Welcome to the Online Business Service Center!
Thank you for visiting our online office. We hope this information is helpful and that you find what you are looking for. If not, please let us know so we can add this information.
It is the Business Service Center's mission to serve Richland County's diverse business community with outstanding customer service while
- collecting business-related revenues fairly, equitably, and conveniently;
- issuing business-related licenses and permits accurately and promptly;
- enforcing the County's business requirements equitably, effectively, and efficiently; and
- educating the business community regarding those requirements proactively and collaboratively.
Thank you for doing business in Richland County; we appreciate your business. Your business helps make Richland County a great place to live, work, and visit.
County Offices are still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that business licenses may only be renewed online or by mail. Because of the great volume of emails and phone calls being received and limited staff, every effort has been made to make this webpage as useful and informative as possible.
If you do need to contact our office, please email or call our office. Each email and voice message will be answered, and in the order in which it was received. We sincerely regret the delay in response, and we appreciate your patience. We look forward to working with you this year. Be safe!
Starting a New Business?
Thinking of starting a new business? Check out the County's "Starting a New Business" webpage for lots of good information.
Great News! Applying for new business licenses is now online! Click here to apply for your first Richland County business license today!
Renewing your business license for the first time?
Obtained your first business license last year? Renewing for the first time? Check your email from January 5. Our office emailed last year's businesses obtaining their first business license requesting information by REPLY email so we may calculate the business license taxes and email back the correct amount due. Specific instructions and required attachments were provided in the email. (If you did not receive an email, or cannot find that email now, please click here for a copy of that email. All required attachments can be found by clicking the "Forms" link below.) All first-time renewals must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Licenses: Online Calculations and Renewals
All County business licenses expire on December 31; the deadline to renew without penalties is March 15. Renew online to save $10, save time, and ensure payment accuracy and delivery.
To check your calculations, click Online Calculations. (The Business ID and Location ID, shown on the renewal application, and the FEIN/SSN will be needed. New businesses, opening last year, cannot check their calculations online the first year. BUT, see below...)
To renew online, click Online Renewal. (The Business ID and Location ID, shown on the renewal application, and the FEIN/SSN will be needed. New businesses, opening last year, are not able to renew online the first year. BUT, see below...)
1. Calculating or Renewing Business Licenses Online
2. Business License Paper Renewals - Calculations (Section 4)
3. Business License Renewal - Decals (Renewal Application, Section 6)
4. Business License Renewal - Exemptions and Deductions (Renewal Application, Section 3)
5. Business License Renewal - First Time Renewals (also provided to these businesses by email)
6. Business License Renewal - Out-of-County Construction Work (Renewal Application, Section 5)
7. Business License Renewal - Requirements to Renew (Renewal Application, Section 7)
8. Business License Renewal - Summary (Renewal Application, Section 1)
To submit Deductions for consideration, use the Deductions Worksheet spreadsheet or print the PDF form. (The Deductions Worksheet MUST be submitted at the same time as the business license application to be considered. All required documentation MUST also be submitted in the order in which you listed deductions in the Deductions Worksheet.)
** Checklist for Deductions
To document Section 5 work for consideration, use the Section 5 Worksheet spreadsheet or print the PDF form. (This must be submitted at the same time as the business license application to be considered.)
** Checklist for Section 5
Review the Checklist for Business License Renewals to SAVE MONEY and AVOID PENALTIES by avoiding having your renewal application and payment returned or delayed.
- Now able to pay online! Richland County is pleased to inform the business community that Richland County Hospitality Taxes may now be paid online. The credit cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. There is a $1.00 plus 1.7% transaction fee to pay online. Click here to pay online or obtain your paper vouchers today. (You will need your Hospitality Tax # and the FEIN/SSN that we have on file for your business.)
- To notify our office of change of information, such as change of contact, change of ownership, or change of location, please complete and email back an Update Form.
- For more information, click here to go to the County's Hospitality Tax webpage.
Local Accommodations Taxes - Paying Online
Businesses providing short-term accommodations can now pay the County's Local Accommodations Taxes Online. (You will need your business license number and the FEIN/SSN that we have on file for your business.)
Richland County Business Handbook
The Business Service Center updated the Richland County Business Handbook. This easy-to-read Business Handbook describes the County’s various requirements to do business in Richland County. The County strongly urges all businesses - and their bookkeepers or accountants - to be familiar with these requirements to help ensure they are operating lawfully.
Currently Licensed Businesses*
NOTE! Please be aware that, for all businesses located in the non-city areas of Richland County: (1) all contracted businesses conducting activity (ex: lawn care, maintenance, security, etc.) at the business location, (2) all suppliers (businesses delivering to the business), and (3) all 1099 contractors working at the business location must have their own County business license in order to be operating lawfully.
NOTE! Please remember that all business licenses expire on Dec. 31. The deadline to renew is March 15. This list of licensed businesses is not updated until after the backlog of license applications have been completed, usually around mid-April. The list is then updated periodically through the year.
2020 licensed businesses, sorted alphabetically (as of 12/13/2020)
2020 licensed businesses, construction contractors only (as of 12/13/2020)
2020 licensed businesses, sorted by business type (as of 12/13/2020)
2019 licensed businesses, sorted alphabetically (as of 12/17/2019)
2019 licensed construction contractors (as of 12/17/2019)
Looking for a Licensed Contractor?
Whenever you are having work done on your home, it is always a good idea to make sure that any contractor you use is properly licensed by the State and by the County BEFORE they start work. There are several places to look for licensed contractors.
- To see if the company has a current Richland County business license, please scroll to the links above for Currently Licensed Businesses.
- The State Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation is the State agency that licenses contractors. If you are looking for a residential contractor, you may select either "Contractors - Commercial" or "Residential Builders" from the drop-down list, and enter the company's name or the owner's name.
- The Better Business Bureau, which has an Accredited Business Directory online, is another good place to check out a company.
- The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, which has a searchable Business Directory online, is yet another good place to look for a company.
Confused about Sales Tax Rates?
Knowing how much sales taxes to charge can be tricky. There are different kinds of taxes, charged in different situations, and different rates in different jurisdictions. Please see the Sales and Use Tax Chart showing the sales tax rates for different types of purchases in Richland County.
If you have questions about the local Hospitality Tax or the Local Accommodations Tax, please contact our office at email@example.com or at 803-576-2287.
If you have questions about the Transportation Penny Tax, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 803-766-5605.
If you have specific questions about the State sales tax or the State Accommodations Tax, please call the State Department of Revenue Sales Tax Division at 803-896-1420.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests
All FOIA requests should be submitted in writing to the Richland County Ombudsman's Office by mail at PO Box 192, Columbia, SC 29202 or by e-mail at Ombudsman@richlandcountysc.gov.
Please be advised - S.C. law provides that it is a crime to knowingly obtain or use personal information from a public body for commercial solicitation.
Location: - COUNTY OFFICES ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED!
1st floor of the County Administration Building
2020 Hampton Street, Suite 1050 (just inside the back door)
corner of Hampton and Harden Streets
- free parking is available in the parking lot behind the building
Mailing address: P.O. Box 192, Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: (803) 576-2287
Fax: (803) 576-2289
If you would like to anonymously report unlicensed businesses, please contact the Richland County Ombudsman's Office at 803-929-6000 or at Ombudsman@richlandcountysc.gov.
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM