Discover the required South Carolina business licenses and permits to operate legally in the state. Our business license report can help you determine what licenses and permits you need to start a business in South Carolina.
Opening your South Carolina business means the beginning of endless opportunities. However, before you can get started, you need to know what licenses and permits your business needs to operate legally. The permits and licenses your business needs depend on your business location, industry, and activities. This can make understanding what your business needs very complicated for business owners.
We’ve compiled this guide to give you an idea of what permits and licenses apply to your South Carolina business and how our Business License Report service can help you get it done easily.
To legally operate your business, you have to obtain permits and licenses to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. Many businesses are required to hold several permits and licenses at a time.
Some state and local governments require businesses to hold a general business license to operate any enterprise within their boundaries, in addition to licenses needed for industry-specific purposes. Without a central place to learn about license and permit requirements, business owners often encounter difficulty locating all of the licenses and permits necessary to operate their business legally.
Unlike some states, South Carolina doesn’t require you to purchase a statewide general South Carolina business license. Instead, cities and counties issue business licenses.
The federal government regulates certain activities. If your business engages in activities regulated by the federal government, you may need to obtain a license or permit from a federal agency. The federal agencies responsible for issuing these licenses and the activities they regulate are described below.
The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR) issues professional and occupational licenses within the state. The LLR creates commissions that license and permit certain occupations. Some of South Carolina’s licensing commissions are provided below.
Most occupational and professional licensing runs through the South Carolina license system. However, this isn’t the end of the search. Even more license and permit requirements exist at the local level.
Although the State of South Carolina doesn’t require a business license, several counties and cities in South Carolina do. The South Carolina Business One Stop site provides a chart with a list of counties that require business licenses. Every city and county can impose different license and permit requirements.
South Carolina authorizes state regulatory agencies to issue professional licenses and regulate certain professions. The professions regulated in South Carolina include:
The regulatory board responsible for issuing the licenses also governs the requirements for keeping the professional license active and investigates potential misconduct by its members.
Certain local governments may require specific licenses that only apply to that particular location. Examples of other permits and licenses you may need include:
Check with your local government agencies to make sure you have the permits your business needs.
South Carolina regulates home-based businesses at the local level. That means you need to check with your local government to determine the rules and regulations for businesses that operate out of your home.
In most cases, you need to renew your licenses and permits periodically to stay legally compliant. There isn’t a universal time period that triggers the expiration of licenses and permits, so you have to know which licenses and permits expire at what time. Letting one of your permits or licenses expire can result in your business violating federal, state, or local regulations and facing serious consequences.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of South Carolina licenses and permits necessary to operate your business legally. Locating all of the permits and licenses you need can cause a huge headache for business owners that are dedicating their time and attention to operating their business. Instead, let us handle this part for you.
We offer business owners the opportunity to purchase a Business License Report to simplify the process of finding the licenses that apply to you. We partner with Avalara to research the permits and licenses that apply to your business. We’ll help take the guesswork out of the process by delivering a report that gives you a list of the licenses and permits your company needs.
Our Worry-Free Compliance Service sends business owners alerts and notifications about upcoming compliance events and monitors your business’s status to ensure your company remains in good standing. Plus you get two free amendments per year after you pay the state fee.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
South Carolina doesn’t require a general business license, unlike some states. However, many counties and municipalities in South Carolina do require companies to obtain a business license to legally operate a business within their boundaries.
No. South Carolina requires every person in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail to obtain a retail license. Retailers don’t need to obtain a separate use tax registration, as their sales tax return provides them the opportunity to remit the use tax on any property or any service purchased for their own use.
Yes, South Carolina allows business owners to operate out of their homes. Home-based businesses are subject to local laws and zoning regulations. Additionally, some municipalities require certain home-based business permits.
South Carolina requires every person in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail to obtain a retail license, and that includes online businesses. Additionally, the location of your business’s principal office dictates what local permit and license requirements you must obtain to operate legally.
Yes. Individuals who collect sales tax from customers on goods or services are required to have a retail license in South Carolina.
South Carolina Business Resources
Licenses and Permits By State
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