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Top 18 Profitable Small Business Ideas in North Carolina

North Carolina has a very diverse economy comprising different businesses in multiple sectors. The great availability of hydroelectric power, pleasant climate, and a wide variety of soils make it a strong agricultural state.

Home to some of the popular conglomerates, North Carolina has different businesses in sectors like IT, manufacturing, agriculture, and finance. The state is the largest producer of U.S. flue-cured tobacco and sweet potatoes.

It is also a major producer of pigs and hogs, trout, and turkeys. While businesses around agriculture have grown phenomenally over the years, the internet and technology have opened up new scopes for small businesses.

If you want to start a business in North Carolina from home or on a small scale, here is a list of profitable small business ideas in North Carolina, Charlotte

List of 18 Small Business Ideas in North Carolina

1. Craft Brewery

North Carolina is renowned for its craft beer. scene. The demand for unique and locally brewed beers is growing in this southern state of the United States. You can start a brewery business and tap into this lucrative market by offering a diverse range of flavors and experiences.

2. Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Start a restaurant that focuses on using ingredients that are produced locally and embrace the “farm-to-table” movement. Also, plentiful farmland in North Carolina ensures a fresh and long-lasting supply of crops. You may appeal to the growing number of health-conscious customers who value environmentally friendly eating experiences by providing scrumptious, nutritious meals produced with locally sourced ingredients.

3. Home Staging and Interior Design

The real estate market in North Carolina is booming. Hence, starting a home staging and interior design business can be a lucrative venture. By starting a home staging business, you are going to help homeowners and real estate agents maximize the appeal of properties by transforming them into visually stunning spaces.

4. Start a Blog

Blogging is perhaps the best legitimate profitable home-based online business today. There are many bloggers in North Carolina making millions. Starting a blog is easy and requires very little money. Check our guide on how to start a blog and make money.

5. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Services

The demand for eco-friendly cleaning services is growing. You can consider starting a cleaning company that utilizes environmentally friendly products and methods. Target customers can be residential homeowners and commercial offices.

6. Online Retail and E-commerce

One can create a user-friendly website and sell products online. You need to carefully curate a selection of products that cater to the needs and preferences of North Carolina residents. Try to provide excellent customer service and ensure fast and reliable shipping. It will help in building a loyal customer base.

7. Food Truck

North Carolina’s food truck industry is growing fast. Hence, starting a food truck business can fetch good profit returns here. Consider attending local food festivals, corporate events, and private parties. It will help you to reach a wide range of customers and build a loyal customer following.

Read: How to Start a Food Truck Business 

8. Graphic Design Business

Online graphic designing services are in huge demand. If you can learn a few basic graphic designing skills online or do a quick course, you can start offering designs on the Internet. They are well paid for you to have your work timings. This may include designs for letterheads, ads, websites, digital content, and more.

9. Virtual Assistant Business

IT companies around the globe now need part-time professionals known as virtual assistants. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection, and a few hours. You will help these companies with services like daily task management, customer support, sales support, and more directly from home.

10. Freelance Writing Services

Are you good with content writing? The freelance writing industry is now a billion-dollar industry worldwide. You can start working as a content writer from home by taking up live projects on Upwork and Fiverr. The more assignments you finish, the higher you can charge with experience. This will include content for websites, newspapers, journals, and magazines.

11. Customized Tour Services

Tourism is a major contributor to North Carolina’s economy. The huge of visitors to the state offers a potential tourist market. You can offer customizable tours and services who wish to have handpicked packages.

12. Digital Marketing Agency

Several small organizations are growing around the state. While most of these businesses are now going digital, they need services related to the domain. You can start to offer digital advertising with online campaigns and search engine marketing.

Read: How to Start a Digital Marketing Business

13. Recruitment Agency

North Carolina has a sizable unemployed population. While growing companies in the state need qualified professionals, you can start to offer recruiting services by bridging the gap. You can charge the companies and individuals for a successful placement.

14. T-Shirt Printing Business

Manufacturing in the state is relatively cheaper compared to other states. You can start an online website to offer t-shirt printing services. You can also produce the garments on your own, or get them outsourced.

15. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another lucrative home-based online business. You just need to tie up and promote the products/ services of reputed companies. You can promote it through your blog or on social media platforms.

Read: How to Start Affiliate Marketing Business

16. Social Media Marketing

Small companies often look for specialized social media marketing services. If you are good with social media, learn a few skills online, and start offering services via platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. As a social media marketer, you can choose your own clients and work as per assignments.

17. Travel Agency

North Carolina has a sizeable number of tourists coming to the state every year. With such a potential market, you can open up a travel agency to offer services like international ticketing, foreign exchange, and hotel booking under different packages.

18. Bed & Breakfast Business

The state has a huge tourism market. If you are near any top tourist destination, start a bed and breakfast business at your home without any investment. Put your extra room on rent via Airbnb to tourists who look for an alternative to hotels and motels.

Read: How to Start a Bed & Breakfast Business

10 Steps To Start A Business in North Carolina

If you want to legally start a business in North Carolina, follow the given steps:

Step 1. Choose a Business

Choose any of the business ideas from some of the top business opportunities you can start mentioned above.

Step 2. Business Plan

A proper business plan is very important for any new business. North Carolina has different businesses spread across different sectors. The state is partially competitive for new businesses. You can start with a full plan with all the necessary details that will help you run successfully.

Step 3. Financing Your Business

If your business has something unique to offer, you can try to find investors initially. There are a few investors and venture capital firms in North Carolina. Funding your own business is a good idea as well. You get complete independence and have your own hold over the business. Check out these top business loans with very low payback rates.

Step 4. Naming Your Business

You will need an official business name to register your company. Try a business name generator to find a unique name. Make sure the name you want is not already registered with the US trademark department. Also, buy a domain with the same name immediately.

Read: How to Name Your Business?

Step 5. Choosing A Business Structure

Next up you need to register your business by choosing a business structure. You can choose between a sole proprietorship or LLC. Forming an LLC comes with additional benefits. As an LLC you can enjoy added tax benefits and legal advantages like no individual legal liability and double taxation.

Step 6. Federal EIN & Tax Filing

Federal EIN will make your business eligible for taxes. Apply for a FEIN at the IRS. You may have to additionally register your business with the North Carolina Department of Taxation and Finance to complete the legal process.

Step 7. Business Permits & Licenses

North Carolina has different local city-specific licenses applicable in the state. Go through all the city-specific legal requirements and references. County governments also have different additional licenses that are applicable to different businesses, for example, agricultural export.

Step 8. Business Bank Account & Accounting Software

A separate business bank account helps you to maintain all your financials in one place. This will help you to apply for a tax return easily. Now set up an accounting method. Choose a well-reviewed accounting software to make sure that all your transactions are being calculated in one place.

Step 9. Business Insurance

North Carolina has no specific mandatory insurance applicable for businesses. Still, it’s recommended to have a professional liability policy for selling services and a worker’s compensation insurance is also important in case you have any working employees.

Step 10. Promoting Your Business

Now you need to market your business. Social media is free and easy to use. Start with social media marketing on your own and scale up accordingly. Hire an agency once you are operational to effectively promote your business.

Best Places to Start a Business in North Carolina

Choosing the right location is going to determine how your business runs. Here are some of the best places in North Carolina to start your business:

  • Asheville
  • Raleigh
  • Charlotte
  • Elizabeth City
  • Durham
  • Greensboro
  • High Point
  • New Bern

This is a complete guide on how you can start a business in North Carolina with a minimal investment. Follow the steps sequentially to establish your dream business successfully.