Home to some of America's fastest-growing local economies, North Carolina licenses its fair share of businesses. However, it keeps the process simple and straightforward. North Carolina shares regulatory duties with its counties and cities -- and manages to balance licensing enough to watch out for public safety and welfare without creating a bureaucratic mess.
In North Carolina, any business that serves food can endanger public health. That’s why restaurants are some of the most regulated businesses out there. Multiple state, county and city environmental health permits are common for restaurants. Those that serve alcohol need even more licensing. Prospective restaurateurs should expect to apply for at least five licenses and permits and in many cases much more.