Anyone who conducts business in the City of Raleigh must obtain a Business License (Licencia de Negocios), 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.
- Licenses must be renewed prior to July 1 of every year.
- Payments methods:
- Mail (PO Box 590/Raleigh, NC 27602)
- In Person at the Municipal Building in the Revenue Services Lobby
(222 W Hargett Street)
- In Person at the Development Services Customer Service Center
(One Exchange Plaza, Suite 400).
Starting a New Business - Frequently Asked Questions contains general information as well as North Carolina and Wake County requirements for businesses.
Businesses operated from the home must obtain approval from the Zoning Division by applying for a Home Occupation Use Permit.
- Get information on operating a home-based business
- Contact the Zoning Division at 919-996-2475.
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.
- Businesses must FIRST obtain Temporary Permits from the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.
- Beer/Wine Licenses must be renewed prior to April 30 each year.
- Be sure to contact the Zoning Division at 919-996-2475 to assure that the sale of alcoholic beverages is allowed at your business location.
Regulatory Licenses and Permits
In addition to the Business License, the City of Raleigh also requires regulatory licenses or permits for some business activities.
- Amplified Entertainment Permit: All establishments located in Raleigh that provide amplified music or other amplified entertainment are required to obtain an Amplified Entertainment Permit.
- Massage Business License: Any individual, corporation, or partnership that operates an establishment or business where massage is performed must obtain a Massage Business License.
- Massagist License: Any person who practices in the business or profession of massage within the city limits must obtain a Massagist License.
- Pawn Brokers License: 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.
- Pushcart Vending Permit: Any business selling food products from a pushcart in the downtown district must obtain a Pushcart Vending Permit.