Want to Start a Business in North Carolina?

Capitol building in North Carolina.

This page is dedicated to the best resources for starting a business in North Carolina.

Learn more about how to start a business in North Carolina.

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Business Resources in North Carolina

Find the best resources to help create your informal business structure (sole proprietorship or partnership), corporation (S corp or C corp), limited liability company (single-member LLC or multi-member LLC), or how to file a DBA in North Carolina.

Use the following business resources in North Carolina to learn how to choose the best LLC services, file the Articles of Incorporation, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and decide whether you should be your own registered agent or if you should hire a third-party registered agent service.

Becoming an Entrepreneur in North Carolina

Just Starting Out

Every North Carolina business starts out with a great idea. To get inspiration, you can try our business idea generator that can suggest businesses for you based on your interests and lifestyle.

Once you've found the perfect idea, it's time to create a game plan for your business. This step helps lay a solid foundation for the future of your company. You can move on to planning out your business with our business plan generator or simply browse our selection of startup ideas. We also have several helpful guides for planning out your business:

Coming Up With a Name

One of the most important decisions you will make for your business is coming up with a name and then seeing if it is available in North Carolina. We have several naming tools and guides to help you get started with finding the perfect name for your North Carolina startup, small business, nonprofit or corporation.

Different Types of Business Formation

A business structure refers to how a business is legally organized. The type of business structure you choose to form your business with can affect how your company is regulated, taxed, and more. Because of this, choosing the best structure for your business is an important decision to make. Below are guides on the different business structures you can choose to form your company so you can learn how to form a business that works best for you.

Forming Your North Carolina Business

Now that you’ve created a business plan, found a name and chose your North Carolina business structure, it's time to form your business. This process might seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. And if you want to save time and have someone else handle the paperwork, you can use one of our recommended services, like ZenBusiness, which will help to form your company for you or you can form it yourself using our helpful guides and tools.

LLC Checklist

This North Carolina Checklist for Starting an LLC covers the necessary steps you need to take when you create your LLC.

Formation Necessities

Here are the required documents and forms you may need to help you get your business up and running in North Carolina.

Highly Recommended Services for Your Business

Depending on the type of business structure your choose and how large your business is, you may also want to consider using the following services for your North Carolina startup:

Registered Agent

A North Carolina registered agent is a person or business that sends and receives legal papers on behalf of your company. These documents include official correspondence like legal summons and state filing notices.

North Carolina requires every business to nominate a registered agent when forming a small business. Your registered agent must be a North Carolina resident or a corporation authorized to conduct business in that North Carolina.

We also recommend hiring a professional registered agent service to provide you with peace of mind and help you stay compliant with the law.

DBA

Filing a “doing business as” (DBA) name, also known as an assumed business name, is an easy process that is achieved by registering a DBA with the State of North Carolina.

Branding

You can probably think of a dozen different companies in North Carolina whose brands play an important role in your daily or professional life. Maybe you only buy certain brands or prefer to buy your groceries at one supermarket chain over another. Your dedication to these companies is primarily a result of one thing: their branding. Our branding guides and tools will go over the importance of branding your small business and provide some tips for getting started.

Financing Your North Carolina Business

Small business finance is the raising and managing of funds to finance and operate a new small business. This includes banking, small business accounting, building business credit, and raising funds for your business.

When planning your North Carolina business, you should determine what types of business funding options your company will need and when. Whether you are starting a low-cost business or starting a high-growth startup, knowing when to get funding and what kind of funding you need is important.

Setting Up a Bank Account

Opening a business checking account is one of the first things you will need to do as a new business. Business banking is a fundamental asset protection requirement for every business and, depending on your needs, may include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and merchant accounts.

Every new and small business needs a business bank account to pay their business insurance, take care of payroll, collect money, and enroll with a merchant account to accept credit card payments.

Check out our guide on the Best Banks for Small Business for help finding a banking account for your business.

Getting a Business Credit Card

Small business credit cards are designed for professional use and provide a line of credit to small businesses while helping to maintain personal asset protection. It is crucial for small businesses to have a small business credit card.

Our guides will help you understand the importance of having a small business credit card and provide the steps for finding and applying for the best credit card for your business.

Finding Small Business Loans

Getting a small business loan is done by applying with a business lender, typically your bank or another lending institution, with the right documentation and your business plan.

A business loan can help to resolve cash flow problems, leverage growth opportunities, and even increase the value of a business. Making sure to plan for a loan ahead of time is extremely important, as is knowing the documentation needed by your lender when you do apply.

Small Business Financing for Female Entrepreneurs

Grants, loans, government contracts, investors, scholarships, advisors, tutorials — there are plenty of financial resources for female entrepreneurs and women leaders, and we’ll help you discover the best ones for you and your business.

Maintaining Your Small Business

Congratulations! Fewer than 14% of Americans have realized the dream of business ownership. To keep your North Carolina business running, make sure you keep up with required government filings and maintain a clear record of all earnings and expenses.

Make Sure Your Business is Compliant

When you start a small business, you’ll need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to stay compliant.

Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping

Having a business accountant will help you take advantage of tax benefits and potentially save you and your North Carolina business a lot of money in taxes each year.

Finding a business accountant as soon as you start your business will ensure that you have the best advice from the very beginning.

Recommended: Hiring an accountant can save your company thousands of dollars in taxes each year. Get a free tax consultation with 1-800Accountant.

Set Up a Business Phone

Getting a business phone number is important for many businesses. Having a phone number for your customers to contact you with can go a long way in ensuring that your business is viewed as professional, trustworthy, and legitimate. 

There are also different business phone services and answering services that can ensure that you are able to answer more than one call simultaneously and that all of your customers feel heard. Check out our different phone tools and guides to help your North Carolina business set up phone services.

Build a Business Website

With growing technology, more and more businesses are going online. We believe all companies need a website regardless of their industry or size to keep up with the times. 

So, how do you build a website? Luckily, technology has recently caught up with the massive demand for tools to simplify website creation. It’s never been easier to build your own website without the need for any web designer experience.

Our tools and guides provide an overview of the steps to build a website for your North Carolina business as well as suggestions for which tools to use based on your business type and knowledge level.

Business Resources for Women

Starting your own business is no small feat; thankfully, there are many valuable resources dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs start and succeed. From woman-owned business certification to grants for female entrepreneurs, we’ll help you discover the women's business resources that will help you get the most out of your entrepreneurial journey.

North Carolina Business Resources

Small Business and Technology Development Center

Since 1984, the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) has assisted thousands of startups and growing businesses create better opportunities and open new jobs for citizens in North Carolina. It offers services which include management counseling, educational services and business assistance to small and mid-sized companies.

Charlotte Business Resources

Charlotte Business Resources is a portal composed of a community of professionals collaboratively working together to create a network of organizations dedicated to working hand-in-hand to provide entrepreneurs with valuable resources and information.

The network also has available tools that you can access readily, some of them include a checklist, an SBA online assessment tool, a business toolkit, online resources, and other startup resources.

North Carolina Chamber

North Carolina Chamber is a non-partisan business organization that works tirelessly to place North Carolina on top of the list of the best places to start and grow a business in the world. The chamber follows a three-tiered approach to establishing economic prosperity in the state through the North Carolina Chamber Foundation, the North Carolina Chamber and the North Carolina Chamber Political Program.

New Bern Chamber of Commerce

New Bern Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Small Business Center at Craven Community College aims to increase the success rate of small businesses in Craven County. Resources are offered to entrepreneurs who want to start and relocate their businesses in the county. Some of the assistance provided by the chamber include workshops, seminars, training, and classes as well as free use of computer and internet access.

Small Business Center Network

The Small Business Center Network is an organization composed of 58 small business centers in North Carolina dedicated to providing business assistance services to entrepreneurs who want to build a new business in the state. It is a community-based provider of a wide range of programs which include business training, workshops, counseling, and resource information.

Business Link North Carolina

Business Link North Carolina is a free resource that is available for anyone who wants to build a small business in North Carolina. Business link offers one-on-one consultations through the phone to help them establish their startups by giving them general support and assistance.

They have a business planning checklist that discusses the steps in business plan writing, incorporation, licensing, tax preparation, financing and a lot more.

Business North Carolina

Business North Carolina is a free business magazine that provides entrepreneurs with the latest news and information about business in the state. It features current issues and daily digests as well as the different industries in North Carolina.

SCORE

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a non-profit organization that aims to provide assistance to entrepreneurs, especially newbies. The organization is composed of seasoned and skilled professional volunteers who have wide experience in business and entrepreneurship and who are willing to share their knowledge with entrepreneurs who are still starting out. SCORE’s team of professionals offer services such as one-on-one business consultations, mentoring, coaching and other business assistance.

SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration is a government agency that has statewide offices in the entire country. The SBA is the largest provider of small business resources and assistance; it is also considered one of the most reliable small business agencies in the U.S. The agency provides full support to new entrepreneurs and small business owners through a variety of assistance programs such as local business programs, loans and business grants, management training, seminars, coaching, and numerous other programs.

The Support Center

The Support Center is a statewide, not-for-profit organization and a community development institution that aims to provide business loans and financial management training to small and existing businesses. The center was launched in 1990 to create economic opportunities for entrepreneurs in North Carolina.

NC Idea

NC Idea created the Groundwork Labs, a two-month accelerator program that aims to assist startups to achieve their business objectives. The program focuses on five important components: customer discovery, customer development, business model canvas, pitch, and connections.

American Underground

The American Underground is dubbed the “startup hub of the south”. It provides office and coworking spaces for entrepreneurs, professionals, startups, and freelancers who want to work in a private space. American Underground is also a powerful community of like-minded people, plus a schedule of events where you can meet other professionals and create a network.

Hygge

Hygge is a coworking space that offers affordable and flexible plans for entrepreneurs who are looking for a private space to work and meet with clients. Professionals can get a workspace that they can call their own, a teampace and a group or community of like-minded individuals who are always ready to lend a hand when needed.

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