January 23, 2020

Business licenses in South Carolina are a mess.

The process of filing local business licenses is a mess.

Across the state there is no consistency in either the forms or how to file them.

Small businesses are fed up with the confusion, wasted time and unnecessary administrative costs needed to comply with local business license requirements.

For 10 years the SC Small Business Chamber has advocated for one standard form and a government portal where all business licenses can be filed and paid online.

Today, nobody objects to this goal.  Big business, small business, local governments and legislators all agree that it is time to clean up the mess

A bill has been filed in the SC Legislature, H.4431, that can make this a reality.  A 3-hour subcommittee hearing was held yesterday. (See below instructions on how to watch that hearing and the testimony of the SC Small Business Chamber.)

There is only one BIG problem.

H.4431 also changes the way business income is counted to calculate the business license fee, a change that will likely result in higher business license taxes for small businesses.

The SC Chamber of Commerce and the SC Manufacturers Alliance say that if they don’t get what they want to lower the business license tax on big manufacturers, then small business won’t get the business license tax reform we want.  This controversial issue is unlikely to be resolved this legislative session meaning that the bill will die.

Small business is being held hostage by big corporations and big manufacturers in this legislative process. 

The House LCI ad hoc subcommittee working on H.4431 will meet again on February 5th.

They need to hear from small businesses.

Contact the House members below with this message:

Don’t let small business be held hostage to the fight between big manufacturers and local government on how to calculate the business license tax.  Remove this controversial issue from H.4431 and pass what small business desperately needs—a standard business license form and a government-run online portal to accept payments.

House Subcommittee Members:

The Honorable Craig A. Gagnon, Chairman: craiggagnon@schouse.gov

The Honorable Carl L. Anderson: carlanderson@schouse.gov

The Honorable Bart T. Blackwell: bartblackwell@schouse.gov

The Honorable William Scott Cogswell, Jr.: williamcogswell@schouse.gov

The Honorable Chandra E. Dillard: chandradillard@schouse.gov

The Honorable P. Michael “Mike” Forrester: mikeforrester@schouse.gov

The Honorable Joseph H. Jefferson, Jr.: josephjefferson@schouse.gov
The Honorable Russell L. Ott: russellott@schouse.gov

The Honorable L. Kit Spires: kitspires@schouse.gov

The Honorable McLain R. “Mac” Toole: mactoole@schouse.gov

To watch yesterday’s House hearing on H.4431, click here.  Then scroll down and click on:

Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 9:00 am
House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee — L.C.I. Business License Fees Ad Hoc Subcommittee

The testimony of the SC Small Business Chamber’s president starts at 1:57:54.

1717 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Scroll to Top