1. South Dakota
How's this for being business friendly: South Dakota doesn't tax personal income, capital gains, corporate income or corporate capital gains. There's little crime, and energy costs are relatively low. "South Dakota has a great business environment," says Karen Kerrigan, CEO and president of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C., that advocates for reduced government taxes and regulations on small business. "State officials know they have a competitive advantage and they work hard to exploit it."