3 Best States for Freelancing and Self-Employment

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If you’re a stay-at-home parent, retiree, or are ready to break away from the 9-to-5 world in favor of earning an income freelancing, consider the benefits of living in a state that caters more to independent workers. According to the results of a 2012 study by MBO Partners, independent workers contributed approximately $1 billion to the U.S. economy. This isn’t surprising considering that freelancers can work from home, or at the nearest coffee shop, and are often eligible for a number of tax breaks. Sound enticing? If so, learning where the best states are for setting up shop is pivotal to your freelancing success. Here are three of the best states for freelancers and independent workers.


Whether you live in Austin, San Antonio, or Houston, Texas is an attractive destination for many independent workers. Texas is a no-income-tax state and, according to Forbes, is home to seven of the 50 best cities for freelancers in the U.S. Austin, for example, is a growing city that not only made Forbes’ list, but was also named one of the best cities for the next decade by Kiplinger. Its vibrant economy, abundance of venture capitalists, diverse business district, and social networking scene make it a hotbed of creativity and innovation for many freelancers. If you are self-employed, living and working in Texas will allow you to build a network of contacts by tapping into the growing business community.


In spite of its high income tax rate of 13.3 percent, California is home to several cities that appeal to those who are freelancing — especially those who work in the tech or digital media industry. Los Angeles, California, tops Forbes’ list of best cities for freelancers with 11.9 percent of workers considered self-employed. If you’re looking to make business connections and explore partnership opportunities, California may be a safe bet.


Florida has more to offer freelancers than great weather. The Sunshine State has no income tax and boasts an affordable cost of living for most. Forbes cited Miami as the second-best city for freelancers in the U.S., with 9.8 percent of its population being self-employed. And freelancers aren’t the only ones moving here: Between 1992 and 2011, over $100 billion in adjusted gross income moved to Florida, bringing with it countless freelance and full-time job opportunities.

Being a freelancer offers a lot of perks including the freedom to choose where you live. Consider these three states if you are venturing in to self-employment or looking for ways to improve your quality of life as a freelancer.