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Is there financing available to help small businesses?

August 20, 2013

There are a variety of financing options available to South Carolina small businesses depending on the business’ financial plans and goals. These options include debt financing, micro-loan programs, equity funding, and seed capital to name a few. For a comprehensive list of federal loan programs, regional and local government lenders, private equity investors and technical assistance providers see our South Carolina Small Business Lender Resource List.

Each case is different, so for further assistance and resources specific to your business’ financial needs, please contact our South Carolina Department of Commerce Small Business Development team.  Dottie Landry,, 803-737-0651.


I attended the Continental Tire Supplier Outreach Event in Sumter. I misplaced the flyer that had information to register my company as a potential supplier, is it too late for it to be done?

December 4, 2012
Donald Parler

Thank you for your interest in the Continental Tire project in Sumter, SC. It is not too late to submit your company’s information to the BuySC program as Commerce will be providing ongoing supplier development assistance to Continental. 


Click HERE, or type the following web address into your internet browser to fill out the BuySC Supplier Form:

You will receive confirmation that your submission has been received, and your company's information forwarded to Continental for review.

See the BuySC webpage to learn more about how Continental is working through the BuySC program.

What are NAICS and SIC codes?

November 16, 2012
Freda Amerson

Go to the following web address for a free, easy-to-use NAICS and SIC code search engine. Just type in your business product and/or service to identify the most appropriate/applicable classification.


For more in-depth information on NAICS codes, see the U.S. Census Bureau website that defines the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

How can I put together a business marketing stragey?

October 19, 2012
Kenneth Peterson

The following resource groups provide assistance with marketing plans, amongst other services. Each has offices around the state and will be able to direct you to the most appropriate place.


Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

1835 Assembly Street, Suite 1425

Columbia, SC 29201

Phone: (803) 253-3124

SCORE is a volunteer nonprofit association helping small businesses succeed. SCORE matches clients with the expert counselor best- suited to their needs. The SCORE counselors are current or former business owners and executives who have achieved high levels of success.


Find a local SCORE mentor and request small business advice by going to the national SCORE website. This site also contains valuable online small business resource materials.


South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

1705 College Street

Columbia, SC 29208

Phone: (803) 777-4907



The SBDC aims to advance the state’s economic development by helping entrepreneurs grow successful businesses. The SBDC provides confidential, one-on-one business consulting services at no charge and affordable educational programs for a small charge.

Is there a SCORE group in Oconee county? I am interested in being a mentor.

September 26, 2012
Rod Hamilton

The Piedmont SCORE chapter located in Greenville, SC serves the Tri-County area, including Oconee.

Piedmont SCORE

300 E. Washington Street Federal Bldg., Room B-02

Greenville, SC 29601

Phone: (864) 271-3638


Dave Eldridge, Counselor

Phone: (864) 719-0023

Cell: (727) 422-4459


What is score counseling? And should I do counseling before I attend any of the workshops that I find to be interesting in my future plans in business

September 18, 2012
Ida Bennett

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a volunteer, nonprofit association focused on helping small businesses succeed. SCORE, a division of the SBA, matches clients with an expert counselor best suited to their needs. SCORE counselors are current or former business owners and executives who have achieved high levels of professional success. SCORE provides free and confidential business counseling to both prospective and established small business owners and managers.


Counseling sessions are normally one hour long. At the first session, the counselor will work to understand your business and then provide appropriate guidance. Very few clients get all their answers in only one session. SCORE counselors will meet with you as frequently and for as long as you find meeting helpful. You can meet with a counselor (and not necessarily the same one) as often as you like for planning or any operation, management, or other business issues that may arise in the fuure.


Attending one of SCORE's low-cost or free educational business workshops is a good way to learn valuable information and techniques necessary for establishing and managing a successful business. SCORE workshops in South Carolina can be found on the SC Business Network Calendar of Business Events. Find a location near you by entering your zip code then select "Go".


Click here to find South Carolina SCORE Chapters


SCORE Online Workshops

How do I register my business for tax purposes?

February 21, 2012

To register for most common state business taxes, complete Form SCDOR-111, Business Tax Application, which can be obtained on the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) website, or by calling the SCDOR Forms Office at 803-898-5599. This form can be used to register for a retail license, a purchaser's certificate of registration, solid waste tax, business personal property tax and income tax withholding. Depending on the type of business, additional licenses or permits may be required. For an easy to use guide to the application process, please refer to South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS) DOR Filings. Additionally, DOR publishes a Buisness Tax Guide.


Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) are issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Go to the IRS website to apply for an EIN. Also, visit the IRS Small Business Tax Center website for a multitude of small business tax information, including 'how to' guides.

Where do I get a wholesale license to sell my products?

February 21, 2012

A wholesale transaction involves a sale to someone who will resell the property. Specific wholesale license requirements depend on the products a business sells. A few examples include:

  • The South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) issues wholesale licenses for tobacco and alcohol products.
  • The South Carolina Department of Agriculture issues wholesale egg licenses.
  • The Department of Plant Industry at Clemson University is the regulatory body responsible for licensing nurseries and wholesale of potted plants and flowers.

Where do I get a business license?

February 21, 2012

There is no statewide business license for the State of South Carolina. Business licenses are issued at the county or city/town level. All counties and cities vary in their requirements, so you should check with your particular county or city to get additional information.

Note: Only the following counties require a business license at the county level: Beaufort, Charleston, Dorchester, Horry, Jasper, Marion, Richland, Sumter.

What are the licenses and requirements for my business to sell at a special event (promotional show, trade show, fair, or carnival) in South Carolina?

February 21, 2012

A business engaging in a one-time special event in South Carolina is not required to have a license as long as the event operates for a period less than twelve (12) consecutive days. Retailers making sales at a special event are required to file a special events sales tax return with the South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR). The special event sales tax return may be used only for one special event and must be filed with DOR together with the tax due within five (5) days of the completion of the special event. However, the DOR may require payment upon demand. 'Special event' means any promotional show, trade show, fair, or carnival for which an admissions fee is required for entering the event.

The required special event sales tax return ST-3 can be found at this link DOR Sales Tax Forms.

Any business selling at more than one special event in South Carolina, or more than one at a time, must be licensed through the DOR. See this link for more information DOR Retail License requirements.

Does the Department of Commerce have funds for me to start a business?

February 21, 2012

No. While the Department of Commerce doesn’t have any funds or money for those starting a business, we do have a dedicated Small Business Development team that can assist with the start-up process by providing resources, including contacts for access to capital.

How do I protect my company name?

February 21, 2012

A business can register their name by organizing or incorporating under the laws of the State of South Carolina through the South Carolina Secretary of State. The forms required to file with the Secretary of State’s Office depend on the legal structure of a business. See the Library of Forms and Fees to find the proper form and filing fee for your business.

Registering with the Secretary of State protects your business name by preventing any other entity in the State of South Carolina from incorporating or organizing with a name that is identical to, or indistinguishable from, the name already on file.  

In order to know if a name is available for use, check the names of all entities registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office by searching their database (Search Business Filings).

To register your business online go to South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS) at SCBOS Secretary of State Filings. Create an online account and file the required forms for the same cost as directly filing with the Secretary of State.

For further questions about how to reserve or register a business name, contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 803-734-2158, or SCBOS hotline at 803-898-5690.

Note: Sole proprietorships and general partnerships do not have to file with the Secretary of State’s Office. Business corporations, nonprofit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies are the only business entities that must file with the Secretary of State’s Office.