I need a business license to operate my business in
South Carolina does not have one generic business
license that all businesses must have, but it does
require some businesses to be licensed by the state.
An example of these types of licenses is the Retail
License required for businesses engaged in the sale
of retail items and certain services. Certain occupations
and professions are also specifically licensed by
the state through licensing and certification boards.
In addition to state licenses, many counties and
municipalities have their own licensing requirements
for local businesses.
THE LINKS TO YOUR CITY BELOW TO APPLY FOR A BUSINESS
Are there other state requirements besides
licensing that my business must satisfy?
If your business is a corporation, limited liability
company, limited partnership, or limited liability
partnership then you must register it with the South
Carolina Secretary of State's office. Registration
should be the first thing you do as many license applications
will require your registration information. Businesses
must also register with the Department of Revenue
for Business Property Tax and possibly for Use Tax.
You can now do most of these things through the official
South Carolina Business One Stop website at www.scbos.com.
What are common local licensing requirements?
Businesses can be licensed at both the county and
municipal level in South Carolina. Almost all municipalities
in South Carolina require business licenses while
eight counties (Beaufort, Charleston, Dorchester,
Horry, Jasper, Marion, Richland, and Sumter) also
require businesses to be licensed. Generally in these
counties, if your business is located within the corporate
limits of a municipality, then you will only have
to apply for a license from the city and not the county.
Likewise, if your business is located in an unincorporated
area of the county, then you will need to get your
business license from the county. If your business
operates in both incorporated and unincorporated areas,
then you must usually obtain business licenses from
both the city and the county.
Business licenses are usually valid for one calendar
year and must be renewed annually. Some occupations
may need to obtain additional permits from their local
county or city based on their business activities.
Because license requirements are based on local ordinances
and can change without notice, you should always check
with your local government to find out the specific
licensing and permit requirements your business must
Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.