Starting a Business

Starting a business involves planning, making key decisions and completing a series of legal steps. We're here to help you get your business off the ground.

Are You in Business?

If you have to ask the question, then you probably are. Sometimes a hobby can become a business.

You are in business if:

  • You start to charge for that barbecue sauce that you make for your friends
  • You buy and sell items online
  • You buy and sell items at the flea market (a single yard sale is not a business; you're in business if you regularly purchase items to resell)

If you are doing any of these under your own name, then the state considers you a sole proprietor. Minimum state requirements are to pay sales and income taxes.

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Existing Businesses

If you're expanding your business or moving to North Carolina, or making changes to your business, check this website for the business registration, licensing, tax and employee implications.

Visit the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina for:

  • One-on-one assistance for expansion or relocation
  • Location tools and data
  • Financing and Capital

NC Business and Occupational Licensing Database

NC BOLD lists all of the business licenses, professional licenses, and privilege licenses required to do business in the State of North Carolina.


In addition, be aware that the state community college system has an excellent Customized Training Program for N.C. Business and Industry.