Business Licenses

Click or tap any section title to collapse or expand it.

Expand all sections | Collapse all sections

About Privilege Licenses
Unless explicitly provided for in a City of Wilson ordinance, all businesses, trades and professions conducting a trade, occupation, performing a service, or selling foods or services within the City are required to purchase a Privilege License prior to beginning operations. This statement applies to the City of Wilson with certain exceptions. The Privilege License is required to legally operate anywhere within the City of Wilson. This requirement applies to all businesses, whether operated for profit, non-profit or home-based.The Finance Department, Accounting office issues Privilege Licenses. A City license may be required in addition to any State or County licenses already held.Should you have any additional questions please view the Privilege License Application Instructions.Additional questions may be directed to:
Finance Department
Accounting Division/Privilege Licenses
Lorria Ray
112 N. Goldsboro Street
P.O. Box 10
Wilson, NC 27894
Phone: 252-399-2762
FAX: 252-399-2183
Privilege License Application Instructions

Who Must Pay – Any individual, partnership or corporation who conducts business within the city, either by maintaining a business location within the City limits or by personally or through agents soliciting business within the city, or picking up and/or delivering goods or services within the City limits is liable for the City’s Privilege License Tax, unless specifically exempted by Federal or State law or local ordinance. If a company or individual is engaged in more than one type of business activity within the city, a separate license may be required for each type of business activity. A separate license is required for each business location in the City limits.

License Tax Due Date – A privilege license must be obtained by no later than the first day of business operation. All licenses expire on June 30th. If the business begins operating after January 31st, the amount of the tax for the tax year ending June 30th of the same year is one half of the annual amount due. If a business ceases operation prior to the end of the period for which the license was issued, the tax shall not be abated nor any part refunded.

Determine Amount of Tax Due – Examine the Tax Schedule to determine the type codes that apply to your business activity and determine the appropriate license tax. Multiple type codes may apply to businesses that have several business activities. Please follow the instructions for each of the tax schedules. If your business should be classified for Schedule A, the privilege license tax is computed on the basis of gross receipts. “Gross Receipts” means the amount reported as gross sales/receipts on a business’s State/Federal Income Tax Return for the most recently completed tax year. New Businesses should estimate projected gross sales receipts/income from operations beginning the date the business begins through the following June 30th.

Payment – Once you have completed your application(s), please review and mail your application and appropriate payment (made payable to City of Wilson) to:

City of Wilson, Accounting/Privilege Licenses
P.O. Box 10
Wilson, NC 27894

Please make your check or money order payable to the “City of Wilson”. DO NOT SEND CASH.

Display of License – Your license will be processed and mailed to you. Upon receipt, every license must be kept prominently displayed at the place of business of the licensee named in the license. If the licensee has no fixed place of business, such licensee must keep the same wherever such business is being operated and where it can be inspected at any time by the proper official.

General Information – All changes in business ownership, location and/or business activity must be reported to the City of Wilson (phone: 252-399-2762) forty-eight hours in advance of a change in address, ownership or if business operations cease. Such change may alter the classification of the business and/or tax obligation of the business owner.

Disclaimer – The issuance of a privilege license does not constitute acceptance or approval of the use of the named location as having complied with existing building codes, fire prevention code, zoning code, city ordinance, or state law. A licensee shall remain fully liable and responsible for bringing the premises in conformity with all applicable City and State Codes.

Business License Tax ExemptionsThe following business activities are exempt from licensing. However, businesses engaging in other non-exempt business activities are subject to licensing of non-exempt activities. Example: The sale of computer hardware is exempt, but software sales are subject to licensing under gross receipts.

EX – Exempt from Privilege License Tax:

  • Accountants
  • Alarm Dealers
  • Alarm Monitoring
  • Architects
  • Attorneys at Law
  • Auctioneers
  • Banks
  • Bail Bondsmen
  • Breweries
  • Bus Companies
  • Chiropodists
  • Chiropractors
  • Computer Hardware Retail Sales
  • Computer Hardware Rental
  • Cooperative Marketing Association
  • Dentists
  • Engineers
  • Film Manu-facturer/Distrib
  • Healers
  • Home Inspector
  • Insurance Company
  • Internet Admission Ticket Resellers
  • Land Surveyors
  • Landscape Architects
  • Morticians/-Embalmers
  • Motor Fuel Wholesale Distributor
  • Natural Gas (Piped)
  • Oculists
  • Office Equipment, Home Appliances Retail Sales
  • Office Equipment Rental
  • Opticians
  • Optometrists
  • Osteopaths
  • Pest Control Applicators
  • Photographers
  • Physicians
  • Private Detective/- Investigator
  • Railway Companies
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Real Estate Appraisers
  • Real Estate Rentals
  • Savings & Loan Assoc
  • Surgeons
  • Telecommun-ications
  • Telephone Companies
  • Trucking Companies
  • Veterinarians
  • Vending and weighing machines (5 or more)
  • Wineries
Privilege License Application

Here is how to apply for a privilege license:

  • 1. Read Privilege License Instructions.
  • 2. Download Privilege License Application.
  • 3. Complete the License Application Form.
  • 4. Verify that your information is correct.
  • 5. Print out and SIGN the Application.
  • 6. EITHER
    a. Fax it to: (252) 399-2183
    — OR —
    b. Mail it to: City of Wilson, PO Box 10 Wilson, NC 27894.

Printer Required: To complete the enrollment process, you will have to print out and mail or fax your completed application. Make sure you are able to print to a printer before starting this process.

Privilege License Application (DOC)

Closing, Transferring, or Selling a Business
All changes in business ownership, location and/or business activity must be reported to the City of Wilson forty-eight hours in advance of a change in address, ownership or if business operations cease. Such changes in business activity may alter the classification of the business and/or tax obligation of the business owner.Contact: Lorria Ray, phone: 252-399-2762.