NC DIDI is committed to making it easier for defense contractors, manufacturers and service providers to do business in North Carolina and around the country. That’s why our state fosters a pro-business environment, fueled by the lowest corporate income tax in the U.S. along with a favorable legal and regulatory climate, low business costs and qualified talent. As a result, North Carolina garners some impressive accolades—year after year, from a number of sources.

#1 Best State for Business, Forbes, 2017 (NC has been in the top five for 11 consecutive years)

#2 Business Climate Ranking, Site Selection, 2016

#3 Best State for Business, Chief Executive Magazine, 2018


  • 3% Corporate Income Tax Rate, Lowest in the U.S., Tax Foundation, 2017

  • #1 Lowest State and Local Business Tax Burden, Ernst & Young, 2016


  • #5 Lowest Effective Tax Rate for Mature Corporate HQs, Tax Foundation and KPMG, 2015


 With our history of being first in flight, it’s no wonder leader aerospace, defense and security companies like Honda Jet, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin and UTC Aerospace Systems call NC home. 

North Carolina is Great For Defense Industry Businesses

Military-Provided Readymade Workforce


North Carolina has the third-largest military population in the U.S. An estimated 78,000 military separations by 2018 offers a unique, ready made workforce to North Carolina manufacturers.

Access to Extensive Rail System

North Carolina is home to the largest consolidated rail system in the U.S., with more than 3,200 miles (5,150 km) of track providing access to major seaports and other manufacturing hubs in the Southeast.

Largest Manufacturing Workforce in the Southeast


With over 460,000 manufacturing workers, North Carolina has the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast, and the 10th largest in the U.S. Manufacturing accounts for 20 percent of the state’s GSP, fifth-highest in the nation.

Access to Deep-Water Seaports


North Carolina boasts two deep-water seaports in Wilmington and Morehead City that offer quick turn times, low costs and easy access to the state’s extensive rail and highway systems. The state also offers convenient access to additional ports in Norfolk, Va., and Charleston, S.C.

contract awards performed.png

North Carolina has the second fastest-growing aerospace product and parts manufacturing sector in the U.S. The state also has one of the largest and fastest-growing information technology sectors in the U.S. In 2018, Department of Defense prime military contracts performed in NC totaled nearly $3.3 billion. Subcontracts totaled billions more.