Top 10 Cities with the Lowest Startup Costs: Columbia S.C. Ranks Number Two

Shot of Columbia, South Carolina

A study conducted by SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company headquartered in New York, shows that it is fairly inexpensive to start a business in Columbia. SmartAsset collected data from 81 cities in the United States, taking into consideration the typical cost of starting and running a business, based on five factors: office space, utilities, filing fees, legal and accounting, and payroll.

"As the home of University of South Carolina’s main campus, Columbia has a fairly well-educated workforce, a key draw for businesses in today’s knowledge economy. Nonetheless, it is fairly inexpensive to start a business in Columbia. For example, our analysis found that legal and accounting costs in the first year would be 26% lower in Columbia than the national average."

The study shows that most of the cities with the lowest startup costs are located in the South.

However the study alerts, "Because every new business will face its own set of circumstances and its own unique expenses, we made a number of assumptions in our study that may not apply to all startups. The total costs that we calculated for each city are not an average. Rather, they are a point of comparison, looking at how an identical, generic startup would fare in each of the 81 cities in our study."

Complete details on the study, including full methodology and rankings, can be found here: