Best States for Freelancers: 7 Ideal Locations for Independent Work

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Keith Hall, president and CEO of the National Association of Self-Employed People, says that for freelancers in particular, it’s up to workers to settle in their favorite city and then it is increasingly common to find contracts with companies anywhere.

Although some workers have returned to the office, remote work has become the norm for others over the past three years. And some now have more autonomy in choosing where they live.

More than a third of American workers have abandoned traditional corporate careers to embark on freelance life. And while being your own boss isn’t for everyone – it requires a certain amount of organization, discipline and comfort – the benefits can be many. 

Will Geeslin, CPA of Geeslin Group said: “Be aware that if you work in one state, whether in person or remotely, but live in another, you may have taxable income in the state, mine”. “Invest in your knowledge and find a CPA or mentor to partner with. You are the boss of the business and educating yourself and having a resource on hand can save you a lot of money at the end of the year. »

Millions of Americans opt for freelance life instead of a standard full-time job. According to Zippia, as of 2022, there were 70.4 million freelancers in the U.S. — that’s 36% of the total workforce in the country. What freelancers may not know is that there are certain states that are more hospitable to freelancers than others. We’ll explore those states in this piece. 

“I can’t remember a time when I heard so many reviews from self-employed people that they considered where they live based on their quality of life,” says Hall. “They choose where to live based on their quality of life and then run their businesses based on that. I think this is a significant change from 15 years ago,” when priorities were reversed. “This is a fundamental change that I think is positive in the long run,” adds Hall.

 Here is a list of the top 7 US cities for freelancers in 2023. Our analysis uses recent metropolitan area data from the Census Bureau United States and state data from the Federation of State Tax Administration. Major cities are places with a combination of the following: A large proportion of the workforce is self-employed, rents are relatively affordable, income taxes are low, unemployment is low, and job mobility is high.

1. Alaska 

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Alaska can be a great place from a financial perspective because you won’t have to pay income or sales taxes. In addition, residents can benefit from a state dividend program that provides checks to all residents annually. Freelancers who love the outdoors — and don’t have to worry about meetings or networking — can find much to do in Alaska. There’s more to the outdoors here than anywhere else in the country, with all the winter sports you can take part in, along with a beautiful (and impossibly short) summer. 

2. New Hampshire 

“With the tagline ‘Live Free or Die,’ it’s no surprise that New Hampshire is a great destination to escape from almost anything,” Pete Chatfield, CEO of Thrift Household money, said.  New Hampshire is quite a remarkable state for independents. This is both because it is a great getaway destination (useful if you want a healthy work-life balance) and because it imposes virtually no tax burden on its residents. 

This is one of the places with the lowest tax burden in the country because residents are exempt from paying income tax and sales tax, $63,430 per year.

3. California 

Bowen says the average independent contractor makes $44 an hour in the Golden State. “This could be because more and more entrepreneurs are working in higher-paying sectors like technology and finance.”  California is an expensive state to live in, but it offers important earning opportunities for freelancers. 

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4. Washington 

Whether you want the beach, the mountains or all the Starbucks you can drink, you can find it here.  Washington state is the ideal blend of nature and civilization, home to some of the nation’s most geologically diverse landscapes and some of the world’s largest technology companies. And best of all, you can enjoy it all without the burden of state income taxes that reduce your profits as a freelancer.

5. Nevada 

People often think of Nevada as a place to bet their luck (because of Las Vegas), but it’s also a rich place for independent people being a pay stub maker. “Nevada is often hailed as one of the best states where freelancers can thrive in an entrepreneurial environment,” said Kimberley Tyler-Smith, executive director of career technology platform Resume Worded, favorable and no personal income tax. “Self-employed people can keep more of their income, allowing them to reinvest in their businesses or enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, Nevada has a relatively low cost of living compared to many other states, allowing freelancers to increase their income, more and maintain a comfortable lifestyle.  Marketing professionals may find Nevada a particularly good place to reside. According to, the average base salary for a freelance marketer in Nevada is $91,590. 

6. Oregon 

You can find the vibrant tech scene in the state’s major cities or escape to the dynamic scenery that stretches for miles of coastline and lush forests. Those looking to evade the exorbitant sales tax in most states can go to Oregon, where there is no state or local sales tax. You’ll also benefit from some of the best infrastructure in the country, including an electricity system powered by almost 50% renewable energy. 

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7. Texas 

Texas is another great option for freelancers in the United States. “The state enjoys many benefits such as no corporate taxes, low unemployment and  low cost of living,” said Georgia McKenzie, Founder and CEO of Switch on Business. . “Texas is also home to some of the world’s most innovative companies, such as Dell and AT&T, providing a wide range of job opportunities for freelancers.” That puts the median salary of freelancers in Texas at the lower end – $26.21, according to Indeed.

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