Starting a Business

Starting a new business? We’ve created a guide to help walk you through the process. City staff members are also available to help you with any questions or concerns as you start your new venture.

Guide to Starting a New Business

  1. Zoning - The first step is to make sure you meet Zoning Code requirements. Certain areas of the city are zoned for Commercial and Industrial Uses. You will need to verify that the zoning classification of your proposed location allows the kind of business you plan to operate. Zoning approval also includes paving of the parking lot, fences, sidewalks, and landscaping. The Planning and Zoning Department is located at 102 S. Fifth Street and can be reached by telephone at (919) 563-9990.

  2. Building Permit and Inspection - Construction of a new building or alterations to an existing building will require a building permit and a building inspection before occupancy. Plans must be submitted to the Technical Review Committee for approval before the building permit is issued. The Building Inspections Department will issue a certificate of occupancy once a final inspection has been completed. To submit plans, obtain a building permit, or schedule an inspection, call the office of the Building Inspector at (919) 563-9990. The Building Inspections office is located at 102 S. Fifth Street.

  3. Fire Inspection - New and renovated buildings must meet fire safety requirements. The Fire Department may be reached at (919) 563-5718.

  4. Business License - For most businesses, the city no longer issues business licenses.  If your business is located in the city limits, and you sell beer, wine or mixed drinks, you will need an ABC license. Please call City Hall at (919) 563-5901 regarding your specific business.

  5. Sign Permit - All new signs require a sign permit. For additional information, contact the Planning and Zoning staff at (919) 563-9990.

  6. Water and Sewer Fees - For new buildings, water and sewer fees, including assessments, must be paid before a building permit is issued.