Apply For A Business License Raleigh, North Carolina

Are you looking for information about obtaining a Raleigh, North Carolina business license?

If you wish to obtain a business license, you will need either download a business license application from the City of Raleigh website or mail a written request to PO Box 590 Raleigh, NC 27602-0590. If you wish to operate a business from your home, you will need to file a home occupation use permit. All businesses will need to be properly zoned prior to opening. It is wise to receive zoning approval prior to signing a lease or purchasing any business property. You can contact the Zoning Division at (919) 516-2555 for information on zoning regulations and to determine the zone best suited to your business activities. Be aware that home businesses require zoning approval as well. 

Will you need to apply for additional permits or licenses?

The City of Raleigh has many different specialty or regulatory licenses that may apply to your business. Some of these specialty licenses include those for massage therapists, beer/wine sales, music venues, pawnshops, etc. You may need to contact the IRS for an FEIN (federal employer’s ID number) and the police or fire department for inspections and background checks. There may be any number of other permits or licenses that you will be required to obtain prior to opening your business. It is important that you do not move forward in the licensing procedure before you are certain have all other licenses in place. Contact the City of Raleigh Revenue Services at (919) 996-3200 to discuss which, if any, additional licenses or permits you may need, whether they are local, state, and/or federal. 

What costs will you incur?

On your business license application, there are tax schedule sections where you will calculate your business license fees based on criteria specific to your business and your business activities. If you have questions regarding the costs that are associated with your business, contact the Revenue Services at (919) 996-3200 if you need assistance while calculating your business license costs. 

Your business license fees are expected to be remitted at the time that you return your business license application. You can return your application to the Revenue Services by mailing the application along with your payment to PO Box 590 Raleigh, NC 27602-0590. Your business license will be valid from June 30 through June 30 of the following year. You will be mailed a business license renewal form prior to June 1. If you have not received a renewal form by that date, contact the Revenue Services at (919) 996-3200. Beer and wine licenses expire annually on May 30. You should receive a renewal notice on or before May 1. Your annual business license fees should be remitted with your renewal. 

What information is required on a Raleigh business license application?

The application for a Raleigh business license is a four-page document that is used to gather information on your business and on you as the business owner. There are several sections used for calculating your business license fees and to classify your business. You will need to supply information on your business activities, whether your business is home-based, what type of ownership your business is under (solely owned, partnership, or corporation), the physical location of your business and business contact information. You will need to include your name and your home address, payment information, and a signature. When you have completed your business license application, you may return it by mail, along with your payment information for a credit card or a check or money order payable to ‘City of Raleigh.’ Expect to receive your business license in three to five business days. 

Are you planning to operate a home-based business in Raleigh?

Those that wish to operate a business from their residence will need to apply for a home occupation permit, available online at the City of Raleigh website. Your application for a home occupation permit requests similar information to the basic business license described above, but in addition, it requests information on how you plan to use your home to conduct your business. You will need to provide information on the size of your home, the square footage of the space that will be dedicated to your business activities, whether you will conduct any business in your yard, whether you have outbuildings to use in your business, etc. You will need to sign your application stating that your home-based business will be secondary to your home being used as a residence and that all the information that you provided is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge.

Do you need more information?

The City of Raleigh website is well maintained and has very useful information which will be helpful to those who are planning to operate their own business. You may contact the Revenue Services via phone (919) 996-3200 or by written correspondence mailed to PO Box 590 Raleigh, NC 27602-0590.

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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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