Starting A Business

Thank you for choosing Harrisburg to start your business.  We have compiled a list to help you through the beginning stages of this process.  Print checklist

Before leasing or purchasing a property, you should contact the Harrisburg Planning & Zoning Department to discuss your plans. Please call (704) 455-0738 to make an appointment with a planner.

Small Business Start-Up Checklist

  • Conduct the appropriate research on your industry and develop a Business Plan.  The North Carolina SBTDC is a business advisory resource for growing and existing businesses. Their website provides a useful business Start-Up & Resource guide.
    • Business Link North Carolina or (called Blink) provides excellent support as you start a business in NC.  You can find information on business structure, license and permits, tax information and employer requirements on their website. 
  • Select a Business name and register that name.  Visit the North Carolina Office of the Secretary of State website to browse their database and research business names already established in the state.  Try to choose a name that is different from any other business name already registered in the state.   
  • If you plan to build or make changes to your commercial building, you need to obtain a Zoning Permit from the Town of Harrisburg at Town Hall. 4100 Main Street, Harrisburg, 28075
  • The Town of Harrisburg requires all businesses to file a business registration form. Registration is FREE and must be renewed each calendar year.  This information helps the town track business types and notifies them of policy changes. Email this form to or return to Town Hall Planning and Zoning.
  • Home-based businesses are regulated by the Town of Harrisburg’s Unified Development Ordinance. Not all home occupations require that you obtain a home occupation permit, refer to Article 5 Section 5.12 page 5-16 to see if your home occupation is listed. 

  • Verify any operating restrictions that your business may have, including Landlord restrictions, covenant and other town/county ordinances.

  • Obtain a sign permit application from the Town of Harrisburg Planning and Zoning Office 704-455-0738.  

  • If you have or plan to have employees you must complete several requirements.  Business Link North Carolina provides instructions on how to register as an employer, unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. This includes applying for federal and state withholding numbers. 

    • For Federal Identification Numbers (EINs) contact the Internal Revenue Service or call (800) 829-4933 If necessary, acquire a Federal Employer Identification Number through the Department of Revenue (IRS) 

    • For State Sales Tax and State Withholding Tax Numbers contact the North Carolina Department of Revenue or call (877) 252-3052

  • Obtain the necessary tax information.  Taxation for small businesses may be simple or complex, depending on the size and business structure. The tax liability for each business will be different and you should consult your attorney and accountant regarding comprehensive tax planning.  Go to the Business Link North Carolina website to help identify tax requirements. 

  • Identify sources of financing.  Use trusted sources to review funding options for your small business, the Business Link North Carolina and the SBTDC websites are a good place to start.