Starting a Business

Build Your Business in Lincoln County

Are you thinking about going into business? Maybe you are looking to relocate a business or industry.

Here in Lincoln County, we have a diverse workforce committed to hard work. Our low unemployment rate and a labor force of over 40,000 make Lincoln County an attractive alternative for businesses.

Lincoln County is centrally located and served by three major interstates and rail service. We also have the Lincolnton Regional Jetport located here and Charlotte Douglas International Airport is nearby.

Business Resources

With the residential and commercial growth in the region, now is an excellent time to consider starting a new business in Lincoln County. The following will provide you with information that will help you to get started, and the Chamber is here to help you find more detailed information and, once your business is up and running, to promote your new business in the region and beyond.

Labor Force (County) End 2019 – 44,048
Unemployment rate: 3.5%

Labor Force (County) End 2018 – 42,654
Unemployment rate: 3.3%

Labor Force (County) End 2017 – 42,664
Unemployment rate: 3.9%

Community College Average Enrollment (2014) – 6142
Wage or Labor Survey Available: Yes

Economic Development Program

County Development Program: Yes
Local Development Corporation: Yes
Chamber of Commerce: Yes

Manufacturers (Top 10 Manufacturers)

The Timken Company

Blum Inc

Medline Industries Inc.

Cataler North America

Robert Bosch Tool Corporation


UTC Fire & Security Americas.

Huskey Rack and Wire

G & W Laboratories

For more information on Economic Development, visit Lincoln Economic Development Association.

View the permit planner. (Coming Soon)

Single Family Homes: 792
Duplex Apartment: 30
Multi Family: 0
Add/Alter Residential: 188
Swimming Pool: 124
Pier(S) & Deck: 123
Elec/Mech: 1993
Elect Permit: 553
Plumbing Permit: 421
Grinder Pump: 78
Single Wide M-H: 22
Doublewide M-H: 32
Modular Home: 22
Acc. Building Residential: 151
Other Commercial: 255
Commercial: 135
Miscellaneous: 142
Change of Occupancy: 64
Figures provided by Lincoln County Inspections Department.

Labor Force

End of 2018: 42,654
Figures provided by the Employment Security Commission.

2018 Unemployment Rates

January: 4.1
February: 3.9
March: 3.7
April: 3.2
May: 3.2
June: 3.7
July: 3.6
August: 3.5
September: 3.0
October: 3.1
November: 3.2
December: 3.3
Figures provided by the Employment Security Commission.

2018 Retail Sales (Taxable Sales)

January: 72,119,446
February: 53,632,775
March: 59,181,586
April: 73,146,227
May: 66,943,333
June: 70,411,961
July: 75,158,000
August: 65,745,634
September: 68,828,652
October: 68,858,755
November: 79,757,906
December: 69,544,607
Figures provided by the NC Retail Merchants Association.

Projected Growth Rates

July 2035: 102,977
July 2030: 97,581
July 2025: 92,187
July 2020: 86,794
Figures provided by the North Carolina State Demographics.

For a New Business in Lincolnton and Lincoln County:
(For other North Carolina cities and counties, consult the local telephone directory or city and county offices)

All of the following requirements are not applicable to all business concerns. Use this guide as a check list by contacting each office.

Sales And Use Tax

NC Dept of Revenue, Raleigh, NC
Tel: 919-733-2151
112 SE 2nd Street Place , Hickory, NC
Tel: 877-252-3052

Zoning Permit & Sign Permit

Planning & Zoning Department:

Zoning Permit – City of Lincolnton:
Lincolnton City Hall 704-736-8930

Zoning Permit – County:
302 N. Academy Street. Lincolnton, or 7674 Tree Farm Road, Denver 704-748-1507

Fire Prevention Inspection

Fire Department – Rick Blackwell
302 North Academy Street, Lincolnton 704-736-8516

Building Inspection

Inspections Department – County Offices
302 North Academy Street, Lincolnton 704-736-8434

Health Department Inspection

Lincoln County Health Department
151 Sigmon Road

NC Assumed Name Act

Register of Deeds
102 East Main Street, Lincolnton: 2nd Floor
704-736-8531 OR 736-8530

Unemployment Insurance Tax

NC Employment Security Commission
Unemployment Insurance Division, 529 North Aspen Street, Lincolnton

Workmen’s Compensation Insurance

Insurance Agency Or Agent Of Your Choice

Privilege License
NC Dept of Revenue, Raleigh, NC

NC Employer Account Number
NC Department of Revenue, Raleigh, NC

NC Income Tax
NC Dept of Revenue, Raleigh, NC

Corporate Income Tax
NC Department of Revenue, Raleigh, NC

Inheritance & Gift Tax
NC Department of Revenue, Raleigh, NC

US Employer Account Number
US Internal Revenue Service, Hickory, NC
Toll Free Number 800-829-1040

For Rules & Regulations Applicable To Your Type of Business

US Department Of Labor, OSHA
4 W. Edenton Stroet, Raleigh, NC 27601 919-807-2796

NC Department of Labor
Labor Building, Raleigh, NC 27801 800-NCLABOR

Free Counseling

Brad Rivers, Director
Gaston College Small Business Center
201 Highway 321 South
Dallas, NC 28034
Tel: 704-922-6449
Fax: 704-922-2339

Blair Abee, Assistant Director
905 Highway 321 Nw – Suite 354
Hickory, NC 28601
Tel: 828-345-1110
Fax: 828-326-9117

Mark Mills, Program Specialist
Women & Minority Owned Businesses
Government Procurement
Tel: 828-345-1110
Fax: 828-326-9117

Charlotte SCORE
Bill Baker

When planning your business, determining where to physically locate it can often be half the battle. The following external links to the North Carolina Department of Transportation provide traffic counts for Lincoln County highways:

2020 Traffic Counts

Gaston College’s Small Business Center (SBC) is one of 58 across the state of North Carolina. It is a state-funded organization and is part of the Small Business Center Network of North Carolina (SBCN). It was initiated by the NC General Assembly to aid small businesses since they are the backbone of North Carolina’s economy. Our Small Business Center provides entrepreneurs with information they need to start or expand a small business. We provide seminars at no charge, resource centers, and one-on-one counseling for small business owners and prospective owners. Learn more by visiting our website.

For more information, contact the SBC Director, Felicia Williams at 704-922-6447 or

The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) has helped North Carolina businesses grow and create new jobs since 1984. We provide management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses. Most of our services are free of charge, and all are confidential. By providing entrepreneurs with the tools they need to build and grow successful businesses, the SBTDC positively impacts NC’s economy. Learn how we can help your business.

Why Join the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber?

"SEACORP Industry based in Lincolnton, has recently celebrated 25 years in business on August 1, 2023. As we reflect on the past 25 years, SEACORP would like to thank the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce for their ongoing support. The Chamber provides networking opportunities for business, connects our local community with local and State Representatives, and provides educational programs for both members and the public. The Chamber not only supports my company through these connections, but also stamps all of our “Certificates of Origin.” These certificates of origin documents are used for international transactions certifying the product’s country of origin.

Thank you again to the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce for their continued support of my business and for advocating on behalf of 500 members. The Chamber of Commerce improves the quality of life for our entire community. "

-Myra Heaver, Sea Express America Corporation dba SEACORP

"In my industry word-of-mouth and meeting new potential clients is key to growth. Joining the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber has been a valuable investment. Having the opportunity to network regularly, learn from other more experienced business owners and accessibility to other business tools has been transformative. I encourage all business owners that are ready to increase their visibility and community knowledge to join."

-Ingrid Russell, Owner, Ingrid Russell Photography/videography/Content

"We joined the Chamber prior to our opening in 2021 and have been so happy we did. They worked with us to have a ribbon cutting to highlight our grand opening, along with hosting several events with us since we've joined. We've been able to appeal to many new customers with these events that we may not have reached otherwise! It is a great way to involve yourself in the local business community with unlimited networking opportunities. "

-Rachel Herman, Broker/Realtor, Keller Williams Realty