Getting Started

The South Carolina Department of Commerce realizes that starting any business takes a significant amount of planning and research. Exploring and evaluating your business goals is extremely important. The following checklist and resources can assist in building a concise, yet comprehensive business plan.

Start Up Checklist

  • Do you know what kind of business you want to start?
  • Have you created a business plan, outlining your goals and expectations?
  • Type of business structure? (e.g., LLC, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc.)
  • Do you have a need for financing?
  • Have you picked a location?
  • How many employees are you going to hire?
  • Do you need occupational permits?
  • Have you registered your business with the state of South Carolina?
  • Do you need a business license?
  • Have you handled the insurance components of your small business?
  • How are you going to market your business?

Business Planning Assistance


Small Business Administration (SBA)

Created to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns.

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Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

For managerial and technical assistance at little or no cost to the entrepreneur.

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Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE)

Matches clients with a successful current or former business owner best suited to their needs.

South Central Region SCORE Midlands SCORE Coastal SCORE

Piedmont SCORE South Carolina Lowcountry SCORE Grand Strand SCORE

NxLevel, Fasttrac

This program is for entrepreneurs with an idea for a new business.

NxLevel Fasttrac:

South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS)

File permits, licenses, registrations or make payments at this convenient web portal.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions