Dallas Ranks Top Market for Entrepreneurs, Study Says

Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas | Image by Westend61/Getty Images

Dallas is among the top 15 markets in the United States for entrepreneurs to start a business.

WalletHub ranked Dallas No.14 for Best Large Cities to Start a Business in 2024, according to a new report. The Texas cities that outranked Dallas were Fort Worth (No.7), Austin (No.8), and Arlington (No.12).

While the Lone Star State is home to many of the nation’s top markets for startups, large cities like Houston (No.38), San Antonio (No.56), and Corpus Christi (No.94) lagged.

“Starting a business can be very scary, considering one in every five startups doesn’t make it past the first year,” said WalletHub analyst and communications manager Cassandra Happe. “That’s why it’s especially important to live in a city that provides an environment where new businesses can thrive, with enough capital, workers, and customers to keep it going long-term.”

To determine its 2024 rankings, WalletHub compared 100 U.S. cities across three key dimensions of startup viability: business environment, access to resources, and business costs. WalletHub then evaluated these dimensions using 19 relevant metrics ranging from the five-year business survival rate to labor costs.

Based on 2024 results, Dallas scored 13 out of 100 for business environment, 46 out of 100 for access to resources, and 67 out of 100 for business costs.

A further breakdown of the data provided to The Dallas Express by WalletHub shows that the local market ranked No.2 for the length of an average workweek (in hours), No.16 for growth in the number of small businesses, No.17 for financing accessibility, No.36 in labor costs, and No.49 for the share of its population that is college educated.

Although one in five businesses is statistically likely to close within a year, Felipe G. Massa, associate professor and chair in entrepreneurship at the University of Vermont, said there are ways to improve those odds.

“I often see entrepreneurs chasing trends (remember the cupcake shop craze?) or launching a business simply because it is what they are passionate about,” said Massa in a statement to WalletHub provided to DX in an email. “Instead, consider what customers need and co-create solutions with them. Interview them about their struggles and work with them on what solution would most appeal to them,” he said.

WalletHub ranked Orlando, Florida, as the nation’s No.1 market for starting a business in 2024.

According to Happe, one reason Orlando has become a hub for startups is the city’s high number of investors per capita, which makes it easier for companies to secure the funding they need to survive. Furthermore, she says Orlando has one of the highest growth rates for the working-age population, meaning businesses have a significant source of potential new employees.

Dallas has seemingly earned this distinction despite the City’s notoriously overburdensome regulations and lengthy building permit turnaround times under departing city manager T.C. Broadnax, who has presided over seven years of increased crime, taxation, and city spending.

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