Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in North Carolina (NC)

North Carolina has the third-lowest corporate tax in the nation and the fourth-lowest business costs. But did you know it ranks number one in ease of doing business? For potential entrepreneurs, this is excellent news.

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Best Business Ideas for North Carolina

If the only thing you know about your business is that you want to own it, that’s ok. But it’s time to start thinking about the specifics of what you want to sell. Here are some popular business ideas for North Carolina:

  • Bank
  • Drive in movie theater
  • Grocery store
  • Towing company
  • Cat modeling agency

Whatever business type you decide to go with, you’re going to need to make sure you have a solid business plan drafted.

Planning Processes

Drafting a business plan can be daunting; we get it. That’s why we have a step-by-step instruction guide to drafting your business plan.

1. Playing the name game

Choose a name for your business that is straightforward and doesn’t leave your customers wondering what you do. While there are some rules and regulations for naming your business, don’t let that discourage you. For example, Feline Fine is an excellent name for your cat modeling agency.

2.  Conducting market research

You have to get to know your market. Do search engine optimization research. Hold focus groups. Conduct surveys. You may find out surprising things! Feline Fine found out it may not have the market it originally thought it would.

3.  Structuring your business

LLC, corporation, nonprofit, partnership, sole proprietorship: which is best? It depends on what your goal is. Registering as an LLC has favorable tax treatment, while a nonprofit is funded by donations, as opposed to investors. Feline Fine would likely work best as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

Registering in North Carolina

Get all the info you need about your business. Get your business’ name, the employer identification number (EIN), and the name of your registered agent, then file those formation documents. Depending on the structure you choose, you may need different documents.

Congrats, Feline Fine is now an officially recognized business in the state of North Carolina!

Best Location for Your Business in North Carolina

Before you set up shop, so to speak, you’re going to need to determine the best fit for you and your company. Do you want to expand? Is it in your budget to get office space? Whichever you choose, you’re going to need to get the proper documentation. Ideally, if your business requires a bit of foot traffic, you should set up in a bustling area like Charlotte or North Carolina.

Banking and Accounting

You must establish a separate banking account from your personal accounts. This will not only serve to protect you should your company get sued, but it will help to keep track of your business expenditures. Opening a credit line in your company’s name will help to establish good credit, which will make your company look more attractive to potential lenders.

We also suggest getting a business accountant. One might help your business save thousands of dollars!

Ensure Your Business Is Insured

Business insurance is crucial to growing your small business in North Carolina. It’s a way to ensure your business avoids any unknown risks, like liability for an employee who stubs their toe on the property or a grey squirrel that decides it should be a model and resents the fact you only think cats are model worthy. In North Carolina, any company with three or more employees has to be insured. Yes, this includes LLCs and corporate officers.

Permits and Licensing

Depending on what your business is, you’re going to need different licensing and permits. The best way to determine what they are is to search them at a federal, state, and local level. The best way to determine which local permits are needed is to call the clerk’s office and ask directly. We recommend using a professional service to make sure you get all the proper paperwork in order.

Hiring Employees

The hiring process can be the most exciting part of creating a small business. There’s nothing quite like curating the best team to represent your business, but you need to make sure you’re doing it legally. This includes making sure you’re registered with the IRS for employee taxes and reporting your new hires to the State of North Carolina. When registering for North Carolina State Employee Taxes, make sure you file for withholding tax and unemployment insurance tax.


Branding is fun for some, miserable for others. First, let’s start with the logo. Make sure your logo is representative of the brand and what you offer and is visually pleasing to your customer. Feline Fine thinks bright but cool-toned colors with a hip font work best to express what they do. You may decide muted, calming colors work best for your brand. There is plenty of software online that can help you if you’re stumped, too.

Branding also requires you to think about what your values are as a company. Do you believe there aren’t enough cat models in the US? Do you think there are entirely too many cat models in the US? This might seem like an odd example, but it’s necessary to make it clear to yourself as much as to your customer the values your company holds itself to and what it can offer to your customers.

Do some personal reflection and truly embrace what your company believes in. Making sure these points strike home will ensure that your customers are in it for the long run.

Online Presence

In the day and age of social media, having an online presence for your brand is very important. While this can look like having a website and online store (if applicable), this also means needing Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok accounts. One of the best things you can do for your business is to follow trends on social media. It makes you look hip and in touch, and it will help your business flourish. Get creative!


Having an online presence is great, but what about marketing on those platforms? All legitimate businesses have a website. And if we’re being honest, the less legitimate ones do, too. Unfortunately, social media profiles are not a replacement for a website. Having a professional website makes your brand seem trustworthy and reliable, and it offers all-around better branding.

If this seems to be way too much, don’t worry! Companies like Ecwid help your store grow and succeed. They can help you create a beautiful, easy-to-navigate website while allowing you to market your products on other online platforms mentioned above. Ecwid even allows you to track your digital sales on a dashboard, where you can see your inventory. They’ll help make sure business runs purr-fectly.

Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

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Start Selling Products & Services Online

You don’t have to worry about the office or warehouse if you choose to sell online. Save your time and money.

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Learn the basics

Starting an Online Store Business is Easy.
We’ll Show You.

So you’re ready to start selling online. Now the million-dollar question… where do you start?

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Read real stories

Get Yourself Ready
For Surprises

Check out our blog series all about starting an online store without prior experience. It‘s sort of like our own ecommerce reality show—starring Nicole.

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Find a product

Looking For Things
To Sell Online?

Discover best-selling products and how you can start selling them online and make money.

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Select sales channels

Catch Your Customers Where They Are

We’ll help you navigate through the market and find the most profitable channels.

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Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

Start Selling Online

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