Apply For A Business License Durham, North Carolina

Are you planning to open a business in Durham, North Carolina?

Those that plan to operate a business in Durham will need to apply for and be issued a business license. In Durham, a business license is sometimes referred to as a business privilege license, but for this article, the term business license will be used throughout. You may download an application for a business license from the City of Durham website or you can request it in person by visiting the Business Tax Unit at 101 City Hall Plaza. 

What information is necessary to complete a Durham business license application?

The following information is needed to complete your Durham business license application:

  1. Name of business
  2. Physical and mailing address of business
  3. Email of business
  4. All phone numbers associated with your business
  5. Name, address, email, cell phone, phone number, and fax number of the primary contact for the business
  6. A detailed description of the business that you plan to conduct
  7. Type of business ownership, whether under individual ownership or part of a corporation (LLC/S Corps)
  8. If it is applicable, provide your North Carolina State Occupation/ Board License Number and a FEIN (federal tax ID number)
  9. Whether you have a home-based business
  10. Tax schedules ‘a’ and ‘b’ will need to be filled out according to your business
  11. Whether you have other businesses in Durham
  12. Signature of applicant to denote that you have provided only true information on your business license application and that you agree to comply with all state, federal, and local regulations for operating a business in Durham, North Carolina. 

When your business license application is completed, you may return it to the Business Tax Unit which is found on the first floor of City Hall, located at 101 City Hall Plaza. If you have any questions regarding your business license application, you can reach the Business Tax Unit by phone at (919) 560-4700. 

What are the costs associated with a Durham business license?

Costs for a business license are determined on the category that your business falls under. Businesses are classified under service, wholesale, retail, and manufacturing. Any business that does not fall under these classifications will be charged a flat rate fee. You may contact the Business Tax Unit to discuss your fees. 

What else should you know?

There are some businesses that do not require a basic business license. On the City of Durham website, there is a list of such businesses. You will need to review this list and determine if your business falls on it. Your business will most likely need to be zone-approved by the Zoning Division of the Planning Department at (919) 560-4137. If you are planning to operate a home-based business, you will need to contact the Planning Department, as well as file an application for a home occupation use permit from the Planning Department. 

Do you need more information?

You may contact the Business Tax Unit at (919) 560-4700 to discuss any questions you may have regarding your business license. If you wish to visit them in person, they are located at 101 City Hall Plaza. Finally, you may want to spend some time exploring the City of Durham website for helpful information on obtaining a business license. 

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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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