New data released by, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, show Louisiana is one of the top states in the country for small businesses.

According to a news release, the Small Business Friendliness Survey is the largest survey of its kind and the only one to collect data from an extensive, nationwide sample of small business owners themselves to determine the most business-friendly locations.

"After a two-month survey of thousands of small business owners nationwide, we have found that Louisiana is notable for its friendliness towards small business and the ease of bringing on new workers," said Chief Economist. "Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and small businesses recognize that Louisiana has been working hard to achieve this."

Here are some of the key findings for Louisiana:

  • Louisiana was 5th for overall friendliness and took the top spot in the country for the ease of hiring new workers and the friendliness of its environmental regulations.
  • Louisiana was one of the few states where male business owners were more likely to give postive grades to the friendliness of state government than female business owners, rating it 7 percent higher than their female counterparts.
  • Louisiana did well across the board, finishing in the top ten nationwide in 7 of the 11 categories that were graded by small business owners.
  • Louisiana improved nine spots from its rating in 2013 to finish 5th overall.
  • Louisiana earned the top rating in the country for the friendliness of environmental regulations and the ease of filing taxes.

The top-rated states overall were Utah, Idaho, Texas, Virginia and Louisiana. The lowest-rated were Rhode Island, Illinois, California, Connecticut and New Jersey.

"It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment," said Dane Stangler, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. "Policymakers put themselves in the best position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to the voices of small business owners themselves."

The full survey results can be seen here and include full sets of rankings for states and cities going back three years, along with dozens of easily searchable quotes from Louisiana small businesses.

Here's how the survey worked: surveyed 12,632 small businesses across the United States. The survey asked questions about the friendliness of states towards small business and about small business finances, such as:

"In general, how would you rate your state's support of small business owners?"

"Would you discourage or encourage someone from starting a new business in your state?"

"Do you think you pay your fair share of taxes?" and the Kauffman Foundation evaluated states and cities against one another along multiple metrics. The full methodology paper can be found HERE.