Do I Need a Business License in North Carolina?

North Carolina does not have a general business license that businesses must purchase. There is no single license that guarantees compliance with all requirements. Depending on the type of business and its location, some businesses may be subject to several state requirements, while others may not be subject to any. The rules for registering companies vary depending on the location and activity of the company.

The Small Business Center Network (SBCN) offers resources to help you finance your business. Small business taxes and employer requirements can be simple or complex depending on the size and structure of your company. Contact the North Carolina Economic Development Association (EDPNC) small business advisor helpline for assistance. Look up your company name in the North Carolina Secretary of State Mercantile Registry to determine if it is available for use.

Federal funding opportunity to support research and development projects through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The Small Business Technology Development Center %26 (SBTDC) provides information on the financial resources available to small businesses in North Carolina. While North Carolina does not require a state-issued general business license, you may need to obtain one from your city, town, or village. State taxes on privilege licenses are imposed for the privilege of conducting the business, exercising the privilege, or performing the act mentioned in article 2 of Annex B of the North Carolina Revenue Laws.

Greensboro: Businesses that operate a taxi or sell alcohol within the city limits of Greensboro must obtain a business privilege license from the City's Collections Division. These businesses include: prepared food (26%), beverages, room occupancy, vehicle rental and heavy equipment. NC BOLD lists all the business, professional, and privilege licenses needed to do business in the state of North Carolina. Winston-Salem: Some types of businesses operating in Winston-Salem will need to apply for a Privilege license, such as those that sell alcoholic beverages, door-to-door lawyers, taxis, pawn shops, fortune tellers and tattoo artists.

Small business centers offer free local, confidential and experienced counselors as advisors to new and existing businesses on a variety of topics, including sources of capital and loan preparation.

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