Starting a Business in Apex

Apex is home to many types and sizes of businesses. We encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, and would like to assist you with your business whether you are relocating, starting up a new business, or want to work from your home.

Before leasing or purchasing a property, you should contact the Planning Department to discuss your plans. Please call (919) 249-3426 to make an appointment with a planner.

Things to Consider:
  • Where are you considering locating?
  • Do you want to build a new structure?
  • Do you plan to lease an existing building, suite, or office space?
  • Are you thinking about working from your home?
Other Factors:
  • Is the zoning of the location appropriate for the proposed business?
  • Are there zoning conditions or site plan restrictions on the property where you wish to locate your business?
  • Are there building code restrictions within a building, suite, or office space that would limit your business operations?
  • Will you need to renovate the interior and/or exterior of an existing building or space? If so, how long will the plan approval and renovations take?
  • Will there be enough available parking on-site? If leasing, does the landlord guarantee a certain number of parking spaces per tenant space?
  • Are there requirements from other agencies, such as ABC permits for sale of alcoholic beverages or food safety permits/inspections from Environmental Health?

Where to Locate

New Building:
There are different site plan processes depending on the size of your building, number of parking spaces, or other criteria spelled out in Section 2.3.6 of the Apex Unified Development Ordinance. Typically, buildings less than 40,000 square feet in size are considered Minor Site Plans and are approved by staff.

Buildings totaling more than 40,000 square feet are considered Major Site Plans and are reviewed by staff and the Planning Board before being considered by the Town Council for approval. Due to North Carolina state law, Major Site Plans require a special process called a quasi-judicial public hearing. Quasi-judicial public hearings are held before the Planning Board and Town Council.

Both the Minor Site Plan and Major Site Plan applications may be downloaded from the Town website or picked up in the Planning Department offices located in Town Hall at 73 Hunter Street.

Existing Building/Suite/Office Space:
If you plan to locate in an existing building, suite or office space, with or without plans for renovations, you will need approvals from the following Town departments in this order:

  1. Planning: (919) 249-3426 - Certificate of Zoning Compliance
  2. Inspections: (919) 249-3418 - Commercial Permit Application 
  3. Fire: (919) 249-1040 - Fire Inspection Plan Review
From Home:
Home-based businesses require Planning Department approval with a Home Occupation Permit. There are several standards that must be met in order to obtain approval for a home occupation. These standards are incorporated into the Home Occupation Permit Application.

Other Helpful Contact Information

Local Agencies:
County & State Agencies:
Federal Agencies: