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Local Business License

There is no single all-encompassing State business license; however, nearly all cities and towns in the state require a business license. Nine counties in SC require business licenses, including those shown below. Many counties require the business to register with them, generally registering is free though you will need to contact the county for further information.

 

City & Town Offices

County Offices

 

The business will usually need a local business license in most of the municipalities where business is physically located and conducted. For example, if a business is physically located in the City of Columbia and does business in the Town of Irmo, business licenses are required from both Columbia and Irmo. Home-based and online businesses are generally required to have business licenses.

If the business is physically located in or conducts business in the unincorporated (non-city limit) area of a county, the business will need a county business license if that county is one of the counties listed above. For example, if the business has a food truck or is a contractor based in the unincorporated area of Richland County (which requires a business license) and conducts business in the City of Columbia, the business would need a Richland County business license and a City of Columbia business license.

Notes:
If a foreign business (a business that was initially registered outside South Carolina) does not have physical presence or “substantial nexus”, the business may not need local business licenses.