Business Licenses

Town of Summerville Business Licenses expire April 30, 2022. Renewal notices have been sent to the email address and mailing address on file with the Town. Completed renewals are due on or before April 30. Per the South Carolina Business License Standardization Act (Act 176), there is no grace period. Penalties will begin to accrue at 5% per month starting May 1.

If you require assistance, please contact Brooke Garcia at 843-851-4215, by email bgarcia@summervillesc.gov, or Scott McDonald at 843-695-6508, by email smcdonald@summervillesc.gov. 

Failure to receive a license renewal notice does not relieve you of the responsibility or paying the license fee.

All current business licenses have transferred to the online system and there is no need to set up a new account. If you’re having problems accessing your account, this could be caused by an old or incorrect email address. Please contact the license office to update this information. If you have any questions or need any more information, please contact the license office.

Business License Contacts:

  • Scott McDonald: 843-695-6508 smcdonald@summervillesc.gov

  • Brooke Garcia: 843-851-4215 bgarcia@summervillesc.gov  

Every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation, or profession referenced in whole or in part, within the limits of the town, is required to pay an annual business license fee based on gross receipts. A new business shall be required to have a business license prior to operation within the Town.  Business licenses are valid for one year, beginning June 1, 2021, and expiring on April 30, 2022.  In summary, businesses with a physical location within the town, businesses located outside of town limits but providing goods or services within the town, and home offices located within town limits require a business license.

Vendors participating in special events also require a business license.  A special event license is available to businesses to operate for no longer than two days at town-sanctioned special events in the course of a business license year.  The Town Ordnance regarding such license can be found here.

The business license fee is calculated based on the applicable North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code, the Class Rate for your business activity, and your gross receipts.  For businesses that gross in excess of two million dollars ($2,000,000), declining rates are used based on the rates found here.  

Self-Service Portal through CitizenServe

You may now apply for a business license, renew or update your existing business license, or pay your hospitality tax online through our Self-Service Portal.  First-time users of the portal must first register.  Follow the Step-by-step instructions here to create an account.

For more information, please contact the Business License Office.

Hospitality Tax

For businesses engaged in the sales of prepared food and beverages, a 2% hospitality tax is required to be collected from the consumer and paid to the Town of Summerville by the 20th of each month.  Please follow this link for more information.

Temporary Locations

For business proposing to operate their business temporarily in town and do not have a permanent location, a temporary use permit is required (i.e. Christmas tree sales, fireworks stands, mobile food vendors, etc.). A business license will not be issued until the temporary use permit has been approved. Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department.

Non-Profit

Non-profit organizations may be exempt from the town’s business license fee. In order to determine if your organization is exempt, you must complete and submit a business license application and your documentation from the Internal Revenue Service as proof of your non-profit status.