Business License Renewals

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

Timely Filing of Business License Renewal Form & Fees

Businesses are responsible for the timely filing of their Business License Renewal Form and fees. The required license fee for each business is due on January 1st of each year and payable by January 31st of that year. Delinquent renewal penalties will accrue after February 28th. The license fee due date for insurance companies is May 31st. 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 are required to pay penalty fees.

The penalties for unpaid business licenses are:

  • First Month: 5% of the unpaid fee
  • Second Month: An additional 20% of the unpaid fee (25% total)
  • Third Month: An additional 10% of the unpaid fee (35% total)

Late Payment Penalties may not be waived. A 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 (PDF), 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.