Welcome to North Carolina. It’s more than a state—it’s a state of minds.
North Carolina has always attracted a wide range of people with an even wider range of talents. In fact, our state is home to some of the best and brightest minds in the country—minds that are directly shaping the future by solving some of the world’s toughest problems. This highly educated group of individuals are known as North Carolinians. And we’re more than ready to figure out innovative solutions to address your business’s greatest challenges.
Better for business by design
We’re committed to making it easy for companies to do business in North Carolina. That’s why our state fosters a pro-business environment, fueled by the lowest corporate income tax in the U.S. along with a favorable legal and regulatory climate, low business costs and qualified talent. As a result, North Carolina garners some impressive accolades—year after year, from a number of sources.
#1 Best State for Business, Forbes, 2018 (NC has been in the top five for 12 consecutive years)
#1 Top Competitive State for Business, Site Selection, 2018
#3 Best State for Business, Chief Executive Magazine, 2018
#3 Best State for Business, CNBC, 2019
2.5% Corporate Income Tax Rate, Lowest in the U.S., Tax Foundation, 2017; note the organization published this accolade when the rate was at 3.0%
#1 Lowest State and Local Business Tax Burden, Ernst & Young, 2016
#5 Lowest Effective Tax Rate for Mature Corporate HQs, Tax Foundation and KPMG, 2015
#2 Lowest Business Costs, Forbes, 2016
#5 Competitive Utility Rates, Area Development’s Top States for Doing Business, 2015
15% Lower Construction Costs in NC Metros vs. U.S. Average, RSMeans Construction Cost Index, 2016
Legal & regulatory
#7 Legal Climate Ranking, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, 2015
#5 Overall Treatment of Tort and Contract Litigation, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, 2015
#7 Best Regulatory Environment, Forbes, 2016
WORKFORCE & EDUCATION
In addition to the large number of people flocking to the state who continue to deepen our pool of high-quality talent, our world-renowned education system graduates thousands of students into the state’s workforce each year. Various training programs from an array of organizations prepare even more workers for skilled positions to fit specific companies’ needs.
North Carolina boasts 53 colleges and universities, including 17 public universities
Home to top-tier research universities like Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina A&T
Esteemed private colleges, including Wake Forest University and Davidson College, are also located here
800,000+ students enroll at one of the state’s 58 community college campuses each year
Offer some of the most comprehensive and advanced vocational and technical programs in the country
Every NC resident lives within a 30-minute drive of a community college campus
NCWorks Customized Training program
Provide training and recruiting for North Carolina businesses
Offer a large number of established training programs
Can customize training programs, tailored to address specific needs
North Carolina has the fourth-largest active-duty military population in the U.S.
More than 82 percent of those exiting the military in the next three years will be 30 or younger
These individuals have experience in engineering, IT, healthcare, communications, research and other in-demand fields.
QUALITY OF LIFE
A great place to call home
North Carolina offers an unparalleled quality of life. From our beautiful beaches and majestic mountains to the idyllic areas in between, it’s no wonder people from all over flock to the state. Add to that our central East-Coast location, moderate climate and relatively low cost of living and it’s easy to see why North Carolina is the 9th most-populated state in the U.S.—and growing.
Plenty to explore
North Carolina’s numerous beaches stretch over 300 miles of coastline
Home to the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains
Sports abound from legendary golf courses and college basketball rivalries to NASCAR and our professional sports teams—the Charlotte Hornets, Carolina Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes
Hundreds of award-winning restaurants and dozens of nationally recognized chefs serve up dishes fit for foodies
100+ wineries and the largest—and ever-growing—craft brewery scene in the South
Award-winning symphonies, museums, summer theaters, festivals and venues can be found throughout the state
Low cost of living
North Carolina enjoys a cost of living that’s lower than the national average, coupled with a high personal satisfaction level
Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem and Wilmington all received some of the most favorable scores on the Council for Community and Economic Research’s acclaimed cost of living index
Housing, utilities, groceries and transportation all cost below the national average
Top-notch health care
North Carolina is home to some of the top medical facilities in the U.S.—and health care here costs below the national average
Four leading medical schools in the state, including:
Duke University School of Medicine
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
More than 100 community hospitals, in addition to the state’s largest hospitals: Carolinas Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center
Three local hospitals rank among the best for cancer care
Extensive education system
North Carolina has the highest number of National Board-Certified teachers in the nation
The state has 16 public universities, 36 private colleges and universities and a 58-campus community college system that’s the third largest in the U.S.
Nationally ranked among the top four states for pre-kindergarten quality standards by the National Institute for Early Education Research
North Carolina enjoys a cost of living that’s lower than the national average, coupled with a high personal satisfaction level.
Get from here to anywhere
If you’re looking for easy access to both domestic and global markets, look no further than North Carolina. Our extensive highway system, four international airports and two seaports make it obvious why North Carolina is consistently ranked as one of the top U.S. states for doing business.
Charlotte touts the fifth-busiest airline hub in the U.S.
Virtually any major global city is just one plane-change away from NC
Four international airports:
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
Wilmington International Airport (ILM)
Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)
Plus 11 regional and 100+ general aviation facilities
Two deep-water seaports along Atlantic shipping lines:
Port of Morehead City
Container and general cargo
42-foot channel and berth depth
Direct access to I-40, I-74, I-95, US 17 and US 74
Served by CSX
Port of Wilmington
General cargo and bulk handling facility
45-foot channel, 38- to 42-foot depth
Access to I-95 and I-40 via US 70 and US 17
Served by Norfolk Southern
Two inland terminals (in Charlotte and Greensboro) are at the center of the Southeast’s manufacturing and distribution sites
90,000+ miles of road make up the second-largest state-owned highway system in the U.S.
Easy access to some of the most critical transportation corridors in the nation
Major controlled-access arteries include:
I-95: north-to-south from New England to Florida
I-85: runs through the manufacturing heart of the Southeast
I-40: coast-to-coast from NC to California
Largest consolidated rail system in the U.S. made up of 3,200+ miles of track
Rail connections all the way to the coast, enabling import/export services to a large market
Service to 22 states via more than 20 carriers including CSX, Norfolk Southern, affiliated railroads and independently owned carriers.