What should I know about business licenses in South Carolina?
South Carolina has consistently attracted new enterprises due to business-friendly tax laws such as having no property taxes, no local income taxes, and no sales taxes on industrial power/manufacturing equipment. In addition, corporations pay a lower-than-average 5 percent income tax. Michelin, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sonoco, and AVX are just a few of the major corporations in South Carolina.
South Carolina requires that all companies get a business license. However, the state has different requirements for people who want to operate a retail, service-based, or wholesale business.
Failing to get the proper license or neglecting to get a business license in South Carolina could lead to the state shutting down your business. In fact, that's not even the worst penalty a non-compliant business owner can face in South Carolina. Recently, for example, the owner of a retail business in Barnwell, SC was issued an arrest warrant and charged with running a business without the required license.
Common South Carolina business license questions
It can be quite liberating to start your own business, especially in the historic Palmetto State, South Carolina. Every city is different and the first step most often is obtaining a business license. We’ve done the work for you in answering the basics of your venture to become a South Carolina business owner.
No. South Carolina doesn’t have a statewide business requirement; however, local governments do issue business licenses. Check with your city or county to determine what it takes for someone to run a business in their district.
Many retail businesses in South Carolina only require a sales tax permit and do not need a business license. However, businesses like restaurants and other industries regulated by South Carolina licensing boards will need some kind of license and/or permit to conduct business.
While there is no general business license in South Carolina, the pricing for many of the additional permits and licenses you may need can vary. Take the time to check with the South Carolina Department of Revenue to find out what your business requires.
You will first need to contact the county that your business will operate in. There is also a county business quick chart that breaks down which counties allow applying online and much more. Some cities have a business licensing division to meet your needs.
There are many budding and thriving cities in South Carolina, like Myrtle Beach or upstate for business opportunities. You don’t have to go about this alone. Avalara will help you in meeting the correct requirements for licensing your new business.