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South Carolina Department of Revenue

PO Box 125
Columbia, SC 29214-0850

Phone: 803-896-1350

Licensing (Retail License)​

A Retail License is not the same as a business license

The SCDOR does not issue business licenses. A business license​ is issued by the county where you conduct business, if that county requires you to have a business license. Please contact your local county office​ for questions about business licenses.​

This page provides licensing information for selling goods or services taxed under:

  • Sales & Use Taxes​ (For collection of retail Sales Tax, ​Accommodations Tax, Maximum Tax, Aviation Fuel Tax, and tax on products sold by artists and craftsmen.)
  • Miscellaneous Tax (For collection of Admissions Tax and taxes collected​ for Cigarette Tax Stamps & Other Tobacco Products)
  • Coin Operated Device

​   Click PAY ​before you go!

We will not process your ​Business Tax Application without your payment. (NOTE: Some Business Tax Accounts do not require a fee.)​

Licenses listed by tax type​

​The Business Tax Application allows you to apply for the following licenses:

You must pay a non-refundable fee to obtain a license​ listed below. These licenses do not expire, but you must update your license if your business location changes.
​Retail License
($50 non-refundable fee)
​Every person who engages in business in South Carolina as a retailer must obtain a Retail License before making any retails sales that is taxed as a Sales & Use Tax​. This includes internet sales and infrequent sales made in South Carolina. If you have more than one business location, you must have a separate Retail License for each location.

A Retail License may also be required for remote sellers, who are out-of-state retailers who have no physical presence in South Carolina if they meet certain requirements.

 Scroll to the bottom of this page to read frequently asked questions and their answers for Retail Licenses. You can also read more about Retail Licenses in SC Code, Section 12-36-510​​.
​Accommodations Tax License
($50 non-refundable fee)
​If you rent out rooms or spaces at hotels, campgrounds, boarding houses, mobile home parks, etc., you are required to obtain an Accommodations Tax License. The rental of transient accommodations is subject to a 2% Accommodations Tax in addition to the 5% Sales Tax, and any applicable local​ tax.

You are not required to obtain an Accommodations Tax License if you rent out rooms for more than 90 consecutive days. Sales become tax-exempt on day 91.
Maximum (Max) Tax License
($50 non-refundable fee)
Maximum Sales and Use Tax is reported and paid to the SCDOR. Max Tax items includes:
  • Aircraft, including unassembled aircraft which is to be assembled by the purchaser, but not items to be added to the unassembled aircraft;
  • Motor vehicle
  • Motorcycle
  • Boat
  • Trailer or semitrailer pulled by a truck tractor, horse trailers,
  • Recreational vehicle, including tent campers, travel trailer, park model, park trailer, motor home, and fifth wheel; or
  • Self-propelled light construction equipment with compatible attachments limited to a maximum of one hundred sixty net engine horsepower.
Items subject to an Infrastructure Maintenance Fee are exempt from the Maximum Sales and Use Tax. The Infrastructure Maintenance Fee is reported and paid to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
Artist & Craftsman License
($20 non-refundable fee)
​A​rtists, crafters​​, and hobbyists​ who participate as vendors only at craft shows and festivals ​ ​more than four times in a fiscal year, where they are selling products that they have created or assembled, must have an Artist & Craftsman ​License ($20) to charge and collect the 6% statewide Sales & ​Use Tax​ along with any applicable local taxes.

If they sell their products anywhere other than craft shows, events, or festivals, including online sales, they ​must have a Retail License ($50) as listed at the top of this chart.​

Artists, crafters​, and hobbyists who make sales at fairs, festivals, and carnivals no more than four times in a fiscal year no longer need to collect state Sales Tax or obtain a Retail License​.​ Learn m​ore​​

Aviation Fuel Tax
($50 non-refundable fee)
Retailers who sell aviation gasoline for use in airplanes must obtain an Aviation Fuel Tax​ license.​​
Please note which licenses require a non-refundable fee.
​Admissions Tax License
(No fee)
Admissions Tax must be collected by all places of amusement when an admission fee has been charged. The tax is 5% of the paid admissions. If you operate a place of amusement, you must obtain an Admissions Tax License. There is no charge for the Admissions Tax license. You may also be required to obtain a Retail License. Every person subject to the tax is required to complete and file an Admissions Tax Return.
Cigarette Tax Stamps & Other Tobacco Products License
(No fee)
The tax on cigarettes is paid with Cigarette Tax Stamps. The SC licensed distributor who first receives untaxed cigarettes for sale or distribution in South Carolina is liable for the $0.0285 tax rate on each cigarette. 

This tax applies to tobacco products, other than cigarettes, sold in South Carolina. All persons selling, purchasing, distributing or importing OTP in South Carolina are required to pay the tax. The tax is only paid once. If product is purchased from a licensed distributor, then the retailer would owe no Excise Tax. The rate on OTP is 5% of the manufacturer's price.
You must purchase an owner operator license in addition to license decals for each machine.​
​Coin Operated Device License
(See chart for non-refundable fees)
Every person who maintains or permits the use of a machine or device, operated by coin or thing of value, for the purpose of amusement must have a Coin Operated Device License​ and renew it every two years.
Owner Operator License
​Class A: Type 1 Machines
​Class B: Type 1 & 2 Machines
​Class C: All Types
​Eight Month
​Six Month
License Decals
​Type 1
​Type 2
​Type 3
​Eight Month
​Six Month

​​​​​Don't see the license you are looking for listed above?
Including Sales and Use Tax, SCDOR administers 72 taxes and fees. Our Tax Index​​ will point you to a tax-specific page with answers for licensing and filing requirements.​

Retail License: Frequently asked questions 

Need more help?

​​ ​Looking for information on Exemptions?
See our Sales & Use Tax Exemptions page​
Plan on hosting an event or attending an event as a vendor?​
Our Eve​nt Guide​ provides details on licensing and tax requirements.
Need more information on Ret​ail Licenses?​
Read SC Code, Section 12-36-510​
Want to learn more about using MyDORWAY?
Visit our MyDORWAY Help page