Business License

1. What is a Business License?
A business license is an excise tax levied on the privilege of doing business in the town of Pine Ridge and the value of that privilege is measured by a business’ gross income. Even though it is measured by gross income, a business license is not a sales, property or income tax.

2. What gives the Town the right to require a Business License?
South Carolina Code, Section 5-7-30, authorizes municipalities to levy a business license tax based on a business’ gross income.

3. Who needs a Business License?
Every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation or profession in whole or in part, within the limits of the Town of Pine Ridge, is required to pay a license fee for the privilege of doing business and obtain a business license as provided.

4. How do I apply for a Business License?
You can request an application by e-mail( or fax(803-955-0605), or pick one up at the Town Hall at 2757 Fish Hatchery Road. Please contact our office should you have any questions at 803-755-2500.

5. How much is a business license?
It depends on what rate classification your business is and how much your gross receipts are. The rates vary if it is only a onetime job (and the amount of the job).

6. How long is a business license good?
Business licenses are valid from May 1st until April 30th each year. Businesses are required to renew their licenses at the beginning of every year.

7.What if I refuse to purchase a license?
In cases where an individual refuses to purchase a license, a Uniform Summons to appear in Municipal Court is issued and the case is heard before the municipal judge. Failure to purchase a business license can result in court costs and fines of up to $1,087.50 and/or 30 days in jail. The court fine is in addition to all business license fees and penalties.

8. What are the penalties for businesses operating prior to getting a business license?
To avoid penalties, a business must obtain a business license prior to opening to the public or beginning of the job. If a business has been in operation without a business license, it could be subject to fees and penalties for a period of up to 3 prior years in addition to the current year.

9. What are the penalties for businesses that are late renewing their business license?
Business license renewals postmarked May 1or later by the U.S. Postal Service or delivered by other means by May 1 or later will be assessed a 5% penalty.

10. Can business license penalties be waived?
Per Town ordinance, and in compliance with the equal protection clauses of the South Carolina and the United States constitutions, business license officials are not permitted to waive penalties under any circumstance.

11. Will the business license fee always be the same?
No. By state law, business licenses are based on a business’ gross income. A business’ first business license fee will be based on a reasonable estimate of gross income from the start of operation to April 30th of that year. The base business license fee covers $2,000 of gross income. After a business’ initial business license, subsequent licenses will be based on actual gross income from the previous year.

12. Do I need a business license even if I have a state license?
Yes. If you are deriving income from any job located in Pine Ridge or if your business is located in Pine Ridge, you must obtain a business license from the Town of Pine Ridge.

13. Can I operate two types of businesses under one license?
If a business conducts more that one type of business from a single location, each business is classified separately. It is not unusual for one business to have more than one license. Examples include wholesale and retail within the same business operation or a hotel with a restaurant at the same location. In both cases, the revenue is separated into each type of business and a separate business license is required.

14. Can other people operate under my license?
Any W-2 employee can operate under your business license. Any 1099 or subcontractor must have their own separate business license. This would include subcontractors working for a general contractor, janitorial services, caters, etc., that are hired by you to perform work on your behalf or for you. 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.

15. Who establishes the amount of the business license fee?
Town Council

16. How is gross revenue defined?
All revenue received from a business operation without any deductions for cost of goods sold, salaries, or cost of sales. It should conform to the gross income reported for state and federal income tax purposes.

17. What do I get from the business licenses fees that I pay?
A business license fee enables essential services such as police and fire protection, street and sidewalk maintenance, parks and recreation programs and code enforcement activities. Funding from this fee ensures quality service to the residents and business owners located in the city, as well as to business owners coming into the city to conduct business. These revenues help ensure a high quality of life, which in turn helps create a desirable and prosperous business environment in the Town of Pine Ridge.