Business Resources – Local Help for Businesses

The information on this page is provided as a resource only and should not be construed as legal advice.  The specific facts in every situation are different, so while easy access to these resources should provide some initial guidance in starting a business, they should not be relied on completely.  Laws change constantly and although Triangle ArtWorks will try to keep these resources up to date, we can not guarantee it.  So, do not act or fail to act based solely on information provivded below … please consult an attorney for a complete understanding of how the law applies to you and your business in North Carolina.

Starting a Business:


When an artist decides to build a business around her art, who she partners with and how she structures that business are crucial decisions. We have searched the internet for you and collected some helpful links for getting started. This page focuses on for-profit entities.

The Small Business Administration – This government website provides a good discussion of the various types of business entities including the cooperative, the corporation, the limited liability company and the partnership, including the pros and cons of each. Start here as you begin to think about how to set up a business.

The Small Business and Technology Development Center – The SBTDC is a State of NC and Small Business Admininistration supported office that provides “management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses. Most of our services are free of charge, and all are confidential”. They have a very useful Resource Guide for Starting a Business in North Carolina.

The Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center – This IRS resource serves taxpayers who file Form 1040, Schedules C, E, F or Form 2106, as well as small businesses with assets under $10 million.

NC Leap – North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NC LEAP)  is a project of the North Carolina Bar Association and the NCBA Foundation that provides free legal services to low-wealth entrepreneurs who are in the process of starting or expanding their businesses: through direct legal representation, small business legal clinics and the production of self-help materials. NC Leap also provides business-related assistance to established nonprofit entities in North Carolina.  Unfortunately, they do not provide assistance with establishing a 501(c)(3).

Business Link North Carolina (BLNC) – BLNC is a great resource for starting a business in North Carolina.  It provides, in an easy to access format, quick links to all the business assistance the State has to offer, from permits and licenses, to business forms, to financing assistance. They also offer free one-on-one consultation with business counselors.

Thrive NC – Thrive NC is the NC Department of Commerce’s “economic development resource for businesses”.  This office of the NC Department of Commerce has created a pamphlet you can download which lays out the Legal Aspects of doing business in North Carolina.

Takin’ Care of Business – A take on structuring your business for musicians, from the American Federation of Musicians.

The Secretary of State of North Carolina’s website – The Secretary of State’s office is where you will go when you are ready to incorporate your business. On their site you will also find North Carolina’s own guides on different business structures and detailed information about the requirements for corporations in the state.

The NC Department of Revenue – Offers business, tax information and seminars for businesses.

Entredot – EntreDot™ is a mentoring organization that is committed to ensuring entrepreneurial success. It is made up of seasoned business executives who volunteer their time to assist entrepreneurs by mentoring them through the early stages of market entry and by advising existing businesses on strategies for long-term sustainability.

Setting Up – This web page from a law firm provides another helpful overview into different kinds of business entities and how they might impact artists specifically. The examples at the bottom of the page are particularly illustrative.

The Artist as Entrepreneur – Here you will find lesson plans for a continuing education course at the University of Missouri- St. Louis. The advice on business entities is not highly technical, but is good for helping you walk through the thought processes and planning that go into starting a business as an artist.


Do you have information regarding business law that would be of interest to the Triangle’s arts community? Send us an email

Are you a lawyer? Triangle ArtWorks is putting together a Lawyer’s Task Force to explore how ArtWorks can further assist the Triangle’s creative community with legal issues and education.  Among other things, we will be working on keeping these legal resources up to date and educational programs and workshops.  If you are a lawyer and are interested in getting involved, email us!