Apply For A Business License Cary, North Carolina

Are you starting a business in Cary, North Carolina?

All businesses operating in Cary are required to have a business license, also known as a privilege license. You can apply in person for a business license by visiting the Town of Cary Revenue Collector at 316 North Academy Street or you may simply download the application from the Town of Cary website. 

Prior to choosing a location for your business, you are encouraged to contact the Planning Department for information about restrictions and regulations pertaining to your business location. You may reach them by phone at (919) 462-3885. Your zoning verification will take up to two weeks for approval and the cost is $100.00. You are not required to have zoning verification, but it can save you time and money while moving through the process of obtaining your business license.

Is your business going to be run from a residence?

It is acceptable to operate a business from your home providing that you adhere to certain conditions and regulations. You will also need to apply for an accessory use permit. An application for the accessory use permit can be found online at the Town of Cary website. It is a four-page document that gathers information pertaining your business and how you plan to use your home as part of your business. The document outlines all of the restrictions and conditions associated with operating a home business. Some of these conditions include not using more than 20% or 500 feet of your total floorspace to operate your business; not generating noise, vibrations, fumes, etc. in excess of what is normally found in a residential neighborhood; not hiring more than one person from outside of the residence to work in the business; etc. There are also certain business activities that are restricted from being conducted from a home business such as auto mechanics, transportation storage, etc.  

You will be responsible for obtaining a privilege license in addition to your accessory use permit. The cost for the accessory permit is $25.00 plus any inspection or approval fees. When you have completed your application, you will return it to the Town of Cary Planning Department. Attn: Inspections and Permits Department, PO Box 8005, Cary, NC 27512. If you have questions, you may contact the Planning Department at (919) 469-4082. 

What information is necessary for a Cary business license (privilege license) application?

You will need information regarding your business such as the name of your business, two local contacts that can be reached in the event of an emergency at your business location, a description of your business activities, and all contact information regarding your business including a mailing, physical, and email address. You will need to supply personal contact information on yourself, including your home address and home phone number. 

The date that your business commences will need to be provided, as well as the ownership type, whether you are an individual owner, involved in a partnership, or are part of a larger corporation.  You may need to include gross sales receipts, numbers of entertainment and/or vending machines, and number of employees. Before you return your application, you will need to sign it and date it to state that you are aware that you must comply with all regulations, whether state, local, and/or federal associated with operating a business. When you have completed your entire application, you will need to return it to the Town of Cary Revenue Collector’s office at 316 North Academy Street. 

Are there costs associated with receiving a Cary business license?

At the time of applying for your business license, you may remit payment for your business license either by check or by filling out the section requesting information from your credit card. There is a tax schedule included on your business license application, which outlines the different costs associated with different business activities. Your costs may also be calculated based on the number of employees you have. Expect to pay between $25.00 and $300.00 for most businesses. 

Your business license tax fees will be due annually by July 1. A 5% fee will be accrued by July 2 and will increase monthly up to a 25% maximum if payment is not made. Certain businesses may be exempt from fees, such as non-profit organizations. You will need to provide documentation of your exempt status and have your organization registered with the Secretary of State’s Office. If you need assistance in calculating your business taxes, contact the Revenue Collector’s Office at (919) 460-4952. 

Do you need more information?

Revenue Collector Town of Cary
316 North Academy Street
Cary NC 27513

PO Box 8049
Cary NC 27512-8049

Phone: (919) 460-4952
Fax: (919) 388-1107


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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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