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Top Cities in Texas for Business, According to Employers


Scout is an independent economic development platform that helps companies and site selectors find the top cities for business. On Scout, employers have the opportunity to share their version of what makes a community great for business.

Each Scout review collects up to 20 data points across various economic development categories such as: Ease of Doing Business, Infrastructure and Utilities, and Permitting/Zoning (full list below).

The rankings in this report are based on 169 authentic and verified reviews and 2,700 data points from business leaders in the state of Texas. According to businesses across Texas, the highest rated cities are winning with their skilled workforce, excellent quality of life, strategic accessibility, robust economic development initiatives, and a supportive community that fosters innovation.

Opening the door for business leaders to share feedback about the operating climate in one’s city is no small feat. Hats off to the cities recognized on this list for their dedication to transparency and their role in fostering an excellent climate for both businesses and their stakeholders.

The data from Scout reviews for these rankings were pulled at midnight (PST) on February 29th, 2024. To be included, a city needed to:

  • Be located in the state of Texas
  • Have at least 10 verified reviews to be a “Top City for Business”
  • Have at least 2+ verified reviews to be considered a “Rising Star”

Categories reviewed:

  • Overall Score
  • NPS (Net Promoter Score) - Likelihood to Recommend
  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Quality of Transportation Networks
  • Quality of Telecommunications & Internet
  • Speed of Permitting
  • Speed of Zoning
  • Availability of Labor
  • Responsiveness of Local Government
  • Water Supply Satisfaction
  • Power Supply Satisfaction

Out of nearly 1,200 incorporated cities in Texas, these are the top cities for business…according to employers.

1. Fort Worth, TX


“Ft Worth...developed a master plan around 1985 for the downtown market to be inviting to the financial sector and the Alliance corridor for the industrial and manufacturing sector. Any quick review of the progress and number of companies from those sectors is overwhelming.” - CEO in the Plastics Manufacturing Industry 

Overall Scout Score: 4.34 out of 5 Stars (10 reviews)

Top Ranking: Fort Worth ranked the highest in two categories: “Speed of Permitting” and “Speed of Zoning.” (4.0 of 5 for both). The only city to reach above 4 stars in these categories.


  • Central U.S. location, low operational costs, and a diverse talent pool.
  • Strong sense of community and easy networking opportunities.
  • Strategic planning by local groups has made downtown and the Alliance corridor inviting to financial, industrial, and manufacturing sectors.


  • Competition with Dallas and a less dynamic market can hinder business transactions.
  • Talent retention is challenging due to a competitive job market in the DFW metroplex.
  • Responsiveness of local government and the need for infrastructure development in non-industrial sectors.

2. Dallas, TX


“Dallas has a great business climate along with good talent that is available. With many universities and high skilled workers it’s great for entrepreneurs. The climate in terms of the government is very favorable to new businesses in Dallas. It does its best to cultivate and grow new companies.” - CEO in the Information Technology Industry

Overall Scout Score: 4.21 out of 5 Stars (21 reviews)

Top Ranking: Dallas had the highest volume of reviews at 21, ranked above average in “Quality of Telecommunications and Internet.” (4.5 out of 5) and tied for the lead in “Speed of Zoning.” Dallas offers Zoning Consultations that can be scheduled directly online.


  • Ample opportunities across various sectors due to large size and economic diversity.
  • Strategic location enhances national and international connectivity.
  • Favorable tax laws and business-friendly regulations attract entrepreneurs.


  • Sprawling metroplex and limited public transit lead to extensive driving and traffic.
  • Competitive job market complicates attracting and retaining talent.
  • Responsiveness of local government

3. McKinney, TX


“The city is vibrant, trendy, and clean! People from out of town love the charm and the unique feel of the downtown area for customer dinners and more. Also, the city officials are cooperative and "outside the box solution based thinkers." Lastly, staffing the business is easy as you have the ability to pull talent from Dallas/North of McKinney/East and West of McKinney areas.” - Dru Riess | CEO in the Manufacturing Industry 

Overall Scout Score: 4.19 out of 5 Stars (14 reviews)

Top Ranking: McKinney scored the highest in the field for “NPS” (net promoter score). This category measures how likely an employer is to recommend the city as a great place to do business (5.0 out of 5).


  • Growing city with ample resources and space for businesses.
  • Accessible city staff and straightforward development process.
  • Competitive benefits from McKinney Economic Development Corporation.


  • Limited walkability in some city parts.
  • Finding quality employees within commuting distance.
  • Potentially lengthy permit and approval processes for commercial real estate.

3 (tie). Houston, TX


“It is all here. Professionals, line workers, manufacturing, oil and gas, technology, and a port city. We have international business and domestic. Logistics and supply chain are huge given the port. We are the headquarters of many of the Fortune 500 companies. "- Chief Human Resources Officer in the Construction Industry

Overall Scout Score: 4.19 out of 5 Stars (10 reviews)

Top Ranking: Houston had the highest marks in the field for the category “Availability of Labor” signifying that businesses found it easier to hire in Houston than any other city in this report (4.29 out of 5). They also tied for the best ranking in “Power Supply Satisfaction.”


  • Dynamic economy, diverse and available talent pool.
  • Strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and major airport access
  • Vibrant culture and connectivity to global markets.


  • Competitive market and unpredictable weather.
  • Traffic congestion, longer commutes, and construction permitting delays.
  • Navigating economic shifts and natural disasters.

5. Plano, TX


“Thriving tech scene with experienced developers skilled in various programming languages. The strong presence of Amazon Web Services underscores the city's tech robustness. What makes the area more appealing is its affordability compared to other tech hubs, offering lower living expenses without compromising career opportunities. This blend of professional resources, technological readiness, and economic practicality makes it a prime, yet economical, choice for tech industry professionals and businesses.” - Co-Founder & CTO in the Technology Industry

Overall Scout Score: 4.15 out of 5 Stars (13 reviews)

Top Ranking: Plano ranked the highest for the “Ease of Doing Business” category (4.73 out of 5).


  • Growing, diverse community with a wide range of businesses.
  • Good road system and ample room for growth.
  • Pro-business growth focus and supportive environment for relocations.


  • Housing availability as the city expands.
  • Attracting quality talent amidst rising home prices and competition.
  • Water Supply for businesses that require large amounts

6. Decatur, TX


“Very business friendly city. People here are supportive and truly happy to you here. No crime and easy access from metroplex. There is opportunity for growth and expansion too." - Dan Floyd, President in the Manufacturing Industry 

Overall Scout Score: 4.07 out of 5 Stars (21 reviews)

Top Ranking: Decatur tied for the highest number of reviews and ranked the highest for “Responsiveness of Local Government” (4.38 out of 5).


  • Small-town feel with low taxes and easy government interaction.
  • Growing community with room for expansion.
  • Strong local support for business and investment in community growth.


  • Traffic congestion and parking issues downtown.
  • Spotty broadband access across town and county.
  • Housing needs focus to accommodate growth.

7. Denton, TX


The city seems supportive of our company and the local universities here are eager to collaborate with us on engineering projects.” - Director of Quality in the Medical Device Manufacturing Industry

Overall Scout Score: 3.73 out of 5 Stars (12 reviews)

Top Ranking: Denton outperformed every city in the field for “Quality of Power Supply” (4.78 out of 5 stars). Denton Municipal Electric (DME) offers 100% renewable energy and is community owned.


  • Thriving economy with growth potential.
  • Supportive city and collaboration with local universities.
  • Diverse community with varied business types and easy highway access.


  • Longer zoning and permitting processes.
  • Road maintenance needs and construction disruptions.
  • Summer slowdowns for businesses reliant on college population.

Rising Stars…

These cities obtained at least 2 reviews on Scout, but did not reach 10 reviews prior to our cutoff. Having more than 2 reviews signifies they are on their way to being featured in future rankings and are amplifying the voice of business in their community.


Allen, TX

(9 Reviews)

"Great people, great community. Outstanding public education through the Allen ISD and college level via Collin College, with a Technical Campus located in Allen. Best Chamber of Commerce in the US. Great local government, Safest City in Texas its size." President in the Industrial Engineering Industry


  • Proximity to Dallas with essential services nearby.
  • Supportive city leadership and active Chamber of Commerce and EDC.
  • Excellent transportation and strong public education.


  • Difficulties in identifying contacts for city planning.
  • Competitive real estate market and high land prices.
  • Infrastructure keeping pace with rapid growth.

Austin, TX

(8 Reviews)

“One of the premier draws of Austin for doing business is the wealth of tech talent located here as well as ease in finding affordable commercial space close to the city core. Its location in central Texas also allows us access to great shipping infrastructure." - Kevin Reich | Director of Finance in the Machinery Manufacturing Industry


  • High quality of life with a youthful, educated population.
  • Strong tech industry and economic diversity.
  • Business-friendly tax laws and strategic location.


  • Competitive job market and infrastructure strains due to rapid growth.
  • Difficulties in attracting and retaining talent.
  • High cost of living impacting business operations and housing affordability.

Abilene, TX

(8 Reviews)

"The city of Abilene fosters a great community of patriotism, entrepreneurship and offers tax incentives to new companies wanting to make Abilene their home. The local universities with their various majors offer skilled work force. Abilene is located right off I-20 making transportation an ease and the regional airport provides easy travel opportunities.." Systems Manager in the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Industry


  • Strong community involvement and Chamber presence.
  • Low cost of living and supportive local government.
  • Good variety of customers and proximity to Dallas/Fort Worth.


  • Retaining young professionals and graduates.
  • Spotty broadband access and traffic congestion downtown.
  • Maintaining workforce in specialized fields like electricians.

Arlington, TX

(7 Reviews)

"It’s a great location with easy access to the city and major highways. The city has been very supportive expansion efforts. The labor pool seems to be very healthy with decent public transportation to support as well. - President in the Transportation and Logistics Industry


  • Central metroplex location for broad coverage and talent recruitment.
  • Supportive city for business expansion with a healthy labor pool.
  • Growing entertainment district with significant investment in infrastructure.


  • Permitting and inspection processes can be cumbersome for small businesses.
  • Traffic congestion and construction disrupt local work and supply chain planning.
  • Building codes and enforcement present compliance challenges for smaller operations.

Pearland, TX

(6 Reviews)

"Easily accessible geographically from all directions. Neighbors the greater Houston area.” - Ray Chappie, Director of Operations in the Building Materials Industry


  • Lower costs than downtown Houston, but still close.
  • Ease of starting a business with good infrastructure.
  • Strong word-of-mouth in a growing community.


  • Challenges accessing capital and navigating global supply chain.
  • Limited or expensive retail space.
  • Difficulty in gaining recognition as a business hub due to proximity to Houston.

Farmers Branch, TX

(5 reviews)

"Our primary factor is our accessibility to the tollway, and I-635 that quickly connects us to Interstate 75 in one direction and I-35 in the other direction. We're also very close to DFW airport." - Director of Operations in the Warehousing Industry


  • Excellent accessibility via major highways and proximity to DFW airport.
  • Good location with easy Metroplex access and competitive expenses.
  • Attentive city services and amenities enhance the business environment.


  • Recruiting challenges due to commuting distances for potential employees.
  • Rising costs of living and commercial real estate pressures.
  • Ongoing road construction impacting daily operations and commutes.

Frisco, TX

(4 reviews)

"Compliance, cleanliness and good process. Lesser crime. Traffic rules are followed diligently. A beautiful cosmo city in the making. The city has most number of A rated schools. Huge number of restaurants at highest standard. The frisco workforce has been promising as most of the talent pool with Information technology have moved from west and east coast to be their new home in Frisco." - Pradeepkuma Govindasamy | CEO in the Technology Industry


  • Vibrant business community with supportive local government.
  • Strong compliance, cleanliness, and low crime rates.
  • Skilled workforce and infrastructure fostering economic opportunities.


  • Slow permit issuance by municipality.
  • Stressful processes due to strict regulations and high real estate costs.
  • Labor and inflation challenges affecting the local landscape.

Addison, TX

(3 Reviews)

"I love Addison because it's centrally located. Our particular location is walking distance from a couple of nice hotels and the restaurants for entertaining, both lunch meetings and dinner meetings are fantastic right there in Addison. We like being close to the highways because we have people who are on the road a lot as well. So access to the tollway gets us to customers up and down the corridor." - Duane Pekar | CEO in the Building Materials Industry


  • Broad and diverse community with proactive city officials.
  • Access to airports and nationwide proximity.
  • Supportive environment for a variety of businesses.


  • Difficulty attracting and retaining talent due to long commutes.
  • Traffic patterns creating long commute times.
  • Road construction and lack of direct routes complicating travel.

Irving, TX

"There is a broad base of diverse groups of people that are doing well economically and there is amazing opportunity for growth..." CEO in the Financial Services Industry


  • Diverse, economically thriving population with growth opportunities.
  • Exceptional city services, public spaces, and emergency departments.
  • Central location in Las Colinas, supportive Chamber of Commerce.


  • Access to affordable housing
  • Long employee commute times
  • Underutilized Convention Center for business conferences.



What is this list?

This list ranks the top cities in Texas for business based on verified reviews from business leaders.

How do you choose the winners?

Employers choose the winners. These companies come to Scout to read and write authentic reviews about the business climate in each US city. The cities included in the rankings have at least 10 verified reviews from employers with a corporate location in their city. Cities ranked as a Rising Star have at least 2 verified reviews.

How are reviews verified?

Credibility is our top priority at Scout as the premier destination for insights into business climates across every city. Our rigorous moderation process entails verifying the identity of reviewers through business emails, LinkedIn profiles, and cross referencing corporate location data. Our review moderation team reads and verifies each review to ensure it meets the validation criteria prior to posting.

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