10 Great Reasons to Start a Business in Houston

To start a business in Houston is to tap into a veritable gold mine for U.S.-based startups. With its economic and social diversity, Houston fosters a culture of innovation, art, and technology, providing a well-rounded foundation for building your business.

Here are some of the reasons why Houston, Texas, is a phenomenal place to start a business:

10 Great Reasons to Start a Business in Houston


#1: It’s startup and small business-friendly

Houston, home to 24 companies on the Fortune 500 list, is one of the best U.S. metros to start a business. Texas, the state where Houston is located, has a unique advantage over its competition in attracting startup businesses – it does not impose corporate or personal income taxes. This translates into more funds that can be invested in business growth and higher take-home pay for both the entrepreneur and the employees. Furthermore, Houston is known for its “fast and friendly” permitting process, making it simple to launch a business without having to navigate through excessive red tape.

Outside of its business-friendly regulations, the city has a number of business incentives, such as the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Enterprise Zone Program. There are also ample local incubator and accelerator programs, such as Founder Institute, Mass Challenge Texas, TMCx Accelerator, and many more. In addition to office space, incubator programs offer coaching, networking, business ideas, and collaboration with other entrepreneurs and executives.


#2: Flexible office options are abundant

Your ideal Houston office space will depend on the type of business you run, your team’s needs, and the resources you have available. For example, if you have a 5-person startup company and rarely host clients or 3rd parties, one of Houston’s many coworking or executive suite spaces could be the solution for you. Co-working spaces don’t just create opportunities for collaboration — they are also investments in your business that give you the flexibility of a shorter-term and affordable lease to help you get business off the ground. In Houston, explore the possibilities for commercial or workspace that fits your fledgling company’s business plan, culture, and products.


BIZSUITES is a single-office model designed with affordability and flexibility in mind.

Alternatively, you may seek another affordable, flexible office option, such as shared office space or an office sublease. There isn’t just one type of Houston office space for your business — from executive suites, to flex space, to swanky traditional offices, this city has something for every company.

The booming self-storage market in Houston may also particularly interest businesses that require inventory storage.

How much office space do you need? Use our office space calculator.


#3: Ample transportation options

Houston’s transportation and infrastructure offer a variety of options for getting around the city, making it easy for both residents and visitors. Public transport options include buses, light rail, paratransit, bike sharing services, and carpooling opportunities.

With over 18 million annual riders, the METRORail and bus services provide a reliable mode of transportation for those who prefer not to drive. Additionally, Houston’s taxi services offer a unique perk of a $6 flat-rate cab fare for all Downtown area rides. For larger groups, The Wave, Houston’s own ride-share service, can accommodate up to 15 passengers and is a hybrid of a taxi, limo, and public bus. Commuting downtown is made easier with the downtown underground tunnel system, and well-maintained roads ensure easy travel year-round. Houston’s pedestrian and cyclist-friendly trails stretch across the city, offering outdoor enthusiasts an enjoyable way to explore the area. The city boasts of three airports, including the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, that provide easy access for those traveling outside the city.


#4 Relative affordability of office space

For small businesses or startups that may not have the budget for expensive commercial real estate in cities like San Francisco or New York, Houston offers affordable office rental rates while still providing the benefits of a major metropolitan area. The city’s impressive job growth, booming retail sales, and influx of major corporate employers have led to a surge in demand for office, retail, and warehouse space. This presents an exciting opportunity for business owners of all kinds to take advantage of enticing Houston commercial leases and new spaces.

Houston’s various submarkets, such as North Belt, FM 1960, Greenspoint, Energy Corridor, and Park Ten, offer ample commercial space at reasonable price points. This makes it easier for businesses to establish a physical presence and grow without breaking the bank.

Learn more about Rent to Income Ratio


#5 Affordable Cost of Living

Among the top 20 metro areas in the U.S., Houston is second in terms of affordable housing. The cost of living is 8.2% below the U.S. national average. Houston offers a great opportunity for those looking to save money, as the city boasts lower rent and home prices, inexpensive food and transportation options, and a high quality of life relative to its cost.  This is fantastic news for companies who want to attract top talent from around the country.

Add to this the fact that there is no personal income tax in Texas, and your business’s new headquarters just became irresistible to the talent you are recruiting.



CTA Banner Ad Moving to Houston


#6 Abundance of Talent in the Area

The new employee mindset isn’t to stay with one company for their entire career. Today’s workforce is on the move, and Houston’s excellent collection of new companies makes it an epicenter for top talent.

Start a business in Houston abundance of talent

Houston has an abundance of talent thanks to local universities

Texas universities are routinely at or near the top of rankings that measure degree programs against one another. Rice University, the University of Houston, and Texas Southern University are three of many universities churning out talented graduates regularly.

Houston’s population has ballooned over the past decade, with a growth of more than 20% since 2010 it’s not hard to see why. University grads get jobs they love with companies doing great things and stay in the area. Top talent moves in to take advantage of tax-friendly policies, affordable living, and culture.

All this means that your startup has a regular, fresh crop of potential star employees to help grow your business.


#7 Growing Startup Scene

Entrepreneurs are responding to Houston’s favorable landscape for startups. Venture capital activity, for example, has increased by 250 percent since 2016. And in 2020, more than $700 million was invested in Houston deals.

As a result of this boost of activity, you can expect to be surrounded by other business owners at various stages of experience. There is a healthy flow and exchange of ideas from people walking similar enterprising paths. This creates invaluable opportunities for learning, growth, and collaboration to take your startup to the next level.

Health care, technology, biomedical research, hospitality, and manufacturing constitute major industries that make up Houston’s diversified economy.


#8 Rapidly Diversifying Economy

Houston business leaders intentionally and mindfully promote diversification of the economy as the continued growth and stability of the economy is promising. Health care, technology, biomedical research, hospitality, and manufacturing constitute major industries that make up the city’s economy. This makes for a healthy business environment overall.

Learn more about the Diversity of the Texas Economy.


#9 It’s Home to a Number of Fortune 500 Companies

Houston ranks 3rd for being home to the highest number of Fortune 500 Head Quarters, topped  only by New York and Chicago. You’ll find more than 20 Fortune 500 companies in Houston, including Hewlett Packard, Phillips 66, and Halliburton. These companies have enormous intellectual and economic resources that continue to make Houston a magnet for innovation and success.


#10 Diverse Community of People

The vast array of people and backgrounds in Houston gives the city a fresh, innovative spirit. Residents speak more than 145 languages in Houston — ranking it only behind Los Angeles and New York City in this category. And Houston’s reputation as a cultural hotspot is only growing nationally — the city sees a staggering 22 million visitors each year to its restaurants, art museums, sporting events, festivals, and technology summits.

In terms of business, diversity is a top indicator of productivity, innovation, and prosperity in cities. Houston’s reputation as a highly diverse city is ideal for those looking to start a competitive, successful business.


Start a Business in Houston as the First Step of Your Business Plan

Houston has stayed true to its identity as an energy and talent-producing hotspot in Texas, with no signs of stopping. The city and its businesses embrace its diversity and play to its strengths.

Business-friendly tax policies mean commerce from startups and Fortune 500 companies will continues to pour resources, money, knowledge, and growth opportunities into the community. Start a business in Houston, and you’ll start with a solid foundation and readily available support.


*Last updated on May 4, 2023.


About the author:

Sarah Hoopes is the PR & Content Marketing Strategist at Silver Star Properties REIT, Inc. She is a graduate of Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Management.


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