Business License Office
The Business License Office, a division of the Finance Department, assists the local business community with the highest quality of customer service. We facilitate the issuance of business licenses, event licenses, food truck permits, and the collection of hospitality and accommodations fees.
Any business physically located within the City of Beaufort (resident) is required to obtain a business license. All nonresident businesses that conduct business within the City of Beaufort must also obtain a business license.
How to get a business license
The attached flow chart explains the process involved in getting a business license: Flow chart PDF
Business license tax
South Carolina State Law §5-7-30, and City ordinance, provides for the assessment of a business license tax against the gross income of business operations. This tax is an excise tax. The City of Beaufort assesses the tax based on the business classification according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Taxes are applied to all businesses operating in the City, including those businesses whose operations are based outside the City limits.
All businesses serving prepared foods are required to assess a hospitality fee to customers. There is a 2% local fee imposed by the business on each customer for the purchase of prepared foods or beverages. This 2% hospitality fee is then reported and paid monthly to the Business License Office.
A 3% local fee is imposed by the business on each customer's nightly accommodations provided by hotels, motels, inns, beds and breakfast, etc. This 3% accommodations fee is then reported and paid monthly to the Business License Office.
- Who is required to purchase a business license?
- I live in the City of Beaufort, but I work from home, what type of license do I need?
- Are there any other special requirements for a business license?
- Are commercial and residential contractors required to be licensed in your city?
- Are there any other applicable fees?