Licenses, Permits & Regulations

Various types of licenses, permits and registrations may be required in order to conduct business in South Carolina. Federal, state and local laws and ordinances establish guidelines such as occupational matters, business licensing, environmental permitting and tax withholdings.

Business License Basics

Because South Carolina does not have a statewide business license requirement, companies must apply for local business licenses. Most towns and municipalities require a business license, as well as the following counties:

  • Beaufort County
  • Charleston County
  • Dorchester County
  • Horry County
  • Jasper County
  • Marion County
  • Richland County
  • Sumter County

To obtain a license in one of these counties, contact the local business license office or visit SCBOS.com for a complete listing of offices.

Business Licenses & Permits

Depending on the type of business, registration with the state of South Carolina can be accomplished through the Secretary of State’s Office, the Department of Revenue or online at SCBOS.com.

Federal Tax ID Number can be applied for online at IRS.gov or SCBOS.com.

Local Business Licenses are often necessary for businesses located within city or town limits. Check with the local municipality for business license requirements. SCBOS.com lists connections for each county and municipality.

Occupational Permits & State Licensing may be required. New business owners should check with the South Carolina Department of License, Labor and Regulation to determine if an occupational permit is required for their business.

The Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC) provides a Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) team that is available to answer questions on environmental permitting and compliance issues for small businesses. Their services are free and non-regulatory. Learn more.

South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is the lead agency for the South Carolina Unified Certification Program (UCP) and handles all certification requests and related issues.

State Minority Certification Find about how to become certified.

Woman-Owned Certification  Find about how to become certified.

Small Business Regulatory Review Committee

The Small Business Regulatory Review Committee (SBRRC) reviews new and existing state agency regulations that may adversely impact small businesses.

Email the SBRRC