Edinburgh and Glasgow were found to trail behind due to the high cost of living, while Inverness was ranked in bottom spot in Scotland. Aberdeen finished second-to-last due to slow broadband and “sky-high” rents, according to researchers.
Stirling’s “low cost of living, excellent travel links and highly-educated workforce” all helped the city to outshine its larger Central Belt neighbours.
It was also ranked highly because it boasts some of Scotland’s cheapest commercial property prices and “low-cost virtual office solutions”.
The city finished eighth out of all of the 69 cities examined by Quality Formations, a London-based company formation specialist, placing it ahead of the likes of London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Rebecca Honnan, customer service manager at Quality Formations, said: “When it comes to setting up a new business, far too many aspiring entrepreneurs can’t seem to look past cities like London or Glasgow – and although these big cities are fantastic, they don’t always have the best climate to help foster young start-ups.
“Costly overheads, slow broadband and overpriced childcare have the ability to kill even the most promising of startups.”
Across the UK as a whole, Derby claimed the top spot, followed by Stoke-on-Trent and Belfast.
The two-week “scientific study” examined core criteria including property costs, energy prices, public transport, broadband provision, workforce demographics, access to start-up finance and quality of life.