County Businesses Have Until March 15 to Renew Licenses

With the beginning of a new year, the clock is ticking for Richland County businesses to renew their business licenses.
All County business licenses expired Dec. 31. The deadline to renew without incurring penalties is March 15. Every business needs a business license to operate legally, including those based in a home.

County ordinance provides for an exemption, regarding construction contractors. This exemption covers the portion of a contractor’s revenue generated from work done for which a building permit is obtained and a fee paid. If ALL of a contractor’s revenue is generated from work done for which a building permit fee is paid, that contractor shall be exempt from paying any business license fee. However, this contractor must still file an application in the required timeframe providing documentation which establishes that contractor’s right to an exemption.

With County facilities still closed because of COVID-19, business licenses can only be renewed online or by mail. To quickly and easily renew licenses online or for more information about the process, visit the County’s Business Service Center (BSC) at

“Renewing online is especially helpful – for businesses and for staff – this year,” said Pam Davis, division manager for the BSC. “The County’s closing will result in many more mailed renewal applications to review and process, requiring much more time to issue licenses to businesses.”

The BSC recently mailed out renewal applications to about 10,000 businesses as a reminder of the renewal period.

In addition to ensuring accuracy and delivery, renewing licenses online allows business owners to receive their licenses faster and save $10. The BSC website also offers an online calculator, steps to guide business owners through the process, and a checklist outlining what information is needed before they begin.

“Instructions, complete with screenshots, have been developed and are now online to help eligible businesses be more comfortable with renewing online,” Davis said. 

Most businesses can renew licenses online, with the exception of new businesses and first-time renewals. New businesses can apply for licenses by mail now and will be able to apply online later in January. First-time renewing businesses will receive their renewal applications via email in early January.
Businesses renewing by mail should mail forms to: P.O. Box 192, Columbia, SC 29202.

For more information, email the Business Service Center at or call 803-576-2287.