Matt Yglesias needed a business license to rent out his old condo. That proved harder than he’d anticipated:
The bureaucratic hassles of entrepreneurship turn out to vary pretty substantially from place to place. The World Bank has a fairly crude measure of how easy it is to start a business in different countries and ranks the United States 13th. North of the border in Canada (ranked third), there’s typically just one “procedure”—a paperwork filing, basically—needed to launch a business. In America, it takes more like six.
There’s also substantial variation within the United States. A survey by Thumbtack and the Kauffman Foundation found that local small-business owners give D.C. an F grade in the ease of starting a business. Unfortunately, many of our largest and most prosperous cities share poor marks on this indicator—New York is an F, Boston and Los Angeles rate Ds, San Francisco gets a D+—while more startup-friendly cities such as Dallas and Indianapolis tend to have lower average incomes and a less promising customer base. Portland, Ore., stands out among affluent coastal cities for its A rating.
You want a cause to reinvigorate the GOP? Make it easier to start a small business in as many parts of the country as possible! Publicize those cities – like DC and NYC – that stymie entrepreneurship. Matt follows up here.