Business Climate

The Crystal Coast is a great location for business.  Carteret County has North Carolina’s lowest property tax rate ($.33 per $100 valuation, 2020-2021), and municipal rates are also very attractive.  North Carolina is a right-to-work state, and the state’s 2.5% corporate income tax rate is the lowest in the country for states that impose a corporate income tax.  Carteret County does not require a business license (other than businesses selling alcoholic beverages), although some municipalities in the county do require a privilege license, which is available at a nominal cost.

Carteret County is an ideal location for discerning business owners and entrepreneurs desiring a coastal lifestyle.  In addition to the low cost of doing business, the county offers an exceptional quality of life, with spectacular natural beauty and year-round recreational opportunities, some of the state’s best schools, and best-in-class health care, including a Mayo Clinic Care affiliation through Carteret Health Care.  Many business owners—large and small—have chosen to locate their business in Carteret County to take advantage of these many attributes.  Other business owners are attracted to the Crystal Coast because of the large number of very talented military service members separating annually from nearby Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune.

The county’s unique assets include the Port of Morehead City and one of the largest concentrations of marine science and research laboratories on the East Coast, including the marine sciences campuses of Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University.  Carteret County offers an excellent general aviation airport (Michael J. Smith Field (MRH) and close proximity to Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN) in nearby New Bern.  With the upgrade of 4-lane U.S. 70 to Interstate 42, Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) will be within a 3-hour drive from almost anywhere in Carteret County.