Entrepreneurship is essential to America’s economy. New businesses create jobs, promote competition, and transform industries, but where a business sets up shop can be crucial to its success.

As part of its 2017 best states ranking, U.S. News & World Report determined the states with the strongest business environment using two metrics: The number of new businesses formed between 2013 and 2015 and the average number of patents per 1 million residents granted during the same period. 

California, home to Silicon Valley, the launching pad for dozens of tech juggernauts, came out on top, followed by Massachusetts and Idaho.

Below, check out the 15 best states for starting a business: