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​​The SCDOR wants you to know about these common mistakes before you submit your special event application on MyDORWAY
SCDOR Tax Tips 

​​What you nee​d to know:

Last year, the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) issued 4,414 alcohol licenses for special events. Though most of those were processed without a hitch, mistakes on applications can slow down processing, potentially even preventing the applicant from receiving their license in time for their event.  

With that in mind, the SCDOR wants to highlight several common mistakes to avoid when submitting your special event application.

Before you begin the ABL application, visit our recently upgraded Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) webpage, which provides general information about the ABL application process and the qualifications for each license. Keep in mind that there are three different special event licenses, so be sure to visit the ABL license directory to learn about each and make sure you apply for the one you need.

When you're ready to apply, we recommend using our free online tax portal, MyDORWAY. It's faster and easier than completing a paper application and results in fewer errors. Plus, you don't have to worry about mail processing or making a trip to one of our offices.

Also, make sure to include all supplemental forms when submitting your application, including a criminal record check and, if your event has multiple vendors, a map of the entire area identifying your location and the locations of other vendors. If you're unsure which supplemental forms are required, visit our ABL license directory, click the link for the special event license you need, and review both the License requirements and Required forms sections. Missing supplemental documents are one of the primary causes of delayed special event license processing.

Here are some additional tips to know to make your application process as smooth as possible:

Make sure you're applying for the licenses you need.

  • Only nonprofit associations, organizations, or corporations chartered by the SC Secretary of State's Office as a charity or nonprofit organization may apply for a Liquor Special Event Permit or Special (Donated) Nonprofit Event Permit.
  • A Liquor Special Event Permit only allows the sale of liquor by the drink. You also need a Beer & Wine Special Event Permit to sell beer and wine at your event.


Take note of unique Special (Donated) Nonprofit Event Permit requirements.

  • This permit is required to accept the donation of beer, wine, and liquor. If only a portion of the alcohol you are selling is donated, you may purchase alcohol only from a licensed SC wholesaler.
  • This permit cannot be issued for a period longer than 72 consecutive hours.
  • Organizations may obtain no more than four Special (Donated) Nonprofit Event Permits in a calendar year.


All special event license applicants should be aware of this information.

  • No matter which special event license you're applying for, you're required to submit your application at least 3 days prior to the beginning of your event.
  • Special event license holders are required to have a Retail License or an Admissions Tax License, or both, before applying for their special event license. The SCDOR processes most Business Tax Applications within 7-14 business days. Visit for more information about the licenses you need.
  • If applying for a Beer & Wine Special Event Permit or a Liquor Special Event Permit, you must notify SLED at least 24 hours prior to your event by emailing them at Copy on your email, which should include your name, your organization's name, and the type, address, date, and time of your event. 
  • Do not apply for a special event license for a location that has a pending application for a permanent beer, wine, or alcoholic liquor license or permit.
  • Special event licenses are for a specific location only. Once your location has been approved by the SCDOR, you cannot transfer the license to another location; you must apply for a new license for that location.
  • License holders must purchase beer, wine, and liquor from a licensed SC wholesaler. “Wholesale club" retailers such as Sam's Club and Costco are not licensed SC wholesalers.

Stay connected
Alcohol Beverage Licensing customers can get the latest ABL news and updates delivered straight to their inbox by signing up for the SCDOR's A​BL mailing list.

Connect with the SCDOR on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube and subscribe to ReveNews to stay up-to-date with the latest news, tax tips, and available resources.


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