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frequently asked questions

call us if you have questions
The information included in this section can never include all of the information that you need or answer every question that you may have. The City Staff is available to assist you with any questions or information you need concerning business license. Our number is 864-467-4505.

When do I need a Business License? 

Anyone operating or engaged in any type of business inside the city limits of Greenville, whether located inside the city or outside the city must obtain a business license, prior to beginning operation.

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Why do I need a Business License?    

Pursuant to the Business License Ordinance/Code, the City of Greenville levies a license fee on all individuals or companies operating inside the city limits.

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What if I refuse to purchase a license? 

Unfortunately, there have been cases where an individual refused to purchase a license. In such cases, an Uniform Summons is issued to appear in Municipal Court and the case is heard before the Municipal Judge. Failure to purchase a license can result in court cost and fine of up to $1075 and/or a 30 day imprisonment in jail. The court fine is in addition to all business license fees and penalties.

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How do I apply for a Business License?    

You may receive an application and rate sheet by mail, fax or come by our "One Stop Shop" on the 4th floor of City Hall at 206 S. Main Street. If you are renewing your license and know your correct classification, you may obtain an application, and rate sheet from our web site. If you are a new business you will need to contact our office (864-467-4505) so that we can assist you with obtaining the correct classification and rate sheet.

Mailing Address: Business License
P.O. Box 2207
Greenville, SC 29602

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How much does a license cost?     

It depends on the type of business you are operating, as to what category you are classified and your cost. We will be glad to assist you with determining your classification.
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Will a license always be the base fee?    

No. Licenses are based on the gross receipts/revenue for the previous year, unless it is the first year and then it is based on a reasonable estimate from the start of operation to December 31st of that year. Our base fees are on the first $2000 of gross receipts. It is not reasonable that a business can operate for a year making gross receipts/revenue of $2000. That would mean you only make $38.46 a week before any taxes are taken out.
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May I operate two types of businesses under one license?     

If a business conducts more than one type of business each is classified separately. It is not unusual for one business to have more than one license. Examples of this is wholesale and retail in the same business operation and hotels with restaurants at the same location.
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Can other people operate under my license?    
Only if they receive a W-2 from you or your company. Anybody you hire to work for you such as a janitorial firm, pest control, landscaper, etc… would need to have their own City Business License. This would include any business, regardless of whether they are a resident or non-resident business, that receives a 1099 Form from you. If this is confusing just remember that if the person or company is not on your payroll with all State and Federal taxes taken out, they need their own license.
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Are there any other requirements to get a license?    

You need to make sure you have all the proper State licenses (contractors, specialty license, retail license, etc.) prior to applying for a City of Greenville Business License. Our "One Stop Shop", has Building, Zoning and Business License all centrally located on the 4th floor of City Hall, and will be able to assist you in meeting all the appropriate local requirements.
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