Our work is reader-supported, meaning that we may earn a commission from the products and services mentioned.

How To Register For A South Carolina Retail License

How To Register For A South Carolina Retail License

Advertising Disclosure


How To Register For A South Carolina Retail License

Most businesses starting in South Carolina selling a product or offering certain services will need to register for a Retail License. This is commonly referred to as a seller’s permit, sales tax permit, sales tax license, sales tax number, or sales tax registration.

The Retail License is obtained through the South Carolina Department of Revenue as part of the South Carolina Tax Registration Application. This application also registers for the Artist and craftsman’s License, Use Tax, and Withholding Tax.

Check out the rest of this guide to find out who needs a Retail License, what products and services are taxable, how to register for a permit, and reporting requirements.

Also See: Guide to starting a business in South Carolina

Who needs a Retail License in South Carolina?

A business must register for a Retail License in South Carolina when:

  • A business has an economic nexus or sales tax nexus. Economic nexus means having a physical presence in the state, such as having a physical location like a retail store or office or using a warehouse or fulfillment center to store inventory.
  • Selling products and taxable services in the state of South Carolina (includes occasionally selling items at craft shows, fairs, seminars, shows, etc.). People selling at flea markets do not need a retail license unless they are in the business of selling at these events more than once a calendar quarter.
  • Hiring employees who work in South Carolina (including sales representatives or agents) are working in South Carolina
  • An online business located in South Carolina is selling taxable products to South Carolina residents
  • A remote seller making total annual sales of taxable products and services of over $100,000 to South Carolina residents.

What products and services are taxable in South Carolina?

Physical products

There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in South Carolina. Common examples include:

  • General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
  • Titled or registered items like vehicles

Prescriptions, medical devices, and unprepared foods are tax-exempt. See the full list of sales tax exemptions in South Carolina.

Labor, in most cases, isn’t taxable in South Carolina. For instance, let’s say you broke the screen of your cell phone and took it to a cell phone repair shop to have it fixed. The sales tax would be added to the selling price of the new screen and any additional parts to fix the phone. The labor to replace the screen isn’t taxable. However, a business that makes furniture will indirectly have a sales tax on labor. In this instance, let’s say this business is building a dining room table for a customer. Through labor, the pieces of wood are shaped, sanded, and painted to build this piece of furniture. While the labor isn’t directly taxable, sales tax is charged to the final selling price of the table.

Digital Products

Digital products are tax-exempt in South Carolina.


Even though the license is called a Retail License, the license itself applies to sales tax law. Most services aren’t taxable in South Carolina, however, there are a few exceptions, some of which include:

  • Short-term lodging
  • Dry cleaning and laundry services
  • Shoe repair services
  • Jewelry repair services

See the full list of sales taxes on services.

How to register for a Retail License in South Carolina

A Retail License can be obtained by registering for the South Carolina Tax Registration Application through MyDorway or by mailing in Form SCDOR-111.

Information needed to register includes:

Sales tax reporting

How is sales tax collected?

When a business sells a taxable product or service, it charges the appropriate sales tax rate to the customer. The business collects this tax, which it then sends to the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

How much is sales tax in South Carolina?

If the purchase is made at a store or in a mobile location, the sales tax rate varies depending on where the sale took place in South Carolina. In addition to the statewide sales tax, cities and municipalities may add additional sales taxes. When shipping in-state, the sales tax is based on the purchaser’s address.

To find sales tax rates, see the sales tax rates by zip code from the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

When are South Carolina sales tax returns due?

The Department of Revenue will determine a filing frequency based on the expected sales volume, which will be monthly, quarterly, or annually. Generally, a business collecting over $100 in sales taxes each month will file monthly.

Filings are due on the 20th day of the month following the reporting period unless the 20th falls on a weekend or federal holiday, which would move to the next business day.

Even if the business had no sales during the reporting period, a filing indicating no sales is still required.

South Carolina Retail License FAQs

How much does a South Carolina Retail License cost?

A registration fee of $50 is charged to get a Retail License in South Carolina, $50 for each location.

How long does it take to get a South Carolina Retail License?

Expect 2-3 business days to receive a Retail License when registering online or 1-2 weeks when applying by mail.

Do you have to renew your South Carolina Retail License?

The Retail License is a one-time registration, provided the business’s ownership and location don’t change.

Is a business license the same thing as a sales tax license?

No – A business license and a sales tax permit are not the same thing. Here’s how they differ:

A business license gives you the right to operate your business in a specific area, while a sales tax permit allows you to collect sales tax from your customers on behalf of the state.

In many cases, a business will need both.

Related: What business licenses are needed in South Carolina

How do I get a wholesale license in South Carolina?

A business can purchase items to resell without paying state sales tax. The tax liability is passed from the wholesaler or distributor to the retailer, who will then charge sales tax to the end-user of the item.

Wholesalers and distributors will require a sales tax number. In many cases, they require the reseller to fill out a South Carolina Resale Certificate (also referred to as a sales tax exemption certificate) to document that the items being purchased are for resale.

If you have questions about the Retail License, the South Carolina Department of Revenue has a Sales and Use Tax FAQ page, or they can be contacted by calling 44-898-8542 or emailing registrationfortaxes@dor.sc.gov.

Regional service centers are also available to talk in person

1 Southpark Circle, Suite 100
Charleston, S.C. 29407
Phone: 843-852-3600

Columbia (main center)
300A Outlet Pointe Boulevard
Columbia, S.C. 29214
Phone: 803-898-5000

1452 West Evans Street
Florence, S.C. 29502
Phone: 843-661-4850

545 North Pleasantburg Drive, Suite 300
Greenville, SC 29607
Phone: 864-241-1200

Myrtle Beach
1330 Howard Parkway
Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29588
Phone: 843-839-2960

Rock Hill
454 South Anderson Road
Business and Technology Center, Suite 202
Rock Hill, S.C. 29731
Phone: 803-324-7641

How To Register For A South Carolina Retail License

How To Register For A South Carolina Retail License

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some (but not all) of the links on StartUp101.com are affiliate links. This means that a special tracking code is used and that we may make a small commission on the sale of an item if you purchase through one of these links. The price of the item is the same for you whether it is an affiliate link or not, and using affiliate links helps us to maintain this website.

StartUp101.com is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Our mission is to help businesses start and promoting inferior products and services doesn’t serve that mission. We keep the opinions fair and balanced and not let the commissions influence our opinions.