If Texas were a nation, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world. The state ranks at the top of nearly every "best states to do business list," thanks to its unbeatable advantages to companies looking to locate or expand in the state.
Some recent headlines you may have seen
Texas is on top yet again. The Lone Star State claimed the No. 1 spot in CNBC's annual Top States for Business ranking, marking the first four-time win by a state in the award’s history. In addition to claiming the No. 1 spot, Texas also received the top score in economy and infrastructure.
There’s a reason Texas continues to take home awards. It’s thanks to Toyota, Boeing, Charles Schwab, Merck, Kubota and the thousands of other game-changing companies that chose Texas for its pro-business tax climate, world-class infrastructure, skilled workforce and central North American location.
Texas is a force to be reckoned with as a location for business and skilled talent. And it just keeps getting stronger.
"Looked at every major city both the business and the employee's point of view in terms of quality of life. There is no better place than Texas to start the next chapter of Toyota's history in North America, and we are excited about our future together."
CEO, Toyota Motor North America
Economic Powerhouse: If Texas were a nation, it would rank as the 10th largest economy in the world based on GDP, ahead of Australia, Mexico, Spain, Russia and many others.
#1 Exporter: Texas maintains its position as the nation’s #1 exporter—a title the state has held for 16 consecutive years. In 2017, Texas exported $264 billion in goods to destinations all over the world with Mexico, Canada, China, Brazil and Korea as its top trading partners.
Home to World-Leading Companies: Behind Texas' strong economy are 48 Fortune 500 companies, including ExxonMobil, AT&T, Sysco and American Airlines, more than 1,400 foreign companies such as Toyota, BAE Systems, Siemens and Shell Oil and 2.4 million small businesses. See which Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters here.
13 Million Productive Workers: Texas has the second largest civilian workforce in America—13 million Texans. Our top-notch schools feed a strong pipeline of talent into the state and out-of-state workers continue to flock to Texas to take advantage of diverse job opportunities and quality of life amenities.
Fair Legal System
Texas' fair legal system limits unnecessary regulation to allow business to prosper. It's that simple.
"Texas rewrote everything from class-action certification to product liability."
- The Wall Street Journal
Room to Prosper: Texas offers companies and entrepreneurs room to grow, as well as the freedom to go big and to be rewarded for their ambitions. Less government, lower taxes, smarter regulations and right-to-work laws are the economic policies attracting employers to Texas from states that overtax and over-regulate.
A Decade of Tort Reform: Employers need to invest their money in job growth, not high insurance premiums. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry led the effort to pass sweeping reforms through three key legislatures. The U.S. Tort Liability Index 2010 ranked Texas second overall in tort inputs to the U.S. tort liability system which "include the rules on the books in each state that shape its tort-system outputs—its monetary tort losses and tort litigation risks."
Supporting Healthcare: Since key tort reform (HB4) was passed in 2003, putting a cap on non-economic damages for medical practice, the number of licensed physicians in Texas has almost doubled.
Texas' central location and state-of-the-art transportation network provide timely access to domestic and global markets via air, land and sea. It's no wonder the Lone Star State has led the nation in exports for the last 16 years, exporting $264 billion in goods to destinations all over the world in 2017. 382 Airports serve Texas travelers10,539 miles of freight rail, more than any state16 Seaports, including 32 foreign trade zones (FTZ)313,220+ miles of public roads, more than any state.
"Our new headquarters [in Texas] will situate us much closer to many of our fleet customers and provide convenient access by air to virtually all of our clients."
- John Graham
World-Class Airports: Texas' 382 airports, including 26 commercial airports, make up the second-largest state airport system in the United States. The state's two largest airports, Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW) and George Bush Intercontinental in Houston (IAH), are major domestic and international hubs.
Texas' two intermodal facilities, Fort Worth's Alliance Airport and San Antonio's Port San Antonio, integrate high-capacity industrial airports, Class I rail terminals and direct interstate highway access. Texas is also home to American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, two of the largest airlines in the world.
Ports Built for Global Trade: With 16 seaports, including 11 deep water ports with channels at least 30 feet deep, Texas ranks as the top U.S. state for manufacturing exports and shipment value. Of these ports, 32 are designated as foreign trade zones (FTZ), allowing the flow of goods without formal customs entry, import quotas or most other restrictions.
The largest Gulf Coast container port, the Port of Houston has led the nation in waterborne foreign trade for 19 consecutive years. The Port of Corpus Christi, the Port of Brownsville and the Port of Port Arthur also consistently rank in the top ten in the U.S.
Dynamic Transportation Network: Texas has more miles of public roads (over 313,220) and freight rail (10,539) than any other state. And the state's transportation network just keeps getting stronger. Governor Abbott made transportation funding a major priority during his first legislative session and, in 2016, the state began dedicating a portion of state sales tax to improving transportation, which, combined with ending diversions from the State Highway Fund, allowed transportation funding to increase by as much as $4.5 billion per year without raising taxes, fees, tolls or debt.
Texas offers a competitive tax climate and powerful incentives to allow businesses to invest in the things that matter—growing their workforce, improving facilities and boosting their bottom line.
"Texas encourages business ownership through lower taxes and less burdensome regulations."
Highly Competitive Tax Climate: With no corporate or personal income tax, Texas has one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation. The state offers a number of other advantages for businesses, including sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment and R&D-related materials, software, and equipment, as well as franchise tax exemption to manufacturers, sellers, or installers of solar energy devices. Property tax abatements, permitting fee waivers, local cash grants and local funding are also available to assist companies looking to relocate or expand in the state.
Tax Relief for Businesses: In 2015, during his first session in office, Governor Abbott successfully passed an across-the-board 25 percent reduction in the franchise tax—a game-changer considering Texas’ already low tax burden. Texas lawmakers also passed a meaningful property tax cut to increase the homestead exemption by $10,000. Now, with his proposed budget for the 2018-19 biennium, Governor Abbott has pledged to further cut the franchise tax by $250 million, providing additional relief for business to invest in growing their operations and workforce.
Game-Changing Incentives: Texas is home to one of the most competitive, deal-closing incentive programs in the nation—the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). Other powerful programs, including the Texas Enterprise Zone Program, the Skills Development Fund and additional incentives offered at the local level, help companies successfully relocate and expand in the Lone Star State without compromising their bottom line. Learn more about Texas’ available incentives and financing offerings here.
Quality of Life
The Lone Star State continues to attract businesses and workers from across the nation and around the world to take advantage of its comparatively low cost of living and dynamic cultural and recreational opportunities. There's simply no place in the world that's quite like Texas.
"Texas is America's America, where Americans go when they need a fresh start. And a little more Texas could go a long way."
- Tyler Cowen
"Why the Lone Star State is America's Future," TIME Magazine
Low Cost of Living, High Quality of Life: "Night and day." That's how one CEO described the difference between Silicon Valley and his new Texas headquarters. In Texas, employers and talent alike enjoy low taxes, a low cost of housing and a high quality of education coupled with a vast range of recreational opportunities.
A Vibrant Cultural and Recreational Landscape: Texas offers the best of city and country lifestyles and each city has something unique to offer. The state is home to hundreds of barbecue restaurants, wineries, live music venues and museums, plus more than 90 state parks, 191,000 miles of rivers and streams, 624 miles of coastline and more than 70 working ranches. The state is renowned for its sporting events, with top college and professional teams including the Houston Astros, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Cowboys.
A Diverse Population: Texas is among the most ethnically and racially diverse states in the nation. The number of languages spoken in Texas homes has grown to more than 160-and of the 26.9 million people in Texas, more than a third speak a language other than English at home. Texas is also one of four "minority-majority" states—where the majority of the population is of a race other than non-Hispanic white.
The Nation's Leader in Talent Attraction: There are few states that can match the Lone Star State's current job opportunities, growth and residential quality of life. That's why Texas cities, large and small, continue to attract millennials, families and entrepreneurs. In fact, Forbes recently named Texas the best state in the nation for talent attraction and more people moved to Texas in 2016 than any other state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Texas has the perfect combination of highly skilled talent and world-class schools to continue to meet the needs of businesses across industries—from advanced manufacturing to information technology.
"We have found a dedicated and enthusiastic workforce in Texas that has supported our growth. These individuals bring valuable leadership skills, experiences and problem-solving abilities to our fulfillment center."
- Mike Roth
Vice President of North American Operations, Amazon
Big, Skilled and Diverse Workforce: Texas has the second largest civilian workforce in America—13+ million industrious, skilled and globally diverse Texans. And it just keeps getting bigger—Texas' population grew by more than 6 million people since 2000—more than any state.
Top-Notch Schools: With 37 public universities and upper-division centers—6 that are state university systems—and 50 community college districts, Texas continues feeding a strong pipeline of talent into the state. Four Texas business schools and several universities—including Rice University, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M and Southern Methodist University—recently ranked among the best in the world according to U.S. News & World Report.
Nationally Recognized Researchers: In 2016, Governor Abbott launched the Governor's University Research Initiative (GURI), which provides matching funds to help Texas institutions of higher education recruit nationally recognized researchers to their faculty. In July 2016, the state recruited ten distinguished researchers to Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston as part of the initiative.
Customized Workforce Training: Texas businesses benefit from the Skills Development Fund, the state's premier job-training program providing local, customized training opportunities for Texas businesses and workers to increase skill levels and wages of the Texas workforce. Success is achieved through collaboration among businesses, communities and technical colleges, Workforce Development Boards and regional economic development partners.
Global Leaders Choose Texas: We recently welcomed a multi-billion-dollar project from ExxonMobil and SABIC and headquarters projects from Hulu and Boeing.
The Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC) and the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tourism (EDT). These two highly focused organizations serve as the gateway for bringing jobs to Texas. TxEDC and EDT offer many services to facilitate corporate relocation and expansion, including valuable incentives, financing options and resources to streamline your site search. Website: businessintexas.com