Start, Expand or Relocate a Business
Hillsborough has a lively entrepreneurial spirit and is a great place to do business. The town wants to make starting, expanding or relocating a business as simple as possible.
Please review the checklist of local permit requirements below and the resources elsewhere on this page. Contact the town if you have questions or need assistance.
Licenses and taxes
The Financial Services Department page on this website includes information and forms in the following categories:
- Mobile food vendors, including pushcart and food truck operators
- Business licenses
- Prepared food and beverage tax
- Hotel and motel room occupancy tax
Buildings and land
The town can provide assistance with locating buildings and land. For assistance, contact the town.
Building permits are issued and inspections performed by the Orange County Building Inspections Division. Businesses moving into buildings that are not newly built should contact the Hillsborough Fire Marshal's Office first. All commercial spaces must have a fire safety inspection, which also will determine if additional permits are needed. The town issues additional permits in the following categories:
- Zoning and compliance with regulations in the town's historic district are overseen by the town Planning Department.
- Water and sewer use are overseen by the Utilities Department.
- Stormwater management, stream buffer and environmental issues are regulated by the Stormwater and Environmental Services Division.
Land in Hillsborough is subject to a stormwater management utility and fee paid by the owner.
The town has compiled information in the following categories on the Development Processes page on this website:
- Special use permits
- Conditional use permits
- Site plan review
- Public hearing participation
The town offers incentives to attract new businesses and retain current ones. These are outlined on the economic development policies page of this website. Those receiving incentives are expected to be involved actively or financially in the community through nonprofits and are strongly encouraged to participate in local job fairs to employ as many town residents as possible.
The town has negotiated a single franchise agreement to gain pricing leverage for local businesses. Businesses are required to use the town's designated service provider. For more information, see the solid waste page on this website and the Solid Waste Management Department section of the Orange County website.