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New Business Licenses
We are pleased that you are considering the City of Charleston for the location of your business. All new Businesses located in the City must comply with our Zoning ordinance. Please contact our Zoning Department at (843) 724-3781 to see if your type of business is allowed or to confirm that the zoning and physical layout of the building and site are appropriate for the use intended and complies with the city’s ordinance.

Applications Needed For Businesses Located Within City Limits

Commercial Locations
A Business License Certificate of Occupancy Application must be submitted and approved by Zoning, Fire Marshal, and Building Inspections before a license can be issued.

Learn more about the Business License Certificate of Occupancy Process

Home Based Business
New Business License Application and Home Occupation Application.

Learn more about Home Occupations.

Businesses Located Outside City Limits
New Business License Application

Non-profit organizations may be exempt from the city’s business license fee. In order to determine if your organization is exempt, you must complete and submit a Business License Certificate of Occupancy Application to the Revenue Collections – Business License Division.

Important Documents

Business License Certificate of Occupancy Application

New Business License Application

Business License Renewal Payment Form

Numerical Business License Index

Schedule of Business License Fees

Cancellation of Business License 

Business License Ordinance

Licensing Clerk
Revenue Collections Division
2 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Ph: 843-724-3711
Fx: 843-720-3954