What permits or approvals are required to open a restaurant?

A Business License Certificate of Occupancy is required for all restaurants that are located within City limits. Applications can be obtained online or from the Revenue Collections – Business License Office which is located in the Permit Center at 2 George Street. External approvals that may be required to open a restaurant include: Any business serving food requires a Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) permit and inspection. Contact the SCDHEC Food Protection Division at (803) 896-0640 or online. A license from the state of South Carolina is required if you intend to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Contact South Carolina Department of Revenue’s Alcohol Beverage Licensing Division at (803)898-5864. Charleston Water Systems (CWS) requires the installation of a grease trap for all businesses that prepare food. CWS will determine the size needed for your establishment. CWS also requires payment of impact fees. Fees are assessed based on the number of patron seating. Please contact CWS at WasteWaterInspectors@charlestoncpw.com

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1. Can I vend food from a truck on City streets?
2. Can I rent a city-owned facility for a private function?
3. What are franchise fees on my electric and cable bills?
4. Do I need a business license to conduct business in the City of Charleston?
5. How do I determine if my business is allowed at the location I selected?
6. What permits or approvals are required to open a restaurant?
7. What permits or approvals, other than a business license certificate of occupancy, do I need to sell alcoholic beverages for on-site or off-site consumption?
8. What city regulations apply to operating a business within my home?
9. Can I vend food from a truck on private property?
10. Is a permit or license required by the City for a garage or yard sale?