Business Privilege License

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Business hours are
1-5 pm Mondays through Fridays.

Panhandlers and buskers (street performers) no longer need a Business Permit or License for activities within the City of Greensboro due to 2018 ordinance changes.

Due to state legislation effective July 2015, businesses physically located in Greensboro city limits will no longer need a license, with the exception of those operating taxicabs and beer and wine privilege license holders. Options for renewals are listed below.

Also effective July 2015, peddlers, itinerant merchants, mobile food vendors, commercial solicitors, and massage businesses must obtain a business permit.

Business owners who have a City privilege license for operating a taxicab or for the sales of beer and/or wine may renew their licenses online. From that portal, you may either submit your renewal and pay online or print your renewal and mail it to us.

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 UG 11 of the Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St.

Current Taxicab Privilege License Holders

Pay for a license renewal.

Current Beer/Wine Privilege License Holders

Pay for a license renewal.

Taxicab regular privilege license renewal payments are due by July 1.
Beer/Wine privilege license renewal payments are due by May 1.
There is a 5 percent penalty per month on delinquent renewals.

New Businesses for Taxicabs & Businesses Selling Beer/Wine 

1.) Submit a Privilege License Application online.
a hard copy Privilege License Application. Completed applications may be mailed to:
        City of Greensboro, Collections Division
        PO Box 26118
        Greensboro, NC 27402-6118 

2.) Pay for a Privilege License at the City's Collections Division in Room 11, UG level,
Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St.


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 business that sells beer and/or wine and operates taxicabs at what locations 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 taxicab or a business that sells beer and/or wine that is physically located 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 UG 11, in the Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 West Washington St., from 1-5 pm Mondays through Fridays. For assistance from a Privilege License Specialist, call 336-373-2501.

What period does the annual privilege license cover?

A business privilege license must be obtained no later than the first day of your business operation. Privilege licenses for taxicabs are issued for the period July 1 through June 30 and must be renewed no later than July 1 of each year. Privilege licenses for retailers of beer and/or wine are issued for the period of May 1 through April 30 and must be renewed no later than May 1 of each year.

What are the privilege license fees and penalties?

Depending on the type of business, the privilege license tax may be: 

    Taxicabs  $15
    Sales of Beer On/Off Premises $15
    Sales of Wine On/Off Premises $15
    Sales of Beer Off Premises $5
    Sales of Wine Off Premises $10
    Wholesale of Beer  $37.50
    Wholesale of Wine $37.50
    Wholesale of Beer & Wine $62.50

The rate of the beer and/or wine license tax levied under Chapter 13 of the City Code of Ordinance is for the first license issued to one person, for each additional license issued to one person an additional tax of 10 percent of the base tax shall be levied, such increase to apply progressively for each additional license issued to one person.

Before starting any business activity that requires a privilege license, you must pay the appropriate fee(s). Any business operating within the city limits 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 for which the business operated without a license. The minimum penalty is $5. Fees and penalties are retroactive to the original start date of the business.