Business License Renewals

South Carolina's cities and towns are now required to standardize their business license practices due to the passage of Act 176.

What does this mean for your business?

Licenses will now expire on April 30th.  Renewal forms will be mailed in April and will be due May 1st.

The 2025 license year will run from May 1, 2024, through April 30, 2025.

Business license renewals will still be based on previous year’s income (calendar year 2023 or preceding fiscal year).   

All cities and towns will now have a standard rate class schedule.  Act 176 dictates that all businesses, statewide, be placed in the same rate class based on their NAICS code.

The City did not adjust our fee schedule for the 2025 license year. However, it is possible that your business could change rate classes and pay at a higher or lower rate class than the previous year.

Business License Ordinance

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Revenue Collections Department by phone, 843-724-3711, or email,

Timely Filing of Business License Renewal Form & Fees

All business licenses expire on April 30th of each year. Typically, Business License Renewal Forms are mailed to business owners during April.  

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 May 1st of each year and payable by May 31st of that year. Delinquent renewal penalties will accrue after June 30th. 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.

A licensee that submits a payment greater than the amount owed may request a refund. To be considered, a refund request must be submitted in writing to the Municipality before the June 1st immediately following the April 30th on which the payment was due.

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

Payment Methods

You may renew your business license online, in person or by mail.  The City offers an eCheck (ACH) option for payments over $50.  All transactions paid by credit or debit card will incur a 3.29% service charge. 

Online Payment

To pay online, please go to our Customer Self Service Portal.

Paying In-Person

To pay in person using cash, check, debit card, Visa, or MasterCard.   All transactions paid by credit or debit card will incur a 3.29% service charge.  

Revenue Collections Office
2 George Street
Suite 1700 (The Permit Center, First Floor)
Charleston, SC 29401

Mailing the Payment

You may also mail payment (only checks or money orders accepted by mail) to:
City of Charleston
Revenue Collections Division
PO Box 22009
Charleston, SC 29413

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.