Business Climate / Rank

Source: NC Commerce: Why North Carolina


Better for business by design

We’re committed to making it easy for companies to do business in North Carolina. That’s why our state fosters a pro-business environment, fueled by the lowest corporate income tax in the U.S. along with a favorable legal and regulatory climate, low business costs and qualified talent. As a result, North Carolina garners some impressive accolades—year after year, from a number of sources.


  • #1 Best State for Business, Forbes, 2018 (NC has been in the top five for 12 consecutive years)
  • #1 Top Competitive State for Business, Site Selection, 2018
  • #3 Best State for Business, Chief Executive Magazine, 2018
  • #3 Best State for Business, CNBC, 2019


  • 2.5% Corporate Income Tax Rate, Lowest in the U.S., Tax Foundation, 2017; note the organization published this accolade when the rate was at 3.0%
  • #1 Lowest State and Local Business Tax Burden, Ernst & Young, 2016
  • #5 Lowest Effective Tax Rate for Mature Corporate HQs, Tax Foundation and KPMG, 2015

Business costs

  • #2 Lowest Business Costs, Forbes, 2016
  • #5 Competitive Utility Rates, Area Development’s Top States for Doing Business, 2015
  • 15% Lower Construction Costs in NC Metros vs. U.S. Average, RSMeans Construction Cost Index, 2016

Legal & regulatory

  • #7 Legal Climate Ranking, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, 2015
  • #5 Overall Treatment of Tort and Contract Litigation, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, 2015
  • #7 Best Regulatory Environment, Forbes, 2016