Incentives and government policies make the Commonwealth of Virginia the second-best state in the nation to do business, according to Forbes magazine's new rankings.
Virginia has ranked highly in Forbes' annual "Best States to Do Business" rankings for years. In 2012, for the second year in a row, the Commonwealth was topped only by Utah.
"Virginia ranks No. 2 thanks to a pro-business regulatory climate that includes a top ranking in Pollina Corporate Real Estate’s study of the states with the best financial incentive programs and state economic development efforts. Utah nipped Virgina thanks to [Utah's] lower labor costs and stronger economic outlook," Forbes writer Kurt Badenhausen wrote.
Just below Virginia were North Dakota and North Carolina—ahead of Maryland, which ranked No. 16.
Virginia also ranked third in CNBC's rankings earlier this year—but that was a drop from No. 1 in 2011. The cable business network cited Virginia's "perpetually clogged highways," among other reasons, as part of its lower ranking in 2012.