MyRaleigh

Business Licenses

Last Modified: February 03, 2014

Anyone who conducts business in the City of Raleigh must obtain a Business License, except for businesses that are specifically exempted by state or federal statute. The business should also check North Carolina and Wake County requirements for businesses.

Business License taxes must be paid before the business opens.

Download Business License Application

View common questions about starting a new business as well as North Carolina and Wake County requirements for businesses.

Renewals

Licenses must be renewed prior to July 1 of every year.

Business licenses expire on June 30 and Beer/Wine Licenses expire on April 30.

Renewal notices are mailed each year. If you do not receive a Business License renewal notice by June 1 or a Beer/Wine License renewal notice by April 1, please contact Revenue Services at 919-996-3200.

In addition to the Business License, the City of Raleigh also requires regulatory licenses or permits for some business activities:

Beer/Wine License

Any business that sells Beer or Wine within the Raleigh City limits must obtain a Beer/Wine License (Schedule V in Business License application) before selling any alcoholic beverages.

Amplified Entertainment Permit

Applies To

All establishments located in Raleigh that provide amplified music or other amplified entertainment are required to obtain an Amplified Entertainment Permit.

Fees

  • $250.00 - Non-refundable filing fee is due with your application
  • $250.00 - License fee, upon license approval
  • $100.00 - After issuance, yearly license renewal fee (Due annually - June 30)

Timing

You must have your Amplified Entertainment Permit before providing amplified entertainment. It is recommended that you apply at least 90 days prior to opening your business.

Additional Approvals or Requirements

Businesses wishing to provide outdoor amplified entertainment will be required to obtain City Council approval.

It is strongly recommended that you discuss the proposed business location with the Zoning Division at 919-996-2475 prior to submitting your application.

Unless otherwise exempt, businesses applying for an Amplified Entertainment Permit are also required to have a Business License.

Download Application

Home Businesses

Businesses operated from the home must obtain approval from Zoning Enforcement by applying for a Home Occupation Use Permit.

Note: Permit is required before obtaining a business license.
Download Application

Pushcart Vending Permit

Any business selling food products from a pushcart in the downtown district must obtain a Pushcart Vending Permit.

Note: Permit is required before obtaining a business license.

Download Application

Massage Business License

Applies To

Any individual, corporation, or partnership that operates an establishment or business where massage is performed must obtain a Massage Business License.

Fees

  • $125.00 - Non-refundable filing fee is due with your Application
  • $50.00 - After issuance, yearly license renewal fee (Due annually - June 30)

Timing

The application, which includes a copy of the City Code Sections that pertain to Massage, must be made 60-90 days prior to the start of your business.

Additional Approvals or Requirements

You must have a Massage Business License before operating.

Approval from the Police Department, Fire Department, and Inspections Department is required. Please see the application for more information and who to contact to obtain approvals.

Download Application

Massagist License

Applies To

Any person who practices in the business or profession of massage therapy within the city limits.

Fees

  • $25 - License fee due with your Application
  • $25 - Annual Renewal Fee (Due annually - June 30)

Timing

You should apply for your license at least 30 days before you plan to begin practicing massage.

Additional Approvals or Requirements

Applicants must be licensed by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy before a City of Raleigh Massagist License can be issued. Self-employed applicants will also be required to apply for the Massage Business License.

Download Application

Pawn Brokers License

Applies To

Any person, firm, or corporation that is engaged in the business of lending money on the security of pledged goods and who may also purchase merchandise for resale from dealers and traders must obtain a Pawn Brokers License.

Fees

  • $275.00 - License fee is due upon license approval by City Council.
  • $100.00 - After issuance, yearly license renewal fee (Due annually - June 30)

Timing

Your Pawn Brokers License Application must be submitted at least 90 days BEFORE you want to open your business.

Additional Approvals or Requirements

A $5,000.00 surety bond will be required upon approval. A copy of your application will be forwarded to the Police Department, the Fire Department, and the Inspections Department for initial approval. After initial approval, the license request will be placed on the City Council Agenda for final approval.

Download Application

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