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The Best States for Entrepreneurs We checked out the data and talked to the experts to find the best states that best cater to small business. Here, our look at the places that are going the distance for 'treps.

By John Patrick Pullen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Two hundred and twenty-five years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the push and pull of states' rights is still fought over by politicians. But Washington's dysfunction is an entrepreneur's gain. By letting each state define its own business regulations, taxes and policies, the founding fathers created a competitive marketplace for industries of all sizes looking to put down roots.

Today we have a solid grasp on which states are primed to jump-start new businesses and help them grow, thanks to a survey of 7,766 small businesses pulled together by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's partnership with San Francisco-based Thumbtack, an online marketplace for professional services. The states on this list scored the highest, receiving overall grades of A+ across 16 categories (including ease of hiring, tax-code friendliness and training/networking program availability).

The results surprised even the report's authors. "Looking at what actually matters to businesses--not at what conventional wisdom would tell you--is something that state and local policymakers and researchers should keep in mind," says Thumbtack senior analyst Nathan Allen, who points out that complicated regulations frustrated respondents and stalled industry growth far more than heavy taxes or fees.

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