According to an annual survey released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Iowa’s legal system ranks No. 4 in the nation. Iowa has ranked in the top five each of the last three years.

The five top states for overall legal fairness according to the survey are Delaware, Nebraska, Virginia, Iowa and Connecticut.

The survey shows that Iowa is a great place to do business. New business owners from Iowa often ask me whether they should incorporate in another state. Unless there are compelling reasons to do so I generally encourage them to incorporate right here in Iowa. Another major reason to incorporate in Iowa are the low fees necessary to maintain a corporation in Iowa. If you file using the convenient online process, it only costs $30.00 every two years to register with the Secretary of State. When you compare those fees with many other states, including highly regarded Delaware, Iowa is quite the bargain.

The study, released by the Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, is a benchmark by which companies, policymakers and the media assess the fairness of legal systems in the 50 states. The more than 1,400 attorneys who participated in the poll were asked to judge a number of factors, including overall treatment of tort and contract litigation, treatment of class action suits and mass consolidation suits, judges’ impartiality and competence and juries’ predictability and fairness.

A full report and state-by-state results are available at the Institute for Legal Reform or by calling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at (202) 463-5682.