STARTING A BUSINESS

CITY REQUIREMENTS

Zoning Verification

Zoning approval is required prior to applying for a business license.  Your desired business location and type of business is used to determine  approval by the Planning and Zoning Department. To obtain additional information you may contact the Planning and Zoning Department at (843)797-6220 or by email at [email protected].

Business Licenses

A business license is required of every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation, profession or activity with the object of gain, benefit, or advantage, in whole or in part within the limits of Goose Creek.  License taxes are based upon the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and the gross receipts earned.  Each annual license is valid from May 1 to  April 30 of each year and is renewable without penalty on or before April 30 of the following year, unless otherwise stated.  To obtain additional information regarding the City’s business license requirements you may call (843)797-6220 ext. 1100 or 1122, or by email at [email protected].  The City’s business license ordinance may be reviewed here. 

Annual business licenses may be renewed in person, by mail or online at Local Business License Renewal Center (LBLRC).  New businesses may obtain a business license application here, in addition businesses located in the City and within your home must complete a Home Occupation License Application.

Permits

Permits are required when doing construction, performing renovations or making modifications to a structure.

Building and Fire Inspections

A fire inspection is required for all new businesses located in the City.  For public safety and before you can begin to operate your business, you must ensure that all City and State Building and Fire Codes have been met.  A Certificate of Completion or a Certificate of Occupancy may be required by the Building Official prior to opening your business. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Building Inspection Division at (843)797-6220 ext. 3247.

Food Handling Businesses

Food handling and preparation for public consumption must be performed within a commercial kitchen.  For detailed information and regulations you may contact S.C DHEC.

Signage

All signs utilized by your business must meet city requirements.  Permits are required for all exterior signs for a commercial establishment, you may complete a sign permit application here.  Signs are prohibited in residentially zoned areas.  Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Planning and Zoning Department at (843)797-6220 ext. 1116 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Construction or Improvements to your business

If you are making physical improvements to the location of your business, building permits are required to ensure proper and safe construction.  S.C. DHEC requires an asbestos survey done on all renovations to a regulated facility.

Transient Merchants and Vendors

Roadside vendors and mobile businesses are required to have a special business license and a completed property use letter, for each location, prior to operation.

small business assistance

Visit the Small Business Charleston Resource Network online at SBCRN.