Virginia's regulatory burden, on the other hand, earns the state a much healthier ninth place ranking.
But the rewards for allowing businesses to operate with greater freedom from regulations translate into more than just a higher-place finish.
Businesses respond positively to greater freedom: There are 24 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Virginia compared to zero - that's right, zero - Fortune 500 companies in West Virginia.
This discrepancy contributes to strikingly different standards of living between the states.
Virginians enjoy a median household income that is nearly $22,000 higher than West Virginians, and Virginia's unemployment rate is 5.2 percent, while West Virginia's is 6.6 percent.
For two states that share nearly 400 miles of border, they are worlds apart.
To put it simply, Virginia has a regulatory environment that actually encourages job creation.
West Virginia has a regulatory climate that makes it difficult for businesses to succeed. Unfortunately, this lack of choice puts our beautiful state in an all-too-familiar spot.
When you regulate something, you get less of it. We are overregulating employers and prospective employers and, as a result, the number of businesses and jobs they provide are lagging.
We should not celebrate mediocrity or rejoice over avoiding the dreaded 49th or 50th ranking.
As a proud West Virginian, I cannot remember a time when our state was the "best" or "first" in any national comparison.
Our motto is Montani Semper Liberi, "Mountaineers Are Always Free."
Let's make sure we are living up to it.
It's time to relax our regulatory burden and unleash the creative spirit that can make West Virginia wild and wonderful.
Garrett Ballengee is a policy analyst and research fellow at the Charles Koch Institute. He grew up in Parkersburg, attended West Virginia University, and remains a proud Mountaineer.