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Association Highlight: SC Business License Handbook

The Municipal Association of South Carolina offers city officials and staff access to publications covering a wide variety of local government topics. This includes the new version of the SC Business License Handbook.

The handbook received a major update in 2022 to address the South Carolina Business License Tax Standardization Act, or Act 176, a sweeping new law that made many changes to how cities and towns handle business license tax administration. The law requires a standard business license year among all taxing jurisdictions around the state, standard deadlines for payment due dates and refunds, acceptance of a standardized license application, a standard class schedule, appeals process, and a requirement that cities and towns accept renewals through the new Local Business License Renewal Center.

The handbook explains all laws governing business licensing in South Carolina and how officials can correctly follow the them, and then administer and enforce their business licensing programs. This includes classifying businesses, determining and verifying gross income for tax purposes and setting rates. One section addresses businesses for which applying the law can be difficult — everything from contractors and peddlers to coin-operated amusement machines and even fortunetellers. 

The Municipal Association’s Local Revenue Services is hosting monthly virtual training sessions for business licensing, with the next meeting taking place June 8.