Important Information

There are numerous steps a prospective business owner must take before starting a new business. Identifying all the licenses, permits, regulations, and/or other approvals required for the planned business activity is a crucial step to the success of any business. Researching financial options and economic incentives is another.  Having a business plan is a crucial step to having a successful enterprise.

Prior to leasing or purchasing a building, please be aware of the following information and good neighbor practices:

Parking: Parking is available throughout Downtown Fayetteville via on-street parking and parking lots. On-street parking is free downtown, with time limits depending on location. Spaces may be leased for tenants or employees through Fayetteville Parking Service at 910-222-0302.  Please encourage tenant or employee parking in places which are not prime parking for businesses in the downtown area. It may be inconvenient for you or your employees to walk a longer distance, but the benefit to the district will be invaluable.  (See separate section for further Parking Information.)

Trash Removal: Trashcans and dumpsters may be contracted through Onslow Container Service at 252-361-0888 or through Waste Management at 888-964-9730. Check with the Downtown Development office to see if there is an opportunity to share a dumpster with partners in the district. Minimizing the number of dumpsters improves the overall downtown experience for visitors, residents and guests. The decorative trashcans around the district are not meant for commercial uses so please do not use them for those purposes.

Recycling: Recycling is available at the Ann Street Landfill (off Irene Street).  Holders of certain Alcoholic Beverage Control permits are required to separate, store and recycle all recyclable beverage containers. Recycling bins for this purpose can also be contracted with either Waste Management or Onslow Container Service.

Signage: A city permit is required prior to installing outdoor signage and all signage must comply with City ordinances. Prior to ordering or purchasing an exterior sign, please call the City Inspections at 910-433-1705, fill out the Sign Permit Application and be prepared to provide a copy of insurance to include the City of Fayetteville as additional insured (with annual renewal). If you are in the Historic District, you will need to schedule a review with the Historic Resources Manager at 910-433-1457 for a Code of Appropriateness (COA). For the Facade Improvement Grant Program, contact the Economic Development Administrator at 910-433-1596.

Municode Signage Link (UDO): Signs Permitted Downtown

Festivals and Special Events: Downtown Fayetteville is host to events such as the International Folk Festival, Dogwood Festival, Dickens Holiday, Fourth Fridays and Glory Days. These events bring large numbers of people downtown and due to the size of the crowds, it may be in the interest of safety for attendees to have streets closed to vehicular traffic. To host an event downtown, contact Special Events at 910-433-1505. (See separate section on Events and Festivals)

Historic Districts and Local Landmarks: The Fayetteville Historic Resources Commission is responsible for enforcing historic preservation guidelines. City assistance is available in the Historic Resources Office at 910-433-1457. (See Design Guidelines for Fayetteville’s Historic Districts and Local Landmarks)

ABC Permits: If you will be serving or selling alcohol or liquor products you will need to contact the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, for application and other information at 919-779-0700 or through their Web site at

State and Local Licenses: For more information on state and local licenses that might be necessary for your business, the North Carolina Department of Commerce is a great resource at  (Also, see separate section on Permits and Inspections).

Panhandling: Panhandling is prohibited in the core downtown area although from time to time, this occurs. If you and/or your customers are approached, please do not give the person money and keep walking. If you feel threatened or if the person is acting in a suspicious manner, call 911 immediately. (Services for the Homeless Guide)

Outdoor Dining/ Merchandise Areas: A City permit is required along with an annual fee for outdoor business use for dining or merchandise and needs to meet certain requirements, outlined in the Code of Ordinances, including keeping a five feet clearance on sidewalks for pedestrian passage.

Finding Space: See the Downtown Development office for a list of available properties, both commercial and residential. The Downtown Development office also keeps a list of property owners/ agents, building information and area architecture firms.

Sidewalk Maintenance: Everyone should pick up and dispose of debris (cans, bottles, cigarettes, papers) from sidewalks and alleys abutting their property every day. The City of Fayetteville empties the visitor trash cans and provides cleaning for public sidewalks; however, your front section is your responsibility. Report excessive trash, burned out or broken street lights or dangerous areas to the Downtown Development office.

Noise: Downtown is lively, which is a good thing! Businesses are asked to be considerate of noise impacts and adhere to City ordinances; however, expect during weekends and special events to possibly encounter crowds downtown.

Graffiti: Graffiti must first be reported to the City of Fayetteville Police Department and then removed.  Property owners may contract with the City of Fayetteville to remove the graffiti through the Graffiti Removal program. The fee will be waived and the removal service will be offered at no cost for properties located within the municipal services district (MSD) in downtown Fayetteville. Contact the Downtown Development or Historic Resources offices for tips on graffiti removal.

Hurley Pots: The Hurley Pots are maintained by Fayetteville Beautiful.  Donations are accepted to cover the cost of plants, topiaries and other needed materials.  For more information, visit the Fayetteville Beautiful Web site at