The costs of running a business can really add up, but where you run your business can make a big difference too. SmartAsset did a study of 80 cities to determine which had the highest and lowest startup costs, and its finding revealed some trends.

Tennessee Can Keep the Costs Down

Of the top 10 cities with the lowest startup costs, three of them are located in the state of Tennessee.

Big Cities Cost Big Bucks

While living and working in a big city can be rewarding for networking and certain market opportunities, it comes at a price.

10 Cities With the Lowest Startup Costs*

  1. Chattanooga, TN $225,442
  2. Wichita, KS $232,057
  3. Greensboro, NC               $232,326
  4. Columbia, SC $232,541
  5. Knoxville, TN $232, 620
  6. Little Rock, AR               $233,877
  7. Memphis, TN $234,524
  8. Lexington, KY $234,945
  9. Orlando, FL $236,513
  10. Winston-Salem, NC $237,983

10 Cities With the Highest Startup Costs*

  1. San Jose, CA $439,831
  2. San Francisco, CA $422, 455
  3. Washington, DC $395,017
  4. New York, NY $384,389
  5. Boston, MA $378,436
  6. Bridgeport, CT $356,853
  7. Oakland, CA $346,241
  8. Seattle, WA $345,615
  9. Trenton, NJ $336,611
  10. Newark, NJ $328,396

*Costs account for filing fees, office space, utilities, legal & accounting, and payroll.


Dixon, A. (August 10, 2016). The Cities with the Lowest Startup Costs — 2016 Edition. Retrieved March 8,

2017 from

About Barbara Davidson

Babs is Lead Content Strategist and financial guru. She loves exploring fresh ways to save more and enjoy life on a budget! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her binge-watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos!