/ Licensing and Permitting
Businesses of all sizes thrive in Charlotte. With our high quality of life and below-average cost of living, world-class arts and major league sports, Charlotte is a great place to start and grow your business. Depending on your business type and location, there are several steps that you need to take prior to opening to ensure you have the licenses and permits that are required by the City of Charlotte and/or Mecklenburg County
The information surrounding licensing and permitting can be overwhelming. The City of Charlotte makes things more manageable, with a portal of information on a variety of topics, including zoning, inspections, registering alarm systems, running a home-based business, operating a vehicle for hire and more. To learn more about the specific licensing and permitting requirements for your industry, click here.
Need a little more help? OpenCounter is a tool designed to guide entrepreneurs like you through the permitting process. Visit OpenCounter.com for everything you ever wanted to know about permitting a business in Charlotte!
Virtually every business needs some sort of license or permit to operate legally. On their website, the SBA lists everything you need to know about the federal, state and local permits, licenses and registrations you’ll need to run a business. Find out which licenses and permits you’ll need to get started!
Certain licenses and permits are required to own commercial and personal property in Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County can guide you through the process.
- Business Personal Property: Business personal property refers to all the personal property, income producing property, supplies and leasehold improvements owned by a business or used by an individual for income purposes. Make sure your property is listed with the County Assessor’s Office!
- Commercial Property Services: The County offers a variety of commercial property services, including information about the Commercial Technical Assistance Center, as well as the County Fire Marshal’s Office.
If you’re looking for information on the permits and licenses needed for commercial and personal property in Charlotte, who better to help than the City themselves!
Learn about zoning: When it comes to Charlotte’s zoning regulations, the City of Charlotte can connect you to theresources and people you need to get your questions answered!
Get a fire inspection: All new building, additions to existing buildings, renovations and upfits, and changes of use to an existing building require a fire inspection in Charlotte. Learn more about how the City of Charlotte can help make this happen, and request your inspection now!
Register an alarm system: In addition to a fire inspection, you’ll also need to register your alarm system with the City of Charlotte. Access the alarm permit application and more here.
Operate your business from home: Running a business from home? You’ll need a permit for that. Learn more from the City of Charlotte.
Get assistance for land development projects: Whether you’re a citizen, a developer, or a contractor, the City of Charlotte connects you to the information you need to start a land development project in Charlotte. Access the portal here!
If you’re thinking about opening a food and beverage business, or if you’re hoping to host a special event in Mecklenburg, the County is here to help you take care of business! From information about the Prepared Food and Beverage Tax to obtaining your Beer and Wine License, visit Mecklenburg County online to learn more!
Charlotte has quickly become a fun, foodie destination for many entrepreneurs. If you’re trying to join the food and beverage industry, or if you’re hoping to host a special event, the City of Charlotte can connect you to the licensing and permitting resources you need. A few of these resources are listed below!
Get a permit for your mobile food cart: Food trucks are here to stay! If you’re hoping to join Charlotte’s thriving food truck community, make sure you have the right permits! Get information on this and more from the City of Charlotte.
Get your ABC permit: Serving alcohol? You’re going to need a permit for that! Businesses manufacturing, distributing, serving and/or selling alcoholic beverages are required to get an ABC permit. Don’t worry—the City of Charlotte can help!
Host a special event, parade, or festival: Charlotte is a great place to hold an event! Before you can officially host your event, make sure you have the right permits. Learn more about what you need and how to submit an application from the City of Charlotte.
If you’re hoping to open a daycare in Charlotte, there are some things you need to know before you can start. Start by making sure that you’ve provided the proper forms and applications, and make sure to schedule an inspectionwith Mecklenburg County. Visit Mecklenburg County online for more information!
If you’re operating a vehicle for hire in Charlotte, there are specific things you need to know about licensing, inspection and operations. That includes you, Uber and Lyft drivers! Don’t fret, though. The City of Charlotte connects you to the resources you need to get your business up and running!
Hoping to sell items in Uptown Charlotte? The City of Charlotte can guide you to the required permits. Typically, there are two ways the City of Charlotte can help you sell items Uptown in the Congested Business District:
- Apply for the Tryon Street Mall Program. The Tryon Street Mall Program assigns permits to vendors for specific spaces. Apply for the Tryon Street Mall Program now, and take a moment to read the City of Charlotte’s Code of Ordinances, which describes the program in more detail!
- Apply directly with a sponsor. If you’re hoping to sell items at an approved event, festival or market, you can apply directly with the event’s sponsor. Contact the City of Charlotte for more information.
If you’re looking to sell items in the public right of way (streets and sidewalks) in the City of Charlotte, excluding uptown, you can get what’s called a Peddler’s License. Learn about this license and how to apply from the City of Charlotte!