With access to more than 60% of the U.S. consumers; one of the busiest passenger rail services in America and proximity to two international airports, Delaware’s enviable location along the U.S. northeast corridor makes it a top choice for businesses and job seekers who want to live on the East Coast. And there’s more: Delaware’s business law courts are considered the most expert and trusted business courts throughout the world and 68% of the Fortune 500 companies incorporate in Delaware.
With the 6th lowest property tax in the U.S. and no sales tax, Delaware is attracting more and more professionals and has the fastest growing population in the Northeast as well as the MidAtlantic. The Milken Institute, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and the Brookings Institute consistently highlight Delaware as a top state to work, live, and innovate.
#3 in U.S. for lowest tax burden
Delaware ranks among the top three nationwide for business tax favorability, according to a new report by the Tax Foundation and KPMG. The report, Location Matters, assesses the corporate tax burden in two categories of cities – major and mid-sized – throughout all 50 states, accounting for the wide range of tax impacts faced by businesses such as property tax, income tax, sales tax and others. The comprehensive study compared the full tax burden faced by businesses in all 50 states.
Delaware outpaced its neighboring states in the Mid-Atlantic region for most sector types in both the new and mature business categories. The nationwide study ranked each state’s tax favorability performance including their Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. In Delaware, the two cities ranked in the Location Matters report are Wilmington in the Tier 1 major city category and Dover in the Tier 2 mid-sized city category.
Key findings from the nationwide survey reveal:
Additionally, the City of Wilmington was recently recognized as having the 2nd best business climate in the nation for cities under 200,000 residents. (Business Facilities, 2022)
Innovation in Delaware means more opportunities to innovate and more opportunities to thrive. Some of the most transformative advances in history got their start in Delaware and that tradition of embracing the power of creativity continues to thrive in Delaware today. During the past 50 years, Delaware innovators have been issued the most patents, per capita, in the United States.
Whether it’s precision agriculture, advanced materials and manufacturing, fintech, bioscience, pharma or sustainable chemistry, Delaware tops the charts for places that encourage innovation. According to the Milken Institute Science & Tech Index, Delaware ranks 9th overall in their state technology and science index. For research development inputs Delaware ranks 3 – this ranking factors in Federal R&D expenditures, industry R&D expenditures, academic R&D expenditures, National Science Foundation funding, and small business research funding.
Speed: Size matters when it comes to speed. Our small size provides more attention to businesses looking to grow quickly. With eager and accessible State leadership, you can influence change much more rapidly in Delaware than in larger states.
Access: An accessible government and business community paired with trusted and expert legal, governing, and corporate tax regulations make Delaware the preferred choice for incorporating businesses.
Fastest growing state in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions
(2020 Census Data)
Delaware has no sales tax, the 6th lowest property taxes in the country and a highly competitive cost-of-living which is why more and more professionals are choosing Delaware. Delaware has outpaced other Northeast corridor regions with the fastest growing population in in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions in 10 years.
What’s more, Delaware’s commitment to preserving nature and the great outdoors means you can navigate the Greenway Trail to walk from one end of the state to another. Delaware features an unusual blend of residential choices, from city living to small-town America to beach life along some of the best sands on the Northeast corridor: Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach rank among the top 21 East Coast beaches to visit, according to U.S. News and World Report. When you really want to get away, you’re in the epicenter of the mid-Atlantic – an easy drive to Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and DC. Delaware is also known for its award-winning schools, nationally ranked healthcare systems, diverse range of recreation options and a welcoming “state of neighbors.” And there’s more:
“Delaware has a world-class workforce, and a quality of life that is second to none.”
John Carney, Governor
Read what others have to say about Delaware. Click on a tab below to learn more about the great reasons to live or work in Delaware.
“There’s a lot of scientific talent in this area. The Stine Research Center is minutes from the University of Delaware, and we are close to major cities, which makes Delaware an attractive place for people, many of whom are relocating to work at Stine. As for the employees who relocated from New Jersey, one confided to visiting legislators that he liked living in Delaware.”
“The quality of life is high, the environment in which people live is lovely, the schools are good – there’s just a lot to be said about the benefits of working and living in Delaware. What’s more, the beaches are just over an hour from Newark.”
“Delaware is small in size but big in spirit. It’s near Penn and Johns Hopkins. The talent is here.”
“There are a lot of ‘retired’ scientists in Delaware helping companies get things done. You won’t find that anywhere else.”
“A number of things attracted us to Delaware. Of course, its proximity to our customers, many of whom are in New Jersey, was a key factor. There are about 100 colleges and universities within a 2-hour drive from Delaware, so we knew we would have an attractive pool of well-educated people to satisfy our hiring needs.”
“We appreciate and admire Delaware’s historic ties to the chemical industry and manufacturing. And, of course, the scale of business and industrial growth in the Middletown area made it clear that this area welcomes companies like ours.”
“It’s been a good ride for us. We continue to have good relationships with state and local officials and they continue to provide support when we need it. The fact that it took only 18 months from groundbreaking to grand opening is really notable. This is a winner for us!”
“For fintech, you need to be able to pull the right resources together to navigate both the business and regulatory landscape. Delaware is uniquely positioned to foster fintech innovation. As a startup, we can get into rooms with state legislators and
decision-makers relatively quickly. There’s a lot of agility when it comes to getting the right people together.”
“There is a tremendous pool of talent, ideas and world-renowned financial firms in the area.”
“Many reasons contributed to choosing the site, among which is the proximity to major universities on the East Coast, the availability of land, the proximity to major chemical partners and the support of the Delaware government.”
“I love the proximity to Philadelphia and the ease with which I can travel to New York, where my investors are.”
“You can build a massive company in Delaware and service everyone who is two hours away by train – New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.”
“One of the things that really stood out to me was how close you are to Philadelphia International Airport. That was eye-opening and probably the number one item that stood out to me. It really gives you an opportunity to really sell yourself as in, ‘Delaware may not have its own international airport, but the state doesn’t have all of the expenses and liability that go with running an airport and you still get access to all of those ‘big city’ things.’ Even being in the southern part of Delaware, you’re still very, very close to the international airport. From anywhere in Delaware, you can get to the international airport and get around the world.”
“Delaware was a great choice for a high-tech business. The location provides access to a skilled workforce, and it’s a business-friendly state in general.”
“It’s very easy to ship from here. We have access to air shipment in Philadelphia, and since we’re on the I-95 corridor, it’s easy to get the products to Miami and then on to Latin American and the Caribbean.”
“A big thing for us has been that our location helps us attract top talent. When we’re trying to entice someone to relocate here, being near the beach communities has been helpful.”
“We’re an entertainment company, and this is a resort area – they go hand in hand. A lot of our customers are restaurants, bars or music venues. Anyone who’s putting on a live event or show in this area may be interested in working with us. Not every community is made up like that.”
“All of the tax laws are changing for internet purchases, but Delaware is a great state for us to open a retail space in because of the tax-free shopping. If we can save a customer 5 to 7 percent, especially on a large purchase, it’s a great competitive advantage.”
“Delaware is a small state, and I believe the state and the business community here go out of their way to be friendly to local companies. We support each other, and this state remains a pretty easy place to get things done.”
“I came to Delaware to fast-track my education but stayed here because it is a state where you can learn from the best scientists, innovate within some of the best healthcare systems, learn from entrepreneurs with invaluable knowledge and be a part of a community where everyone is connected and wants to help one another.”
“The community is small enough that I can have access to such a rich network of people who are creating change in Delaware and around the world. I don’t think I would have had the same opportunity to connect with this caliber of people if I were in a larger state. So, I think that’s really special.”
Nemser believes Delaware is the “best place on Earth to start a Chemtech company because the chemical engineers coming out of the University of Delaware are excellent and have been taught to have an entrepreneurial mindset; there’s a community of Delawareans from places like Chemours, DuPont, and White Dog Labs who understand chemistry and their peer companies; and state government understands and profoundly supports innovation in chemicals. I’m not sure we’d get the same attention somewhere else.”
“I always say, it’s two hours from everywhere. It’s easy to ship globally from here, which is critical for us. It’s a great location to springboard from. The weather can be challenging but, knock on wood, we don’t have too many extremes.”
“Delaware officials are ‘very customer-oriented.’ They always asked us what we needed, and they followed through — every step of the way.”
“This is a very friendly state, and political leaders and staff have been there over the years to help us. There was a point when we needed more power, and the power company told us it would cost $120,000 to upgrade. Governor Markell visited us, made a call, and a year or so later we had the power we needed at no cost.”
“Delaware has been an extremely business-friendly state for us. The financial support we’ve received from the State of Delaware, Sussex County and the City of Seaford is why we’re the size company we are and why we’ve been able to buy companies, facilities and equipment.”
“There is no place like Delaware to test ideas. Delaware is where innovation gets real, and that’s why we’re here.”
“I just think Delaware is a great place to grow up and raise a family. The second thing I’d say is the smallness of Delaware actually makes for easier partnerships and sort of a unity of focus when it matters most. Our entire congressional delegation is connected to the success of Delaware State University, and it’s rare that you find it’s just one without the others pushing along. I think that’s really important.”
This is a place where you get to see your governor in the grocery store or pick up the phone and have a conversation with some of the highest folks in political office, and I think that matters. I think people and businesses want to come here because they see a really thoughtful talent pool that is loyal to the community they’re in and want to be successful.”
“I don’t know another location where you are one degree of separation away from any need. When we look outside of our windows, we see the backdrop of the companies that we serve most. When I look to the left, I see JPMorgan Chase, the top employer of our university program, and the Barclaycard and Capital One buildings, who support our high school work-based learning program along with JPMorgan Chase. It is really helpful that the decision-makers from these companies are actually located in Delaware.”
“In Delaware, we all talk across genres. In a given day, I can run into a painter, a spoken-word poet, a jazz musician and a classical musician, and we’re all bouncing ideas off each other.”
“What I love about Delaware is that leaders in the nonprofit and for-profit worlds are willing to mentor people that they see are engaged. Delaware is all about partnering and leveraging resources because we’re small. We don’t have the silos here that you often see.”
“We have a great business environment here in Delaware. A connected business community can work with the state and influence how things are done, partly because we’re small. The creation of DPP came from the decision to go after business with businesspeople, and it’s been effective.”
“The proximity to D.C., Philadelphia, New York and other cities on the East Coast is obvious. People are also re-evaluating the benefits as well as the downside that a large metropolitan lifestyle presents and are seeing the advantages that smaller cities and communities offer. If you look at the cost of living, the value you get in Delaware is equal to or better than almost anywhere else on the East Coast. Anyone who can work from home can be in a family-friendly place and save money. It’s easier to get around here than in larger metropolitan areas. It’s easier to go out, and it’s easier to interact.”
“It is definitely business-friendly, and it’s family-friendly. It has beautiful beaches. Also, another important thing, it does not have a sales tax.”
“The power of Delaware is that so many people know each other. They trust each other – you can feel it.”
“Delaware is a great place for chemistry. I like to call it the DNA of Delaware. A nimbleness and can-do attitude, coupled with talent and skill set to solve
“The speed of Delaware works well with the intensity of Adesis, where we like to move faster than anybody else.”
“The lower cost of living without compromising quality is what I love about Delaware. Our children are getting a great education, there are plenty of outside activities and easy transportation by road, train or air to get where we want to go. Plus, we have beaches and ‘almost’ year-round golf!”
“Delaware has a uniquely expansive array of bioscience businesses. Unlike other states, Delaware’s strength is its focus on innovation and its rich diversity of bioscience companies, including precision instrumentation, consumables, recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, contract research organizations and contract manufacturing organizations.”
“As a company, we sincerely appreciate the continued support from the state of Delaware. The Wilmington area provides an attractive location for hiring experienced and talented scientific, clinical and operational teams needed to build a successful biopharmaceutical company.”
“Delaware’s strengths in financial services, health and life sciences, renewable energy and advanced manufacturing match those of the North East, so I see a great opportunity for us to work together to create opportunities for local companies to collaborate and do business.”
“We are proud to have Delaware roots and it is very gratifying to me to continue to grow here in Delaware; it’s a great place to live, work and play. We are grateful for the strategic fund support; it helps Carvertise continue its growth.”
“Delaware has an educated workforce with skills that we need, a lower cost of living and a government that understands that business development and retention is critical to the success of the state – and it’s a beautiful part of the country. We are really excited to be in Delaware.”
“We were attracted to Delaware because of its strategic location and business-friendly approach to helping companies like ours to grow.”
“Delaware is a hub of medical, scientific and pharmaceutical research, making it an ideal choice for both up-and-coming and established healthcare providers. The valuable collaboration that exists among our academic institutions, healthcare systems and our public and private partnerships make Delaware an ideal place for healthcare providers to put their skills and expertise into practice.”
“Attracting talented healthcare providers to Delaware is necessary to drive real and equitable opportunities for change, as identified by Healthy Communities Delaware. Equally as important is letting these professionals know that working in Delaware provides access to not just viable career advancement, but meaningful personal development opportunities and a great place to live, explore and grow.”
“Corporate tax structure is an important variable for businesses considering a new location, and the Location Matters report validates an important variable in Delaware’s value proposition for businesses contemplating their next move.”
“Delaware has been a great location for us with its proximity to so many different areas
— being close to Washington D.C. when working with military contacts is critical. Delaware also has a very advantageous corporate structure and programs like Delaware Technology Innovation Program. And people are really friendly here.
Networking in Delaware is surprisingly well-connected and willing to connect you to others. There is only one degree of separation here. We have connectivity and warmth that you don’t get in other places.”
“It sounds crazy to say something on the coast is central. But when you think of where we are right now — we could get in a car and be in Philly in two hours, be in Baltimore or D.C. in two hours, and in less than three and a half hours, be in Manhattan. So it’s actually a great hub to distribute a high-end product from because you have the proximity to all these awesome cities. That and you get to live at the beach in a low-stress, beautiful, natural environment.”
“I love the quality of life I get living and working here in Delaware. We can be at the beaches or the mountains in about an hour. I do a little bit of traveling for shoots, but most of my work is here in Delaware. Sure I could go to New York and hunt down some of the bigger agencies but I’m perfectly happy telling the stories of the people and brands in our state.”
“Delaware had and continues to have everything I need to be successful and flourish in my profession including competitive salaries for educators and opportunities for continued education.”
“Delaware is a great place to be able to make a difference. It’s a great place to experiment. Our success is really a testament to all of the libraries working together.”
“In Delaware we have incredible access to our lawmakers, CEOs and the media. We can make incredible inroads in terms of communicating between all the stakeholders in business and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
“It’s more true than ever that Delaware has a world-class workforce, and a quality of life that is second to none. And these investments by FMC help reaffirm that our state is a great place for businesses of all sizes to put down roots, grow, and create good-paying jobs.”
“Delaware is home to some of the nation’s most innovative small companies and now with this tax credit, science and high-tech entrepreneurs have even more incentive to choose Delaware to grow their businesses.”
“Delaware has the fourth highest number of employed PhDs working in science, engineering and healthcare. Add to that its enviable location, low cost of doing business, and collaborative, business-friendly environment and you see why Delaware is becoming the go-to location for science and tech start-ups. Our 7th place ranking in the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index underscored that Delaware is taking the lead in the bioscience field.”
“New Castle County has corporate and banking but it also has the richness and splendor of the DuPonts who were such awesome stewards of their wealth. Kent County has a richness of colonialism, the John Dickinson Mansion and the signing of the Constitution and The Green and the maypole dancing. Sussex County is like the little beach resort Riviera of the state, with its own culture and influx from all of the surrounding cities beyond Delaware. Throw in the cultural experiences we’ve had here, which we’ve always had in the north of the state, but now we also have in the Biggs Museum in Dover and the Freeman Stage in Selbyville.
It’s home, first and foremost. It’s accessible — you can find yourself at a red light next to the governor. I love that it’s a small state and that it’s the first state. I love that it’s a community, small enough that we can know each other.”
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