Submit a Privilege License Application online.
Print a blank Privilege License Application.
Pay for a Privilege License at the City's Collections Division in Room 11, UG level,
Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St.
The City is currently working on a process for all privilege licenses to be paid online.
Watch this video about how to obtain a privilege license.
Why does the City require businesses to have a privilege license?
Authorized by the NC General Assembly and the Greensboro City Council, this requirement helps City officials achieve several important objectives:
- It provides reliable information as to who is conducting or planning to conduct what kind of business at what location within Greensboro corporate limits. Equipped with this information, City officials are able take steps to ensure that businesses locate and operate in areas that are properly zoned for the particular type of business being conducted.
- It ensures that businesses whose activities place special and concentrated demands on infrastructure and basic City services will share more equitably in the cost of maintaining that infrastructure and those basic services.
Who must obtain a business privilege license?
Any individual, partnership or corporation operating a business or engaged in business activity within the corporate limits of Greensboro is subject to the business privilege license requirements set forth in Chapter 13 of the Greensboro Code of Ordinances. The Greensboro Code of Ordinances is available for public viewing or copying at the Collections Division, Room UG11, in the Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 West Washington St., in downtown Greensboro. For assistance from a Privilege License Specialist, call 336-373-2501.
For information about home occupation guidelines, sign regulations, and special use permits, visit this Web page or call 336-373-2144.
Period covered by annual privilege license
A business privilege license must be obtained no later than the first day of your business operation. With the exception of privilege licenses for retailers of beer and wine, business privilege licenses are issued for the period July 1 through June 30. Licenses for retailers of beer and wine are issued for a 12-month period that begins on May 1 and ends on April 30. Privilege licenses for retailers of beer and wine must be renewed no later than May 1 of each year and all other business privilege licenses no later than July 1 of each year.
Privilege license fees and penalties
Depending on type of business, the privilege license tax may range from a flat rate of $2.50 to a maximum of $2,500 per year, per business classification. The privilege license tax for some business classifications, such as Retail, Wholesale, Manufacturing and Service Businesses, is calculated based on gross annual sales. The following formula is used to determine a privilege license tax when such tax is based on gross annual sales:
$50 for the first $15,000 of gross annual sales and 50 cents per thousand above $15,000.
When calculated on the basis of annual gross sales, the maximum annual tax per business classification is $1,200.
Before starting any business activity that requires a privilege license, you must pay the appropriate fee(s). Any business operating within the city without a privilege license is liable for back (unpaid) privilege license taxes and is subject to a penalty of 5 percent of the annual license tax for each month with a maximum of 25 percent that the business operated without a license. The minimum penalty is $5. Fees and penalties are retroactive to the original start date of the business.
For assistance in completing your application and determining your license fee(s), contact a Privilege License Agent at 336-373-2501 or visit the Collections Division in Room UG11 of the Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St.
Mail completed applications to:
City of Greensboro-Collections Division
PO Box 26118
Greensboro, NC 27402-6118