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Business License Renewals
All business licenses expire on December 31 of each year. Typically, Business License Renewal Forms are mailed to business owners during the December or early January.

Business Owners seeking to renew licenses for the new year may now do so online.
  • If you are a new CAP user, you will need to complete a CAP ONLINE ACCOUNT AUTHORIZATION FORM online and Register for a CAP Account (completion of the authorization form will take you to the registration page). When registering for a new account, please allow 3-5 business days for the new account to be processed.
  • If you already have an existing account from last year’s renewal period, Log On to renew your license at our Customer Access Portal (CAP).

Businesses are responsible for the timely filing of their Business License Renewal Form and fees, which must be received or postmarked by January 31, except that the due date for insurance companies shall be May 31. Additionally, contractors may be required to renew their license prior to January 31 as building permits shall not be issued to contractors who do not possess a valid business license. If the due date for payment falls on a Saturday or Sunday, or a federal, state, or City of Charleston observed holiday, then payment is considered timely on the following business day.

Late Payment Penalties
Businesses that do not meet the business license renewal deadline (January 31) are required to pay penalty fees.

The penalties for unpaid business licenses are:
  • First Month: 5% of the unpaid fee
  • Second Month: An additional 25% of the unpaid fee (30% total)
  • Third Month: An additional 5% of the unpaid fee (35% total)
  • Subsequent Months: An additional 5% of the unpaid fee until the penalties reach 55% of the license fee

Late Payment Penalties may not be waived. Partial payment may be accepted by the License Official to toll imposition of penalties on the portion paid; provided, however, no business license shall be issued or renewed until the full amount of the tax due, with penalties, has been paid.

Cancellation of a Business License
If you no longer own your business or if your business closed during the previous year, you must download, complete, and submit the Cancellation of Business License Form, along with your Business License Renewal Form. If you sell your business, the new owner must file for a new business license. Business licenses are not transferable to new business owners.

Joshua Richards
Director Revenue Collections

2 George Street
Ste. 1700
Charleston, SC 29401

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