FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 Town limits of South Congaree, is required to pay an annual license fee for the privilege of doing business and obtain a business license. “Business” is defined as a calling, occupation, profession or activity engaged in with the object of gain, benefit or advantage, either directly or indirectly.
Do I need a business license?
Does your entity (person, partnership, organization, or business):
sell items to the public?
claim office deductions or business expenses for a commercial or a residential location?
use advertisements or business cards using an address based in the Town of South Congaree?
have a business checking account?
have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS?
have any other professional or occupational state license regulated by SC Labor, Licensing and Regulation (for example, architects, contractors, cosmetologists, engineers, physicians, therapists, etc.)?
operate, manage or have control of the entity?
receive compensation as an independent contractor and/or a form 1099 for work?
own and/or lease property to other businesses or individuals?
occupy a commercial space used for an office?
have a physical location outside of the Town of South Congaree and provide services within the Town limits of South Congaree?
have a physical location outside of the Town of South Congaree and perform work on or provide services to a construction project within the Town limits?
If you answered YES to any item listed above, then a business license is required. The Town of South Congaree requires all businesses operating within the Town limits, to obtain a business license and to pay a business license fee. This requirement ensures that businesses operating in the Town of South Congaree comply with local and state regulations.
Tax-exempt organizations may be exempt from requiring a license. Please provide proof of exemption.
How much does a business license cost?
The business license fee is determined by where the business is located (inside/outside Town limits) and the business’ gross receipts/income.
New businesses pay license fees on projected gross income from the start of business date through June 31st of that year. State law mandates that fees be paid on gross income without deductions for expense incurred for costs such as rents, salaries, cost of goods and other operational expenses.
Existing businesses must renew their business license annually. Renewal fees are based on the previous year’s gross income reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Businesses located outside the town limits South Congaree must report gross income exclusively for business conducted inside the town limits only.
What is “gross income”?
“Gross income” means the total income of a business, received or accrued, for one calendar year collected or to be collected from business done within the town, subtracting income from business done wholly outside of the town on which a license tax is paid to some other town or a county. Gross income is defined by ordinance to mean the total received from the business operation without deductions of goods, overhead or salaries. It should conform to the gross figure reported on the business federal income tax return defined by the IRS Code Section 61(a). See the (sample IRS tax ) forms to see which line item to report from your tax return.
Gross income for brokers or agents means gross commissions received or retained, unless otherwise specified. Gross income for insurance companies means gross premiums collected.
Gross income for business license tax purposes shall not include taxes collected for a governmental entity, escrow funds, or funds which are the property of a third party. The value of bartered goods or trade-in merchandise shall be included in gross income.
The gross income for business license purposes may be verified by inspection of returns and reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the South Carolina Department of Revenue, the South Carolina Insurance Commission, or other government agency.
Does a business license expire?
Yes, business licenses expire June 31st of each year. You will have until July 31st to renew your license the following year to avoid a 10% late fee per month after the due date.
Non-resident businesses must renew their license prior to conducting business in the new calendar year. If you do not intend to conduct business in the town limits, please indicate this on your renewal form.
If your business is closed, you may indicate this on your renewal form by noting this and the date the business closed.
Are any businesses exempt from obtaining a business license?
Yes, some businesses are exempt from business license fees, however the business or organization must still apply in order to obtain a compliance certificate. Please contact the Business License office at 803-755-2760 for more information about exemptions.
Do I have to display my business license?
Yes, the license should be displayed in a conspicuous place in the business establishment. A transient or non-resident business should carry the license upon his person or in a vehicle used in the business readily available for inspection by any authorized agent of the town. For companies with multiple vehicles, like contractors, it is recommended that each vehicle contain a copy of the license.
If I am buying a business that already has a business license, is a business license transferable?
No, the current ordinance states that business licenses are not transferable, and a transfer of ownership is considered a termination of the old business and the establishment of a new business requiring a new business license, based on the income of the old business. Before buying a business make sure that the old business complies with the Current town ordinances.
What should I do if I sell or close my business?
You should notify the business license office by completing the Business Change/Closure Form to make the town aware that your business closed or was sold to another business or individual. Include the name of your business, physical location of your business, date sold or closed, and the business license account number located on your printed license. Your form should be signed and dated.
Is there anything I need to do if my business location or activity changes during the year?
If your business moves to another location or the activity of your business changes, you should notify the Town of South Congaree by email or mail immediately. A change in business activity may need to comply with building code or zoning code regulations.
A change of address must be reported to license official within ten (10) days after the business moves to its new location. The license will then be valid at the new address after notifying the license official in writing and complying with zoning and building codes and approval of other departments as determined by the license official. Without this written notification, the existing business license is terminated, the business will be deemed as operating without a business license and subject the licensee to prosecution.
Do I need a separate business license for each location and for each type of business activity?
Yes, a separate license is required for each place of business and for each classification. If the gross income cannot be separate for classifications at one location, the license fee shall be computed on the combined gross income for the classification requiring the highest rate.
If I am working for someone who has a business license already, do I need a business license?
If you are not on that company’s payroll with taxes deducted out of your paycheck and you receive a 1099 form instead, then you are considered self-employed and a business license is required.
How do I register the name of my business?
You may contact the Secretary of State office to verify if anyone has incorporated the name you would like to use and inquire about the laws governing this issue.
How do I find out in which licensing jurisdiction my business is located?
You can use our online Lexington County Parcel Viewer (http://lexcogis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Solutions/s2.html?appid=93223c31eb2e46578b38e7bfd7af06bc ) to find your jurisdiction. On the right side of the screen, use the search bar to enter the address (Omit road, street lane etc.) and click "enter".
If your business is inside town limits, you should see "(2-E)" in the Tax District column.
If you need help, please email the Town Hall for assistance: email@example.com
Are there any other business taxes required in the Town?
At this time the Town of South Congaree does not have a Hospitality tax or Accommodations tax. The SC Dept. of Revenue also requires an Accommodations Tax. For more information visit www.sctax.org or www.scbos.sc.gov.
If you have any questions please visit our town hall at 119 West Berry Road, West Columbia, South Carolina 29172 or e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.