The 10 Worst States To Do Business In

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5. Mississippi

Solution Provider 500 Companies: 4

Mississippi, like other Southern states, has relatively low taxes and employment costs, along with low rankings for innovation prospects and business opportunities. The state ranks No. 7 for overall labor and business costs and No. 11 for overall taxes and regulation. But, the low education and workforce experience levels rank it only No. 47: The state was among the lowest in the number of IT jobs (as a share of private-sector employment), and only 19.8 percent of adults have a bachelor's degree or higher -- second only to West Virginia.

Despite scoring fairly well in entrepreneurial activity, Mississippi ranks No. 46 in innovation and growth prospects: It's last among all 50 states for inventor patents. And, it's No. 42 in overall business opportunities.

There are two Mississippi-based solution providers on the Tech Elite 250, two on the Fast Growth 100 and 50 Up-And-Comers lists, and one on the Next-Gen 250 list.

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