South Carolina Business License
Get a South Carolina business license online. We provide the information and resources for you to get federal, state, and local licenses and permits for your limited liability company or other South Carolina business entity.
This includes the seller’s permit requirements and registration information for a local business license, a local county license, and state licenses that South Carolina requires, plus licenses professionals may require.
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How to Get a Business License in SC
Obtaining a business license in South Carolina is an important step for any new business owner looking to conduct business there.
The South Carolina Department of Revenue can provide guidance on how to obtain a business license through the South Carolina Secretary of State's office. However, you may still need other business licenses for your city, local municipality or jurisdiction, and even your industry.
The process begins with submitting an application and supporting documentation, such as evidence of registration or other documents requested by the right licensing agencies.
After an application is received, applicants will be required to pay applicable fees for their corporation, LLC, or other business entity type.
There are three main licensing jurisdictions:
State of South Carolina Business Licensing
The main state-level permit, certificate, or license in South Carolina is the retail license, also known as a seller’s permit.
South Carolina require businesses to obtain a retail license if:
They are engaged in business in South Carolina
Intend to sell or lease tangible personal property or services that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.
Visit the Department of Revenue to obtain a retail license.
Additionally, businesses in certain professions must have specific licenses or permits. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation provides information about a number of these licenses and how to register for them.
Steps for Obtaining a Business License in South Carolina
South Carolina Retail License
You can register for a South Carolina retail license online.
Apply for a South Carolina Retail License
Apply Online With the South Carolina Department of RevenueApply Online
Other South Carolina Business Licenses
The South Carolina retail license, or seller’s permit, does not need to be renewed annually. Check with the relevant state, city, or county government offices for the renewal requirements for any other licenses you may have.
Local South Carolina Business Licensing
In South Carolina, you may need other licenses or permits from your local government depending on your business activity or location.
According to the South Carolina Business One Stop website, the following counties require a business license:
- Beaufort County
- Charleston County
- Dorchester County
- Horry County
- Jasper County
- Marion County
- Orangeburg County
- Richland County
- Sumter County
Federal Business Licenses and Permits
If your business conducts activities that are regulated by the federal government, you will need to apply for the appropriate business license or permit. If you fail to obtain the necessary licensing and permits, then you can face severe penalties including fines, civil litigation, and even criminal prosecution.
It is important to research the laws and regulations in your particular area of operation so that you can get a better understanding of what kind of licenses and permits you may be required to acquire. It is important to have the proper license to conduct business, collect sales tax, and stay in compliance with all licensing requirements.
In some cases, simply registering your business with local government offices is not enough. Depending on your type of business or industry, special permits may also be required from other agencies such as state regulatory boards or other federal entities like EPA, FDA or USDA.
Additionally, there may be additional requirements related to insurance coverage and zoning restrictions that must also be met before engaging in any activity involving regulated substances or products.
Choose a business activity below to learn how to apply:
Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
Fish and wildlife
Radio and television broadcasting
Transportation and logistics
Visit our review of the best licensing service providers to learn more about the different professional services that can help you research and apply for business licenses and permits.
SC Business License FAQ
Who needs a South Carolina business license?
Any business that sells goods or services that are subject to South Carolina sales tax needs a retail license. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need other specific licenses or permits beyond what the State of South Carolina require a small business to have to operate.
What licenses do I need to open a business in South Carolina?
Many businesses will need a retail license. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need other specific licenses or permits.
What is a seller’s permit?
A seller’s permit is the common name for a license or permit that allows you to sell products or services. In South Carolina, this is called a retail license.
How much does a South Carolina business license cost?
A South Carolina retail license costs $50 to register. The cost of other licenses and permits varies.
How do I get a South Carolina business license?
You can register for a South Carolina retail license online through the state’s Department of Revenue website. Check with the relevant state, city, or county government offices for information about how to register for other licenses or permits.