100 best places to live and launch

Are job worries tempting you to start your own company? We canvassed the country to find towns with the best mix of business advantages and lifestyle appeal. Check out our 100 top picks and find the perfect place to build your dream.

1 of 100
BACK NEXT
1. Bellevue, Wash.
Population: 111,608
Pros: Talented workforce, growing downtown
Cons: Pricey homes, high cost of living

Like many of the places on our list, Bellevue is a city in transition: no longer a bedroom community, but not yet a crowded, expensive metropolitan hub. Bellevue has grown with unusual grace in recent years. Huge corporations exist symbiotically with startups, a booming downtown abuts healthy residential neighborhoods, and the rising skyline is tempered by an abundance of parks, as well as lakeside and mountain views. Flash retailers such as Neiman Marcus draw regional shoppers, but Bellevue's excellent healthcare and schools are key attractions for relocating families.

While local businesses must pay the statewide Business and Occupations tax on their gross receipts, there's no corporate income tax. Businesses with less than $135,000 in taxable revenues (the highest threshold in the area) don't have to pay the B&O tax. Easy airport access and a highly skilled workforce make Bellevue an attractive option for startups looking to break big. -Mina Kimes

Interactive map: Bellevue
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Bellevue



NEXT: 2. Georgetown, Texas
Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
Commuting is getting easier. Here's why The MobiPrize, conducted by SMART at the University of Michigan, recognizes innovation in global transportation. From microcars to auto rickshaws, these six startups are some of the standouts. More
A sampling of beers being made with traditional Latin flavors A small but growing number of craft breweries are including passion fruit, Mexican cinnamon and other traditional Latin flavors. More
Banks won't lend? Use these guys instead Banks often have exhaustive approval processes, high minimums, and flawless credit requirements. But there's a wealth of non-bank alternatives for those who need capital fast. Here are some of the leaders. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.