Guide to Economic Development in Charlotte


Download a copy of the Economic Development Guide here.

Download a list of service providers here.

Introduction to Doing Business in Charlotte
Thank you for your interest in establishing a business operation in Charlotte. The Charlotte Chamber is 100 percent financially supported by private businesses doing business in the Charlotte area. Many of these companies work on a continual basis to advise companies on various aspects of doing business in Charlotte and the United States. We hope that you will contact them and our advertisers in this publication for more detailed assistance when you are ready to go forward with your project in Charlotte.

Our award-winning team of economic development and research professionals at the Charlotte Chamber also stand ready to assist you with information and other assistance you may need as you consider Charlotte for your location. Our services are free to your company and are provided in a confidential manner. Contact any of our team for further assistance with:

  • Coordinating site location visits to Charlotte
  • Charlotte demographics and other market data
  • Identifying potential commercial real estate options
  • Securing workforce development and training assistance
  • Contacts with local utilities providers
  • Employee and spouse relocation assistance
  • Contacts with state and local governmental agencies
  • Permitting and regulatory processes
  • Applications for state and local incentives
  • Identification of potential suppliers and vendors

The Charlotte Chamber would like to thank Elliott Davis Decosimo, EY, K&L Gates and Parker Poe for providing information used in the development of this guide.

Contact one of the Charlotte Chamber Economic Developers here.

Contact the Charlotte Chamber research team here

Download Charlotte in Detail (PDF) for demographic information and a statistical overview of Charlotte.


Public transportation plays a significant role in connecting the people of Charlotte. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is growing at a rapid pace, serving Mecklenburg County and the five surrounding counties. The LYNX Blue Line is the region’s first light rail system, running from South Charlotte to Center City and is currently being extended 9.3 miles through northeast Charlotte. Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) hosts over 43 million passengers a year with nonstop flights to 151 destinations, 38 of which are international. Norfolk Southern opened an intermodal facility at CLT that links air, rail and truck services to East Coast seaports.

Read more on public transportation here.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport information can be found on this page.

Public Transportation

  • Covers 11 municipalities
  • Spans 425 square miles
  • Largest system between DC and Atlanta
  • Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS) Buses
  • 374 buses; 13 hybrid electric
  • 74 routes
  • ADA accessible
  • 24.3 million passengers

LYNX Light Rail

  • 9.6 mile track
  • ADA accessible
  • 15,000 riders per day

Charlotte Area AMTRAK Station Locations

  • Charlotte
  • Gastonia
  • Kannapolis

Highways & Trucking

  • Charlotte is the meeting point for major U.S. Interstates —
77 and 85
  • 13 U.S. and state primary highways run through the region
    Charlotte is home to over 300 trucking firms
  • 40 percent of the nation’s 100 largest trucking firms have operations in Charlotte

Rail & Intermodal

  • Largest consolidated rail system in the U.S.
  • 300 trains pass through Charlotte each week
  • Hubs for CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern
  • Links to 27,000 miles of rail systems between the region and 
23 other states

Port & Intermodal Facilities

  • Inland port that handles more than 32,000 containers annually
  • Easy accessibility to Port of Charleston and Port of Wilmington
  • Charlotte Intermodal Terminal is the first fully operational inland container staging and storage facility operated by a port authority
  • Norfolk Southern TBT, Norfolk Southern CSX, and RSI Leasing all have intermodal facilities in Charlotte

For detailed information on transportation and logistics, visit this page.

Legal Aspects

Doing Business in North Carolina

A company must decide which structure for its business will be the most appropriate for its operation in North Carolina (or the United States in general). There are several entities that can be chosen by an investor with the most common being subchapter C corporations and limited liability companies. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. The following summaries provide a bit more information on each.

Corporations offer a significant advantage by providing limited liability to the shareholders. North Carolina corporations are often set up as a wholly owned subsidiary of the foreign parent company or is directly owned by the private owners of the foreign company. In addition, joint ventures and other mixed ownership scenarios are also possible. The formation of a corporation in the United States is governed by state law and not by federal law.

Foreign investors should consider the tax implications relating to the formation and operation of a North Carolina corporation. The North Carolina corporation will be subject to federal and state income taxes. The maximum federal corporate income tax rate is 35 percent while the maximum North Carolina corporate income tax rate is 4 percent in 2016.

The main disadvantage of a corporate form of doing business in the United States is the double taxation of income. Any taxable net income of the corporation will be taxed at the federal and state corporate income tax rates. Also, when the after-tax profits of the corporation are distributed to its shareholders, the shareholders are also taxed at the federal and state rates on these distributions. The tax paid by the shareholders will vary depending on their location. If the shareholder resides in the United States, the distributions will generally be taxed at a flat 30 percent rate. This rate may be reduced is the U.S. has a tax treaty with the foreign investor’s home country.

Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
An LLC in essence is a hybrid of a corporation and a partnership. It can provide its owners with the limited liability enjoyed by the shareholders of a corporation with the additional advantage of a single level of federal and state taxation in the United States. Members only pay tax on the taxable income of the LLC and “double taxation” in the United States is avoided.

The disadvantage of an LLC is that the foreign member of an LLC must pay tax on its income from the LLC and must file U.S. tax returns. There are ways to structure a U.S. investment so that the foreign investor’s main operating company is not exposed to U.S. taxation through an LLC. Much of this structuring involves tax considerations in the foreign investor’s home country. In deciding between doing business in the United States through an LLC or a corporation, the tax laws of the foreign investor’s home country should also be considered so the structure with the maximum overall benefit for the investors can be established.

Other Entities
Other forms of business entities available to a foreign investor include general partnerships and limited partnerships. Foreign investors generally do not choose a general partnership because each partner’s potential liability is unlimited.

A limited partnership may be selected in certain circumstances. A limited partnership has two classes of partners. The general partner(s) generally manages the day-to-day operations of the partnership and has unlimited liability for all debts and obligations of the limited partnership. Limited partners are similar to shareholders in a corporation in that they have limited liability and their losses are limited to the value of their investment in the limited partnership.

Hybrid entities are an entity that is taxed in one country as a corporation but in another country as a partnership. This structure could create significant tax advantages. Depending on the tax system in the foreign country of the members, the LLC may be taxed in the foreign country as a partnership. Whether the advantage of this hybrid tax treatment is available will depend on the respective income tax treaty between the United States and the foreign country. Investors should consult with their tax advisors to determine the applicable tax laws of their respective countries.

Legal issues
Foreign companies must consider various legal issues for doing business in North Carolina. The issues may vary from company to company and will often depend on the company’s size as well as its industry sector. A summary of some of the common legal issues which foreign companies encounter follows.

Immigration and Visas

U.S. immigration laws are very complex and can cause problems and delays for those who fail to plan ahead. U.S. immigration laws distinguish between two types of persons: nonimmigrants (persons coming to the United States for a limited temporary period of time for business or pleasure) and immigrants (persons intending to remain in the United States permanently).

Generally, petitions or applications for immigration benefits are submitted either directly to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad or to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Lawful Permanent Residency (also known as the Green Card) may be obtained in a number of ways, principally through employment or a family relationship.

The permanent residency process can take several years, so foreign nationals and employers should consider long-term plans as soon as possible. Most foreign employees work in the United States pursuant to a short-term, nonimmigrant visa. There are six commonly used nonimmigrant visas: the B-1, L-1, E, H-1B, O-1 and TN (or NAFTA) visas.

B-1 Business Visitor Visas: The B-1 business visitor visa enables a business traveler to visit the United States for a short period of time (normally six months or less) with extensions possible in some cases. He or she may not work for a U.S. company or be paid in the U.S.

Visa Waiver Program: Similar to the B-1 visa, citizens of most European nations, Japan and certain other countries may take advantage of the Visa Waiver Program to enter the United States for a period of 90 days, provided they are not paid in the U.S. and meet certain other requirements including having a machine-readable passport.

L-1 Intra-company Transferee Visas: Available for managers, executives and individuals with “specialized knowledge” of the company’s business or products who have worked abroad for at least one year within the preceding three years with a related company.

E Visas: Provided for by a treaty between the United States and many foreign countries, the E visa authorizes the employment by U.S. companies of executives, managers or those individuals who hold essential skills. An E-1 visa application requires proof that “substantial trade” between the U.S. and the treaty country is being carried out by the U.S. company. An E-2 visa application requires a showing that a “substantial investment” has been made by an overseas company or by foreign nationals in the United States.

H-1B Visas: H-1B Visas are available to individuals coming to the United States to be employed in specialty occupations. Specialty occupations include those that require the services of a professional with a university degree (of equivalent), such as scientists, engineers, computer systems analysts and some marketing specialists. H-1B visas may be issued for an initial three-year period and may be extended for an additional three years, for a maximum consecutive period of six years. There is an annual cap on the number of new H-1B visas that are granted each fiscal year.

O-1 Visas: O-1 Visas are available to aliens of extraordinary ability, including exceptional ability in business. To obtain O-1 classification, he or she must establish that he or she has achieved national or international acclaim. An O-1 petition may be approved for an initial period of three years, and extensions may be granted in one-year increments.

TN or NAFTA Visa: Permits citizens of Canada or Mexico to work in the United States in certain specialty occupations, such as lawyers, accountants or engineers. Canadian TN applicants may be granted a three-year admission, and Mexican TN applicants may be granted a one-year visa, but should be admitted to work for three years. The visas may be extended indefinitely so long as the foreign national has non-immigrant intent.

Product Liability
Most states in the U.S. generally follow the doctrine of strict liability. This means that if an individual is injured by a defective product, everyone along the chain of distribution is liable to the individual regardless of the degree of care used in the testing, marketing, sale or maintenance of the product. Although not always the case, liability most often rests with the manufacturer. Most entities doing business in the United States should obtain product liability insurance. A good product liability insurance policy should protect the entity against claims for the defective manufacture of products and should cover the cost of defending product liability for personal injury or property damage brought against the entity. However, product liability insurance should be viewed as a complement, not an alternative, to the other ways of minimizing the risk of product liability.

Terms and Conditions
A North Carolina business will need terms of sale and delivery that comply with U.S. law. Most states have adopted the Uniform Commercial Code, a uniform set of Statutes governing the sale of goods that is slightly modified from state to state. The rules codified in these statutes must be followed precisely when selling in the United States. Terms and conditions usually address such important issues as limitation of warranties and exclusion of certain damages. The North Carolina entity should also use terms and conditions of purchase when purchasing products or materials. These are particularly useful for frequent purchases of sophisticated products or materials used in the entity’s operations or production.

Corporate Premises
North Carolina businesses will need premises from which to operate. Leases for office space or manufacturing or warehouse facilities will often be lengthy documents containing many legal provisions. Landlords will typically provide the first draft of a commercial lease; however, the landlord’s form will often be drafted heavily in its favor. Landlords are generally reluctant to make extensive revisions to their form depending on the market and bargaining positions. It is therefore important for the prospective tenant to understand which lease provisions should be focused upon in a lease negotiation.

If a company decides to purchase developed or undeveloped land in North Carolina, it will enter into a contract with the seller to purchase and sell real property. The contract will not only dictate the purchase price, but will also govern the relationship between the prospective purchaser and seller during the due diligence period before closing and may include seller warranties which survive the closing. Due diligence activities may include a title search, property survey, phase I environmental study, feasibility study, property appraisal and obtaining financing commitments. It is important that the contract provide that the prospective purchaser is only required to close on the sale if the due diligence inquiry yield results satisfactory to the purchaser.

Employment Issues
Laws in the United States regarding the employment of workers are less restrictive than in most foreign countries. North Carolina, in particular, promotes an effective and efficient workforce. North Carolina is a “right to work” state which means that the right of a person to work for a particular company cannot be denied solely because of the employee’s membership or non-membership in any labor union, organization or association. This is beneficial to employers because it discourages the formation of labor unions and helps to keep labor costs down.

North Carolina follows the employment at will doctrine which means without an agreement as to the term or length of employment, an employee can be terminated by the employer, with or without cause, at any time, except for certain illegal reasons. However, employers often require their executive employees to sign a written employment agreement, which generally includes provisions such as salary, benefits, length of employment, notice period for termination, covenants not to compete and covenants not to use or disclose confidential and proprietary information of the employer.

North Carolina also has a trade secret protection act that prohibits employees from using or disclosing information about its employer which is confidential and proprietary. However, many employers require their employees to sign a written confidentiality agreement.

Employers also need to be aware of various employment discrimination laws that protect employees (and prospective employees) from discrimination based on factors such as age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical or mental disabilities.

The amount of wages to be paid to an employee is established by the employer, generally based on market and industry practices (although state and federal laws set a minimum wage that is consistently applied to all industries). For employees who do not fall under a specific exemption, overtime must be paid after 40 hours of work in a given week, at a rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate. In addition, the employer must withhold a certain percentage of the employee’s income to pay certain federal and state taxes and make periodic filings to government agencies regarding the wages of each employee.

In North Carolina, employers are not generally required to grant employees any specific benefits. In practice, however, North Carolina employers may offer certain benefit packages as an incentive for employees to work for them. These benefits generally include one of more of the following: medical insurance, dental insurance, disability insurance, and profit sharing and retirement plans. Some incentive grant programs require at a minimum that an employer provide medical insurance benefits to its employees in order to qualify for that incentive program.

Many North Carolina employers adopt an employee handbook to govern the behavior of their employees and to describe the benefits being offered by the employer. The handbook will cover important aspects of employment and will inform employees what standards of performance and codes of conduct are acceptable in the workplace.

Environmental Issues
Regulation of activities that have the potential to impact the environment tends to be more detailed in the United States than in other countries. In large part, the federal government creates environmental regulatory programs that are then implemented by the states if the state meets federal standards. North Carolina meets the federal government’s program standards and directly implements the federal Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act as well as other statutory programs aimed at the regulation of activities generating or storing hazardous waste or the underground tank storage of petroleum and hazardous substances.

Businesses locating in North Carolina need to understand whether permits are required by environmental authorities before beginning construction. Permitting issues should be considered at the beginning of the planning process. The time for obtaining a permit can vary from weeks, for a simple sedimentation control permit, to many months if a complicated air emissions permit or wetlands permit is needed.

Intellectual Property Issues
Federal and state laws in the United States provide comprehensive protections and enforcement processes for patents (including design patents), trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and other forms of intellectual property. The United States is a party to a number of international treaties and arrangements regarding intellectual property.

Trademarks can be registered in the United States at both the federal and state levels and, in addition unregistered “common law” trademarks are also protectable in the U.S. Therefore, businesses adopting a new corporate name or introducing a new brand in the United States are well advised to conduct a comprehensive trademark clearance search to determine whether the desired corporate name or brand can be used without infringing a pre-existing trademark. Patents are issued in the United States only at the federal level. United States patent laws were recently revised to establish a “first to file” patent system (instead of the previous “first to invent” system). If patent protection is desired it is advantageous to file patent applications as early as possible.

Immigration and Visa Service Providers

The following investor level members of the Charlotte Chamber provide top quality legal services to companies:

Alston & Bird
John Baron   704.444.1434

Axiom Law
Rayford Davis   404.995.6905

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings
Dana Lumsden   704.338.6034

Bryan Cave LLP
Katie Schwarting   704.749.8946

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Ryan Briggs   704.444.3316

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Stuart Goldstein   704.348.5258

Haynes & Boone
Scott Night   214.651.5523

Hunton & Williams
Michael Nedzbala   704.378.4703

K&L Gates
Michael Hawley   704.331-7438

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Hayden Harrell   704.344.3142

Littler Mendelson, P.C.
Jerry Walters   704.972.7000

McGuire Woods
Scott Vaughn   704.343.2066

Moore & Van Allen
Ernest Riegel   704.331.1000

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Bernard Tisdale   704.342.2588

Parker Poe
Albert Guarnieri   704.372.9000

Robinson Bradshaw
Jon Jordan   704.377.2536

Shearman & Sterling
Adam Hakki   212.848.4924

Sidley Austin LLP
Joseph Tompkins, Jr.   202.736.8213

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Philip Chubb   704.375.0057

The Hunoval Law Firm
Mathias Hunoval   704.626.4312

Troutman Sanders LLP
Walter Fisher   704.998.4044

Winston & Strawn LLP
Jack Cobb   704.350.7700

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP
John Hunter   704.331.4951

Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP
David Chenkin   212.826.5319

Blue color signifies the company is a Charlotte Chamber Economic Development Fund Sponsor


The authority to assess taxes on individuals and corporations engaging in business or investment transactions in the United States is shared by federal, state and local government entities. A company’s tax burden will be dependent upon the jurisdictions in which it operates and reports taxable income in the United States.

Each governmental entity charges a variety of taxes. For businesses the federal government may charge a corporate income tax, alternative minimum tax and branch profits tax. Individuals are also subject to a federal income tax. Most states impose a corporate or individual income tax as do some municipalities. Most municipalities will charge a property tax on real estate and personal property of corporations and individuals.

Federal Business Taxes
As previously mentioned in the legal aspects overview, businesses can be structured in a variety of legal forms. Both tax and non-tax concerns ultimately will influence the structure chosen. Corporate taxable income is subject to graduated rates in the United States with a progressive tax schedule ranging from 15 percent to 35 percent. These rates apply to the worldwide income of U.S. corporations and to the income of foreign corporations that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.

A corporation organized or created in the U.S. is a domestic corporation; all other corporations are foreign. Legally, a corporation is considered resident only in the state in which it is incorporated. U.S. based corporations must pay tax on worldwide income, including income from branches, whether or not the income was repatriated. Profits from overseas subsidiaries are not usually taxed unless they are remitted as dividends or fall under a U.S. anti-deferral regime.

Foreign income of domestic corporations is taxed at regular corporate rates. A foreign tax credit is available for foreign income taxes paid, thus avoiding double taxation on income earned outside the U.S. Foreign companies are generally subject to U.S. tax on income from U.S. business operations. If a tax treaty is applicable, the income subject to U.S. taxation can vary.

Taxable income is gross income, less exempt income, less deductions. The amount of tax due is determined by multiplying the taxable income or alternative minimum taxable income by the applicable tax rate. Credits may be available to reduce federal income tax liability.

Generally, corporations may deduct all ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or accrued during the tax year. Payments that provide a benefit beyond the tax year generally need to be capitalized. Examples of expenditures that qualify as deductions from gross income include interest paid, depreciation, domestic production activities and other business expenses such as compensation, employee benefits, taxes, research and development, repairs and maintenance, bad debts, travel and entertainment expenses, rent, leasehold expenses, royalties and franchise fees. Many of these deductions are subject to limitations.

Tax Credits
Domestic and foreign corporations are allowed certain credits against their U.S. tax liability. These credits reduce the U.S. tax dollar for dollar. The tax credits include a foreign tax credit for foreign taxes paid on foreign source income subject to U.S. tax; a research and development credit for increased research and development expenditures for business products and processes; other credits tailored to encourage investments in certain activities or types of property.

Tax Treaties
Bilateral income tax treaties limit the amount of income or withholding tax that may be imposed by one treaty partner on residents of the other treaty partner. The United States has a network of bilateral income tax treaties covering 66 countries with significant trade or investment with the United States.

U.S. Tax Withholding
Certain types of income are subject to tax withholding unless the income items are effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. These include dividends, interest and royalties and fees.

Turnover and Other Indirect Taxes and Duties
There is no general federal sales tax or value added tax (VAT) in the U.S. Most states and municipalities levy sales taxes, which are generally assessed on the final consumer purchase, with wholesale transactions remaining tax-exempt. The federal government levies excise taxes on the manufacture, sale and consumption of certain commodities such as tobacco, liquor and gasoline. These taxes are imposed at the wholesale level and are the legal responsibility of the seller.

State and Local Corporate Income and Franchise Taxes
There are 46 states and the District of Columbia that impose corporate income and/or franchise taxes. In addition, some states impose income taxes on unincorporated businesses such as limited liability companies and partnerships. Some cities also impose corporate income taxes. Franchise tax is levied on an entity for the privilege of doing business in that state.

In North Carolina, the 2016 Corporate Income Tax Rate is 4 percent while the Franchise Tax Rate is $1.50 per $1,000.00 of capital stock, surplus, and undivided profits or other alternative tax schedule. The minimum franchise tax is $35.00 with no maximum except for a qualified holding company where it is capped at $75,000. In 2017 the measure of the franchise tax changes to a newly defined “net worth” basis and the cap for the holding company will be increased to $150,000. There is no local income tax in North Carolina.

In order for a state to have the authority to tax an entity, there must be a substantial connection or presence between the state and the entity. This connection is referred to as “nexus.” Nexus describes the amount of business activity that must be present before a state can tax an entity’s income. Nexus generally is established by deriving income from sources within the state, owning or leasing property with the state or employing personnel in the state. Some states will allow a limited amount of activity within the state without subjecting the company
to tax.

State taxable income generally is based on federal taxable income with certain modifications. Accordingly, a non-U.S. taxpayer whose income is protected by treaty or because it does not have a permanent establishment in the U.S., also may have no taxable income in the state.

Generally states impose tax on multistate tax payers based on a portion of its tax base, determined using a formula based on several factors. The formula may vary from state to state but generally is based on percentages of property, payroll and sales attributable to the state.

Beginning in the 2016 tax year, North Carolina will phase in a single sales factor apportionment over a three-year period. Under the single sales factor phase-in, the sales factor will be given triple weight in 2016 and quadruple weight in 207. In 2018, the property and payroll factors will be repealed altogether, and business income will be apportioned solely by reference to the sales factor.

Foreign companies doing business in the U.S. may be subject to state and local sales and use tax laws. These taxes may be imposed directly on a foreign company or a state may impose liability indirectly by requiring the seller to collect taxes from a purchaser. A sales tax is usually levied on the gross consideration derived from retail sales, transfers, or rentals of tangible personal property and selected services in the state.

The sales tax rate in North Carolina is 4.75 percent and the local sales tax rate in Mecklenburg County is 2.5 percent resulting in a total sales tax rate of 7.25 percent.

Taxes assessed on real estate and personal property are characterized as “ad valorem” taxes because the tax is assessed on the value of the property on a prescribed assessment date each year. The property tax rate will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In Mecklenburg County, property tax rates range from $1.0271 to $1.2944 per $100 of assessed value, depending on which municipality a corporation is located within. North Carolina does not levy a state property tax.

State and local governments may impose a number of other taxes, including taxes on special commodities (alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel), fees for business and professional licenses, and taxes on special types of businesses, such as banking or insurance.

Payroll Taxes
Employers are required to withhold several types of payroll taxes. The Social Security tax imposed on employers and employees is called the FICA tax. The FICA tax is based on wages with respect to employment. Wages in excess of an annually adjusted FICA cap are excluded from the definition of FICA wages. The FICA tax is generally imposed at the same rate on both the employee and the employer.

There is also a hospital insurance tax of 1.45 percent of Medicare wages imposed at the same rate on both the employer and the employee. Medicare does not have a cap and applies to almost all wages.


Tax Advice Service Providers

The following investor level members of the Charlotte Chamber provide top quality tax advice to companies:

Angel Harpe   704.887.4128

Cherry Bekaert LLP
Erik Horstmann   704.940-2695

CliftonLarsenAllen LLP
Jen Leary   704.998.5283

Heidi Holquist   704.332.9100

Theresa Drew   704.887.1910

Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP
Trey Ackerman   704.367.7096

Elliott Davis Decosimo, PLLC
Jim Hazel   704.808.5266

Malcomb Coley   704.372.6300

Grant Thornton
Tom Joseph   704.632-3970

GreerWalker LLC
Jonathan Mangels   704.377.0239

John Switzer   704.335.5300

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Crawford Pounds   704.344.7500

Mark Kral   704.367.6251

Blue color signifies the company is a Charlotte Chamber Economic Development Fund Sponsor.


Download a PDF of our full incentives guide here.

State and local incentives may be available to projects that meet the requirements of several discretionary programs as well as statutory programs. Charlotte Chamber economic development staff can provide an obligation free analysis of any project to determine if the project may potentially qualify for one or more programs. Contact any member of our recruitment team for a project specific analysis.

At the state level, North Carolina has both statutory and discretionary incentive programs. The discretionary programs are targeted toward larger projects with significant job creation and capital investment associated with them. These programs include the Job Development Investment Grant program and the One North Carolina Fund program. Statutory programs include North Carolina’s highly regarded customized workforce training program.

Motorsports Incentives
The lease of an engine to a professional motorsports racing team (or a related member of the team) for use in a competition in a sanctioned race series is now exempt from sales tax if the engine is furnished with an operator.

Two sales tax refund provisions for motorsports entitle professional motorsports racing teams to claim refunds for half the sales tax paid to North Carolina on tangible property (other than tires or accessories) that comprise any part of a professional motorsports vehicle. The second entitles a professional motorsports racing team or sanctioning body (or a related member of either) to claim a refund of sales tax paid on aviation fuel used to travel to or from certain motorsports events.

Finally, if a motorsports racing team is entitled to a sales tax refund with respect to an item of property, a service contract on that property is exempt from sales tax. This exemption has been expanded retroactive to 2014 specifically to cover transmissions, engines and rear-end gears and to cover service contracts on qualifying items purchased by related members of the racing team.


NC State Law does not allow for discounted water rates for any customer type. The current Charlotte-Mecklenburg water and sewer rate for commercial customers:
Water: $2.73 per Ccf
Sewer: $4.51 per Ccf
For more information on Charlotte Water rates visit the Charlotte Water webpage.

Commercial Real Estate

Charlotte has a robust commercial real estate market that can offer most companies several options to consider. From newly constructed speculative office or industrial buildings to second generation space or even adaptive reuse of historical properties, Charlotte’s options are plentiful. The cost of real estate in Charlotte is affordable as well with lease rates competitive with virtually any market in the United States. All of the area’s office and industrial parks are also within a short drive to Charlotte Douglas International Airport – 20 minutes or less in most cases.

The Charlotte Chamber’s economic development team maintains a database of all industrial buildings in Mecklenburg County as well as information on office buildings and land sites currently on the market. A customized real estate search can be provided at no cost to companies interested in learning more about Charlotte’s commercial real estate availabilities.

The Chamber can also connect interested companies with Chamber members who provide tenant representation and other commercial real estate services.

Commercial Real Estate Service Providers

The following investor level members of the Charlotte Chamber provide top quality commercial real estate services to companies:

American Asset Corporation
Paul Herndon   704.295.4000

BECO South
Chris Epstein   704.547.0079

Bissell Companies
Howard Bissell, III   704.248.2000

David Thompson   704.376.7979

Childress Klein Properties
Paul Devine   704.342.9000

Crescent Communities
Ned Austin, Jr.   980.321.6152

Lincoln Harris
Johno Harris   704.714.7654

Chase Monroe   704.927.3010

NAI Southern Real Estate
David Goode   704.632.7638

Pappas Properties
Peter A. Pappas   704.716.3900

Parkway Properties
Cassie Zingery   704.625.5818

Perennial Commercial Real Estate
Doug Wynne   704.365.3393

Radina Properties
Michael Delev   704.376.4186

Spangler Companies
Steve Cornwell   704.372.4500

Spectrum Properties
John Boylan   704.358.1000

Blue color signifies the company is a Charlotte Chamber Economic Development Fund Sponsor.

Residential Real Estate / Group Moves

One of the challenges many companies face when expanding or relocating pertains to group moves of company personnel who have been asked to join the company in the relocation. Larger corporations in many cases have personnel who handle such moves on a continual basis or have contracts with third-party entities who provide these services.

More often though, small to medium sized companies as well as many international companies don’t deal with employee relocations on a consistent basis and need some level of assistance in crafting a policy that ensures a smooth transition for employees and their families. Several residential real estate firms who are members of the Charlotte Chamber staff relocation divisions that can assist with these group moves. In some cases, these relocation firms can provide turnkey packages and cost saving discounts that lessen the burden of the cost of relocation on both the company and its employees.

The Charlotte Chamber also provides certain services to companies relocating personnel to Charlotte including Charlotte orientations, spousal job search support, comprehensive data on Charlotte that helps answer everything from basic to detailed questions of each family, public and private school orientations and other services as required.

The residential relocation entities offer numerous services beyond what the Chamber is able to offer including telephone counseling of employees before their initial Charlotte visit, familiarization tours of Charlotte, discounted rates on ground transportation, lodging and car rentals, reduced real estate commissions, relocation expense management, one-on-one home search for buyers, temporary housing search support, rental search support, newcomer receptions, referrals to medical and child care facilities as well as other service providers. They may also be able to negotiate reduced costs of mortgage financing and moving/transfer and storage costs.

Residential Relocation Service Providers

The following investor level members of the Charlotte Chamber provide top quality relocation services to companies:

Allen Tate Corporate Services
D.J. Stephan   704.367.5670

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty
Cecily Durrett   919.695.2300

Coldwell Banker United Realtors
Paul Dunkle   843.285.5000

Suzanne Lail   704.364.1700

Dickens-Mitchener & Associates
Catherine M. Pappas   704.342.1000

Keaton Barrow Realty
Michelle Keaton-Barrow   704.380.0241

Wilkinson ERA
Joan Harpootlian Thomas   704.815.0463

Blue color signifies the company is a Charlotte Chamber Economic Development Fund Sponsor.