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Cashing In: The Top 25 Cities to Launch a Finance Business

John Rampton
John Rampton

Whether you’re an accountant, financial advisor, or entrepreneur in FinTech, starting your own finance business in these cities is best.

Whether you’re an accountant, financial advisor, or entrepreneur in the the fintech industry, starting your own finance business can a be lucrative opportunity.

But, part of that success is going to be determined by where you call your business home. If there aren’t ample financial opportunities, then why try to tap into a weak market?

To help narrow down your choices, here’s a look at the top 25 cities to launch a finance business based on factors like the local economy, advisor-to-household ratio, education, and ease of starting a small business.

1. Boston, MA

Boston has long been known as one of the leading financial hubs in the country thanks to it being the home to large money managers such as Fidelity Investments and Putnam Investments.

With Cambridge in the proximity, there’s also access to talent from MIT and Harvard, along with accessible access to venture capital.

2. New York, NY

New York City is hands down the financial capital of the world and is home to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan, and Citigroup.

Despite the major financial institutions that call NYC home, there’s plenty of room for smaller financial businesses to compete in this large market. If you’re intimidated by the Big Apple, New York City SCORE is there to help small business owner by connecting them with mentors and hosting workshops.

3. Philadelphia, PA

Did you know that Philly ranks ninth among world cities and fourth in the nation by having a gross domestic product of $388 billion? If you’re in the financial sector, that’s definitely good for business.

On top of that, the City of Brotherly Love is putting an emphasis on helping small business owners, along with hosting incredible educational institutions like the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

4. Potomac, MD

This DC suburb features an average annual household income of $144,161 - which is one of the highest in the county. In fact, there is 1 financial advisor for every 260 households in this region that also encompasses from Bethesda to Chevy Chase.

5. Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA Skyline at night
Richmond, VA

As if being the headquarters for the Fifth Federal Reserve District wasn’t enough, Richmond is centrally located between the DC Metropolitan area and the Carolinas.

There are also some liberal banking laws in Virginia that make Richmond even more appealing for anyone wanting to start a finance business.

6. Raleigh, NC

With three major universities in the area and a booming startup community, Raleigh is an emerging and affordable city to start a business.

Even though most startups focus on technology and medical care, there is a definite need for accountants and financial advisors in this region.

7. Jacksonville, FL

Florida’s economy is booming. Add in low corporate taxes, accessible financing, and employee availability, the weather’s not too bad either, then it’s easy to understand why people would want to start a business in the Sunshine State.

Jacksonville, in particular, has a solid record successful young companies that could use the guidance of a finance professional.

8. Miami, FL

Heading to southern Florida is another top destination for anyone in the financial sector.

This wealthy region only includes one advisor for every 233 households, which means there’s an opportunity for your business to tap into this lucrative region.

9. Nashville, TN

Music City offers no state tax and more than enough networking and resource opportunities for budding entrepreneurs via the Entrepreneur Center. It’s also extremely affordable for living and business owners.

10. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA Skyline
Pittsburgh, PA

The ‘Burgh’ may get overshadowed by Philly, but NerdWallet lists this city as the 17th best location to start business thanks to factors like corporate taxes, five-year survival rate, and friendless to small businesses.

Pittsburgh is also home to an emerging tech startup industry and has a rich history in finance that continues with programs at Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne.

11. Columbus, OH

Ohio’s state capital has a low-cost of living and is home to businesses both big and small. Besides Fortune 500 companies like American Electric Power and Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Columbus has almost 20,000 small businesses that could use your financial knowledge.

12. Carmel, IN

Located directly to the north of Indianapolis, Carmel is one of the fastest-growing communities in the country, as well as one of the best places to live.

With an average adjusted gross income per household at $102,509, Carmel presents an interesting option for anyone looking to start their own financial business.

13. Chicago, IL

The Windy City is home to the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and is second to New York in terms of accounting jobs. With an average household income is $166,658, there’s a lot of wealth to be spread around.

No wonder accountants and financial analysts are in such high demand. This is also the location of one of the top fintech events of the year.

14. Minneapolis, MN

With a low tax-rate and plentiful financing opportunities, Minneapolis is a hot-bed for small businesses. As for those in the finance industry, salaries are comparable to those in New York City, but the cost of living is much lower in the Twin Cities.

15. Omaha, NE

Downtown Omaha, NE
Omaha, NE

“Silicon Prairie” is home to more than 12,000 small businesses thanks to tax incentives and plentiful networking opportunities. The rock-bottom cost of living in Omaha is an added bonus.

16. Denver, CO

A booming economy consisting of young and educated small business owners, along with a decent quality of life, in Colorado’s state capitol makes this choice too good to pass up for accounting opportunities.

17. Oklahoma, OK

According to Kiplinger, “Oklahoma City is home to more than 18,600 small businesses, nearly double the national average for all metro areas.”

The city is so small-business friendly that you can complete most paperwork in just a day. If that wasn’t enough, OKC is one of the most affordable places to start a business and reside.

18. Houston, TX

As NerdWallet notes, “Houston area is also a hotspot for breakthroughs in life sciences (due to the world’s largest medical complex), aerospace (at NASA’s Johnson Space Center) and nanotechnology (due to Nobel Prize-winning discoveries in nanotechnology at Rice University).”

Considering that there is only one financial advisor per 308 household ratio, there’s a definite opportunity to tap into this region's booming economy.

19. Dallas, TX

The Dallas metropolitan area is another Texas region that features a vibrant and lucrative economy with an average household income of $139,570. With a one  to 157 advisor to household ratio, there’s more than enough room to tap into this market.

20. San Antonio, TX

Downtown San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX

Forbes placed San Antonio at number 15 in the country in regards to job growth. This culturally rich metropolitan area is also home to 31 higher education facilities including the University of Texas at San Antonio and Texas A&M University, San Antonio.

21. Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix happens to be one of the fastest growing cities in the country. There is a serious demand for accountants. In fact, Phoenix is second to NYC in terms of independent accounting opportunities.

22. Irvine, CA

Sunny weather and close proximity to the wealth in Los Angeles could be enough for anyone to settle in Irvine. However, this region is highly educated and has a talent pool with The University of California, Irvine.

23. San Mateo, CA

As more startups continue to emerge in San Mateo, the city is now considered a part of Silicon Valley. Basic accounting jobs are in high-demand, which makes San Mateo an intriguing city to start a finance business.

24. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco and the Bay Area are hands down the financial capital of the West. The region is also appealing thanks to Silicon Valley, tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple, and universities like Stanford.

Besides an abundance of wealth, there’s also a low advisor-to-household at just one per 363 households.

25. Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA - space needle, downtown
Seattle, WA

If you don’t mind the rainy weather, Seattle could be fruitful if you’re involved in finance. Besides a diverse blend of businesses, Seattle is home to buzzing start-ups, corporate giants like Microsoft, and excellent educational institutions like the University of Washington. If that isn't enough, there is only one financial advisor per 291 households.

Image Credit: Utah778 / Getty Images
John Rampton
John Rampton Member
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online payments company John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine. He currently advises several companies in the San Francisco Bay area.