Starting a New Business?

The following information is provided in an effort to help citizens navigate the process of starting a new business in the City of Elizabeth City.
The process begins with establishing what businesses are allowed in your proposed business area. You may consult the City of Elizabeth City Unified Development Ordinance HERE. Please consult page 9-10 for our table of uses that are compatible with your zoning district. 
If you have questions please consult the Planning staff at 302 E. Colonial Avenue or (252) 337-6672. The Planning staff is here to assist you with any necessary permits and processes. 
Please note: the process and time required to open your business will vary depending on the type of business you may be opening and the number of permits and inspections you will need.

Permits you may need include:

  • Zoning Permit / Home Occupation permit
  • Sign Permit
  • Fire Inspection Approval
  • Police Approval


These permits may be found on our online permitting portal HERE. Please note there are fees associated with each permit that must be paid prior to permit approval. 


Other permits and fees that may be required include:

(Note: If you are required to seek approval through the Technical Review Committee, Historic Preservation Commission and/or the City Council, you will need additional permits.)


Other resources: 

Elizabeth City Chamber of Commerce

Elizabeth City Downtown Inc. Facebook

Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission