Apply For A Business License South Carolina - SC
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Do I need a business license to operate my business in South Carolina?
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.
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 satisfy.
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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.