Starting a Business? Don’t Forget to File these Licenses and Permits

When starting a new business, the last thing you want is to be handed a huge fine — or even shut down — over a missing license or permit. Between federal, state, county and city laws, understanding what you need to file for can be a little overwhelming. Here, we’ve outlined what you’ll need to know to legally form a new business in Charlotte.

General Business License

North Carolina doesn’t require businesses to obtain a general business license, but certain cities do. If you’re conducting business in Charlotte, you’ll need to be registered with the city. Your business’s legal structure will decide what information needs to be given to the city.

For sole proprietorships, an assumed business name must be filed with a notarized form at the Register of Deeds Office. Corporations and LLCs are chartered by the North Carolina Secretary of State, and limited liability partnerships should apply to the Secretary of State and the Deeds Office.

All businesses in Charlotte need to contact the Business Personal Property Division to notify them of a new business formation.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If your business has or will have employees, it needs to have a Federal Tax Identification Number, commonly referred to as an EIN. You can file for one on the IRS website. Sole proprietorships have no employees, so if your business falls into this legal structure, you will use your SSN as your Tax ID.

Sales Tax Number

Businesses that sell products or have employees must file a Form NC-BR with the North Carolina Department of Revenue. This will give your business a Sales Tax Number which is used for income tax withholding, sales and use tax and machinery, equipment and manufacturing fuel tax.

Unemployment Insurance

Businesses with employees also need to apply for a North Carolina Employer Tax Account Number with the North Carolina Division of Employment Security to be able to pay unemployment insurance.

Building & Zoning Permits

All businesses have a physical location, even if it’s in your own home, so you’ll have to check with the Zoning Department to see if you can conduct business in that location. Depending on your industry, the available locations will vary. Any signage you’d like to display also need to be approved by the city.

Still not sure you’ll be able to file your new business properly? Our professionals at Lodestar are ready to help. Contact us today to get help forming your business legally and avoid paying any hefty fines in the future.