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Starting a Business in the Greater Hickory Metro Area of North Carolina

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Licenses, Permits, and Other Requirements

Local Requirements

To legally operate a business in the State of North Carolina, the business owner must secure a proper business license. Most cities and towns require a business license if you are located within the city limits.   In addition,your location, including a home business, must meet city, town or county zoning and building requirements. 

Contact your city or town for information about their requirements.


State Requirements

Department of Commerce Business Servicenter: Anyone wishing to operate a business in North Carolina needs to contact this office to learn whether or not a license is required by the State for their business…………………(800) 228-8443   www.nccommerce.com/servicenter

Corporations Division, 300 N Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC    www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations

NC Department of Revenue: For information on State Income Tax regulations call ………(828) 327-7474

Sales and Use Tax Permit: Issued by the Dept. of Revenue. Required if manufacturing or selling (wholesale or retail) a tangible product. Enables a retailer to purchase tax-free …………………………………(919) 733-4626


Employment Security Commission of NC: If you will be hiring anyone in your business you should contact the ESC. They will inform you of what forms you need to file with their agency.

  • Alexander County - (828) 632-4631
  • Catawba County - (828) 466-5535
  • Burke County - (828) 438-6161
  • Caldwell County - (828) 757-5622


Alcohol Beverage Service: If you will be serving or selling alcoholic beverages in the course of doing business you must contact the Federal Bureau of ATF, Greensboro, NC ………. (336) 547-4150

Workman’s Compensation: Contact a local insurance agent.

Other Licensing Boards whose web sites might help you locate specific types of specialists you need to get started

Federal Requirements

Employer Identification Number: Required for partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies; optional for sole proprietorships, which may use owner social security number. 

Internal Revenue Service....................................................................................................(800) 829-1040


Internal Revenue Service: For information on federal tax regulations call………….(800) 829-4933

Employers are typically responsible for three types of federal collections:

  1. Income tax withheld from wages.
  2. (FICA) Employer and Employee Social Security Taxes.
  3. (FUTA) Federal Unemployment Tax


Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA): OSHA requires that if your firm employs more than 10 people, you maintain a record of on the job injuries on OSHA Form 200, which must be available for inspection and retained for five years. For more information contact:


NC Department Of Labpr, OSHA, 4 W. Edenton, Raleigh, NC 27601…… (919) 856-4770

US Department Of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room S1212, Washington, DC


Other Requirements

Register of Deeds: To register the name of your business, contact the county Register of Deeds office. 
Alexander County - (828) 632-3152
Burke County - (828) 438-5450
Caldwell County - (828) 757-1310
Catawba County - (828) 465-1573

Additional name protection, beyond protection in your local County with an assumed name certificate, can be obtained statewide or nationally.

State Trademark.....(919) 807-2162

Federal Trademark...(800) 786-9199

Disclaimer: The information presented here is intended as a public service. Although efforts have been made to assure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, the user assumes all responsibility for the use of information provided. The sponsors of this web site expressly disclaim any liability for the information provided herein.

©Greater Hickory Metro Business Development Network, 2006