Privilege Licenses

If you own a business in New Hanover County, the County may levy Privilege License taxes on trades, occupations, professions, businesses, and franchises to the extent authorized by Article 2 of Chapter 105 of the General States of North Carolina and any other acts of the General Assembly.


County License Taxes Authorized by Law

  • Fortified wines, retail
  • Unfortified wines, retail
  • Malt Beverages, retail


Contact the municipality where your business is located to learn about their business or privilege license requirements:

City of Wilmington
305 Chestnut Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 342-2742

Town of Carolina Beach
1121 N. Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428​
(910) 458-2999

Town of Kure Beach
117 Settlers Lane
Kure Beach, NC 28449
(910) 458-8216

Town of Wrightsville Beach
321 Causeway Drive
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
(910) 256-7900​

All businesses must establish a property tax account with the New Hanover County Listing Department for the purpose of annual taxation. Please call (910) 798-7300 for more information.

  • Rental Vehicles – This refers to any rental vehicle that is offered at retail for short-term lease or rental and is owned or leased by an entity engaged in the business of leasing or renting vehicles to the general public. Please call (910) 798-7113 for more information.
  • Room Occupancy – Incurred from the rental of any room, lodging or accommodation furnished by a hotel, motel, inn, tourist camp, or similar place within the County that is subject to the state sales tax imposed under Section 105-164.4(a)(3) of North Carolina General Statutes. Please call (910) 798-7113 for more information.
  • Heavy Equipment Rentals – This refers to any rental of heavy equipment if the place of business from which the heavy equipment is delivered is located in the County. Please call (910) 798-7113 for more information.
  • Beer/Wine Licenses – A person holding a retail ABC permit for On/Off Premises Malt or Wine must obtain a county license for that activity. In order to apply for a county license, state and city permits must first be issued. Please call (910) 798-7113 for more information.

If your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation (doing business under an assumed name), or limited liability company (LLC) doing business under an assumed name:

  • State law dictates that most types of businesses file with the Register of Deeds in the county where they will operate. The document that files or puts on record a business name of an individual, partnership, or corporation other than its own name is referred to as “Doing Business As”, DBA, or Assumed Name.
  • NC General Statute 66-68 requires that “before any person or partnership engages in business in any county in this state under an assumed name or under any designation, name or style other than the real name of the owner or owners thereof, before any limited partnership engaged in business in any county in this State other than under the name set out in the Certificate filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, or before a corporation engages in business in any county other than under its corporate name, such person, partnership, limited partnership, or corporation, must file in the office of the register of deeds of such county a certificate . . . “

For more information, visit the New Hanover County Register of Deeds web site or call (910) 798-4530.

If you need information on incorporation or initial filing of a limited partnership or LLC, please visit the NC Secretary of State’s web site.

For those starting a small business, a critical first step is to create a business plan. There are many local, state and federal resources to assist you in creating a business plan. The best place to start is by researching the vast amount of information available to you. Here is a list of available information on creating a business plan:

  • New Hanover County Public Libraries
    The Library provides a variety of resources including reference materials at the Main Library, a selection of books at all branches and various online services and resources. Links to these and additional online resources are provided on their resource page. Call the “Reference Desk” at (910) 798-6301 for additional help or information.
Tax: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 190 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7300 • Fax 910-798-7310 • Email