How to Start or Expand your Business Booklet





    Local Resources
    Please also call your municipality to see if local licenses or permits are needed.
    City of Salisbury
    Rowan County Office Building/Register of Deeds

    State Resources
    NC Department of Revenue (Business and Privilege License)
    NC Secretary of State/ Register of Deeds
    NC Business Link North Carolina ServiCenter
    Customized licensing information, Referrals to State Agencies and State Occupational Licensing Boards, Local Governments & Federal Agencies. Call BLNC toll-free at 1-800-228-8443 or (919) 807-4280 Monday-Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm. A Business Counselor will discuss your needs and help you find the appropriate resources to accomplish your goals.
    NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources


    NC Department of Insurance Commission

    North Carolina consumers can find helpful information about various types of insurance coverage, file complaints on-line and obtain copies of Department of Insurance publications.
    Industrial Commission
    Tax Information

    Tax Office

    Internal Revenue Service

    The Department’s online business registration allows you to electronically register for an account ID number.
    NC Department of Revenue
    NC Department of Commerce (formerly ESC)

    Small Business Administration (SBA)
    NC Department of Commerce
    Small Business & Technology Development Center 
    Provides management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses. Most of their services are free of charge and all are confidential.
    Downtown Salisbury, Inc.
    Need Business Assistance from Local Resources?
    1) Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Small Business Center (RCCC)- www.rccc.edu, 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd, Salisbury, (704) 637-0760 Have an idea for starting a small business and just don’t know how to get started?  Are you in the process of writing a business plan and need someone to review your progress?  Confused as to the proper entity you should be or just want to kick some ideas around and get feedback? The Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is part of the Community College System's Statewide Small Business Center Network. Business counseling is available by appointment to assist with business plan preparation and for advice on accounting and record-keeping, sales and marketing, business start-up, business regulations, and more.

    One day a month a representative of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College offers a free one hour business counseling session at the Chamber.  Appointments can be made through the Chamber of Commerce (704-633-4221) or through the Small Business Center at RCCC by calling 704-216-7213 (for appointments in Concord). 

    The Center provides assistance to potential and existing small business owners in both Rowan and Cabarrus counties as follows:  Access to one of the area's most comprehensive library collections of technical and business-related references,    Workshops and seminars on how to plan and operate a small business effectively, Access to expert faculty and credit courses in entrepreneurship and business administration, Internet access and courses in computer applications and 
     Small Business Administration documents.
    2) University of North Carolina at Charlotte Small Business and Technology Development Center(SBTDC) provides in-depth management counseling and education services designed to help business owners make better decisions in achieving their business goals. 
    Counselors are experienced and knowledgeable advisors that work with businesses, providing information, guidance and feedback to entrepreneurs.  Counseling includes assistance in financial planning, human resources, operations, business and strategic planning, feasibility assessment, advertising and marketing.  Basic counseling services are provided at no charge, as they are funded in part with federal and state tax dollars.  Their Procurement Technical Assistance Center can also help you with a free counseling session on doing business with state & federal government and potential funding by Angel Investors. Counselors are available to meet with clients at the Charlotte Regional Center or at your business.  Meetings are scheduled by appointment by calling 704-548-1090 or 919-807-4533, 704-548-1090 x 3346.  
    3) Catawba College - www.catawba.edu, 2300 W. Innes Street, Salisbury, 704-637-4111-Catawba College’s Corriher Linn Black Library has one of the areas largest collections of business related resources. The Ketner School of Business offers free business counseling services to students and residents alike.  
    4) Livingstone College - www.livingstone.edu, 701 W. Monroe Street, Salisbury, 704-216-6000, The library at Livingstone College has business related periodicals and business reference materials.  
    5)  Rowan Public Library (RPL) is a three branch library system with branches in Salisbury, Rockwell and Landis.  One of the area's largest collections of business related reference and circulating materials are located at library headquarters in Salisbury.  Headquarters is located 201 W. Fisher St., Salisbury -704-216-8228 and the two other locations are S. Branch at 920 Kimball Rd., China Grove- 704-216-7727 and 110 Broad St., Rockwell, 704-216-7838. Business related materials at RPL include reference materials and books for check-out, electronic databases, business journals, audio books, and videos.  These materials cover a broad range of business related subject areas including business directories, management, corporation records, financial reports, stock information, accounting, business correspondence, statistics, buyer’s guides, marketing, tax and legal information, planning and proposal writing, small business startup, and much, much more. The library also provides access to Pro-Net (SBA’s Procurement Marketing and Access Network), NCLIVE, and offers Internet and E-mail classes on a regular basis.  They also offer workstations on a reservation or first come-first serve basis with productivity applications. 


  • Regional Resources

    The North Carolina Department of Commerce is the state’s main agency for economic development. 

    Recruitment is supported by the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), which provides counseling and technical assistance to businesses.  Their business ServiCenter is a statewide centralized clearinghouse for NC entrepreneurs and business owners to information on services, programs, resources, technical assistance, state business license and regulatory information and potential sources of capital. The ServiCenter staff provides individualized one-on-one consultations to answer questions, resolve issues, identify and make referrals to appropriate local, regional and statewide service providers.   They assist potential business owners navigate through the start-up process and provide all forms, applications and guidelines for state requirements to do business in NC.  They work with existing businesses to provide information and referrals to relevant programs and service providers to help them through challenging problems & issues as well as growth and expansion. Call them for a FREE telephone consultation or for more information:  www.nccommerce.comBusinessServices/StartYourBusiness, 919-715-2850.

    North Carolina Department of Revenue  provides information for both the general public and tax practitioners on individual, corporate, property and sale/use taxes.  Tax Forms and Publications  can be browsed and downloaded.  

    North Carolina Department of Insurance provides information on employer and patient obligations and rights.

    NC Investment Tax Credit Program, NC Dept. Secretary of State Securities Division 919-733-3924, (Provides a credit against state taxes for investments in qualified business ventures, grantee businesses and NC Enterprise Corporations.)

    NC State Demographics/State Data Center Geographic Information Analysis- 919-733-4131

    North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development, 919-956-8889

    Business Link North Carolina! www.blnc.gov. BLNC, or 'blink,' is your starting point to access an extensive network of experts who can help your business succeed, whether your company is on the Fortune 500 list - or in its start-up phase. Most services, provided by statewide, state-supported agencies, are available FREE of charge; others such as workshops and courses may require a small fee. To access services in North Carolina, call BLNC toll-free, 1-800-228-8443, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    UNCC Charlotte Ben Craig Center Venture Development, Charlotte, 704-548-9113. The Ben Craig Center is a non-profit corporation affiliated with UNCC providing incubation facilities, training programs and advisory services for the region’s small businesses.

    Business Innovation and Growth Council (BIG):
    www.bigcouncil.com.BIG is a membership organization and it's vision, supported by Inc. Magazine, is to create an intimate community of successful high growth entrepreneurs (targeting CEOS, founders and executive level in the Charlotte and regional areas) who share similar challenges; learn best practices for fast growth companies and benefit from a meaningful and rewarding peer to peer exchange. Events include expert speakers on raising capital, Angel Investors and social media strategies.

    Interested in obtaining financing by Angel Investors? Call for
    FREE counseling from University of North Carolina at Charlotte Small Business and Technology Development Center. Counselors are available to meet with clients at the Charlotte Regional Center or at your business.  Meetings are scheduled by appointment by calling 704-548-1090 or 919-807-4533, 704-548-1090 x 3346.

    Angel Investors, funded by the Kaufman Foundation is a program designed to help Angel Investors (high net worth value) with or without angel investment. Private seminars are offered for experienced or potential investors in a 'protected environment' without solicitations from service providers and entrepreneurs looking for financing at many institutions.

    Inception MicroAngel Fund (IMAF)-
    www.imafcharlotte.com is a member-managed angel capital fund. The fund seeks to involve a base of successful investors from a wide variety of professional fields. It enhances wealth creation of its members by investing dollars as well as time and relationships in early stage, high quality, and high growth companies in order that those companies achieve success. Please check into each IMAF to determine its specific location needs. IMAF Family of Seed Stage Funds effectively targets technology-based companies at their earliest stage of funding. The investment program coupled with extensive mentoring, counseling and education assists in guiding the company through successful development while positioning them to attract additional funding from larger angel and/or venture capital groups such as Source Capital. The model is a committed, member-managed angel capital fund designed to take advantage of the growth in entrepreneurial activity and venture financing in North Carolina. IMAF Charlotte investing primarily in the North Carolina Research Campus and southern region of North Carolina. It is a part of North Carolina’s Family of Funds and seeks to invest both dollars and time in seed stage, high growth companies and spin outs from Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro and the greater Charlotte area.. IMAF Triad  invests in the Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina from Wake Forest University, UNC Greensboro, NC School of the Arts, WSSU and N.C. A&T State University- www.imaftriad.com.

    www.befcor.com is a nonprofit organization which markets, underwrites and services SBA 504 loans for owner-occupied businesses in N.C. They partner with private commercial lenders to finance up to 90% for commercial real estate and other fixed assets. Befcor was designed as a Certified Development Company (CDC) by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

  • Helpful Links



    Business Planning

    Small Business Administration Business Startup Guide

    Call the Chamber for free Financial and Business Planning Counseling at 704-633-4221. 

    Hop On The Bus Business Plan Competition

    Palo Alto Software, free business plan samples and links  www.bplans.com

    Small Business Guide www.toolkit.com/small_business_guide;


    www.Annualcreditreport.com- free annual credit report of all three agencies once a year




    Consumer Protection Agency www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm- Report inaccuracies on credit report including sample dispute letter

    Credit Reports & Scoring  www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit/reports.shtm

    Scoring and payments ftc.gov/credit


    Business Statistics www.BIZSTATS.COM

    NC Dept of Commerce www.bls.gov/

    U.S. Census Bureau www.CENSUS.GOV

    Economic Indicators


    Employee Management

    Employee Benefits Research Institute  www.ebri.org

    Employment Laws- interactive advice & info on the latest regulatory laws www.dol.gov/elaws

    Equal Employment Opportunity, Office of  www.gsa.gov/eeo

    Hiring Toolkit HR Internet Guide

    National Employee Benefits www.benefitslink.com

    NC Labor Department

    Occupational Information Network (O*Net) www.onetcenter.org

    Occupational Information Network (Spanish Translation) www.onetcenter.org/db_spanish.html

    Federal Agencies


    Environmental Protection Agency  www.epa.gov

    Federal Trade Commission  www.ftc.gov

    National Climatic Data Center www.ncdc.noaa.gov

    Small Business Administration www.sba.gov/

    US Dept. of Commerce www.commerce.gov/

    US Government Online Gateway www.fedworld.gov

    US Securities & Exchange Commission  www.sec.gov

    Financing/Funding/ Grants/ Loans

    Business Innovation and Growth Council (BIG) www.bigcouncil.com

    NC Commerce: Community Development Block Grants

    The best federal consumer publications available Catalog

    North Carolina Biotechnology Center www.ncbiotech.org

    N. C. Rural Economic Development Center www.ncruralcenter.org/

    Rowan County Incentives- call Rowan Works 704-637-5526

    Thrive NC www.thrivenc.com/incentives/financial


    Downtown Salisbury Inc. www.downtownsalisburync.com

    Rowan Works-Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission www.rowanworks.com


    Click here to find a journal, magazine, or newspaper by title.


    Hoovers www.selectory.com

    NC Agencies

    Charlotte Regional Partnership www.charlotteusa.com

    IBM Patent Server www.ibm.com/ibm/licensing

    Institute of Government- summary of legislative bills by topic and NC leg. activity www.sog.unc.edu/

    NC General Assembly www.ncga.state.nc.us

    NC STEM www.ncstem.org

    Patent Search System www.ibiblio.org/patents

    Questions forum www.asktheinventors.com

    US Patent & Trademark Office www.uspto.gov


    Your online free counselor www.AskJim.biz

    Hill Business Library www.bizinfolibrary.org

    SME Toolkit www.smetoolkit.org/smetoolkit/en

    Scam Reporting

    National Fraud Information Center  www.fraud.org

    Better Business Bureau www.bbb.org/

    Domain name complaints www.internic.net


    Score FREE 60-Second Guides

    Trade Shows

    Chamber's Business Show is in the spring each year, call for details 704-633-4221

    Expoweb www.expoweb.com

    Women & Minority

    American Association of University Women (AAUW) www.aauw.org

    League of  Women Voters www.lwv.org

    National Association of Women Business Owners www.nawbo.org

    National Foundation for Women Business Owners www.nfwbo.org/

    Women's Social Network www.SavorTheSuccess.com

    National Minority Suppliers Development Council www.nmsdcus.org

    Women's Business Enterprise National Council