Business LicenseBusiness License

The Business License department is responsible for processing Business License applications, renewals, and appeals for businesses operating within the unincorporated areas of Horry County.


Functions

Responsible for processing Business License applications, renewals, and appeals for businesses operating within the unincorporated areas of Horry County. These business licenses are regulated by the applicable state codes and county ordinances and serve to raise revenue through a privilege tax.

Ordinances
Documents

Who Needs an Horry County Business License

An Horry County Business License is required of every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation or profession within the unincorporated areas (outside the city limits) of Horry County. Application for the business license and payment of the fee is required prior to commencement of work. Penalties apply for late submission of application. The license year is May 1st through April 30th (for a new business from the start date through April 30th).

Businesses with multiple locations require a separate license for each location. A business owner with one location having several similar or like business operations may have one license but the fee will be calculated based on the highest rate applicable to any operation.

Any individual or business renting real estate should contact the Business License Office to verify if a license is required. All short term rentals (90 days or less) are subject to the Hospitality Fee. Contact the Hospitality Department at (843) 915-5620.

Businesses intending to sell fireworks must first obtain the annual State Board of Pyrotechnic Safety License and meet all regulations pursuant to the provision of Regulation 19-504, SC Code of Laws for 1976. Prior approval is required of the Horry County Police Department as governed by regulations of the State Fire Marshal pursuant to the 1976 Code, Chapter 35 of Title 23.

Any person or business leasing space for the sale of merchandise from an established business shall be required to have a business license, whether or not the sales are made through a central cash register. Examples would include a flea market or antique store.

Amusement Machines and billiard/pool tables are charged a separate licensing fee.

How to Apply for a New Business License

If the business is located in the unincorporated area of Horry County zoning compliance documentation must first be obtained from the Zoning Department located in the Government & Justice Center, 1301 Second Avenue, Conway, SC. Telephone: 915-5340.

The license year is May 1st through April 30th (for a new business from the start date through April 30th). Fees are not pro-rated.

How to Renew an Existing Business License

The due date for renewing a business license is April 30th. The County may, but shall not be required to, mail written notices that license fees are due. If notices are not mailed there shall be published a notice of the due date in the newspapers of general circulation within the County three (3) times prior to the due date in each year. Beginning May 1st a 5% penalty will be applied each month. If the license is not renewed by September 30th a $100 reinstatement fee will be charged in addition to the 30% penalty. The license year is May 1st through April 30th (for a new business from the start date through April 30th)

Denial of a Business License Application

All business license applications must go through an approval process. If the application is denied, the business will receive a letter explaining what department has denied the license and what corrective action is required. Contact the appropriate department listed on the reverse side of the denial letter for details regarding the denial. Businesses are allowed 30 days from the date of the denial letter to resolve the denial. After 30 days a $100 reapplication fee will apply. When the denial has been resolved and any additional penalty has been paid, the Horry County Business License will be mailed to the address listed on the application. If a business license application has been denied the business may appeal the decision to the Board of Fee Appeals by written request. Business License denials based on zoning issues must be brought to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Change of a Business Location or Mailing Address

All business license applications must go through an approval process. If the application is denied, the business will receive a letter explaining what department has denied the license and what corrective action is required. Contact the appropriate department listed on the reverse side of the denial letter for details regarding the denial. Businesses are allowed 30 days from the date of the denial letter to resolve the denial. After 30 days a $100 reapplication fee will apply. When the denial has been resolved and any additional penalty has been paid, the Horry County Business License will be mailed to the address listed on the application. If a business license application has been denied the business may appeal the decision to the Board of Fee Appeals by written request. Business License denials based on zoning issues must be brought to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Business Closure or Transfer of Ownership

The business owner or representative must send a Business Closure Statement to the Business License Office in order to officially close the business license account. The closure statement can also be found on the back of the business license renewal application. Please note, if the business has a Federal ID number or FEIN, files tax returns under that number and is located and/or operating in the unincorporated area of Horry County then the business is required to keep a current Horry County License.

In the event of a sale or transfer of ownership, the new owner(s) has 30 days from the purchase date to transfer a business license. A $50 transfer fee is required along with a completed business license application containing the new owner's information. The business license must be current in order to transfer.

Business License Inspection and Audits

To insure compliance with the Business License Ordinance all businesses are subject to periodic inspection. In the event an inspection or audit reveals that inaccurate information has been filed by the licensee, an assessment for the correct fee and applicable penalties will be issued to the business. The business may appeal the decision to the Board of Fee Appeals by written request (see below).

Board of Fee Appeals

Any person aggrieved by a decision, final assessment, revocation, suspension, or a denial of a business license may appeal the decision by written request stating the reasons therefore filed, within ten (10) days after payment of the assessment under protest or notice of denial is received. A written notice of appeal must be accompanied with a $25 fee. The fee will be refunded in the event the final resolution of the appeal is in favor of the appellant. The Board of Fee Appeals hearings are held monthly.

Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA)

Businesses or individuals with a Freedom of Information Act request should submit a FOIA request to the Public Information Department.

All financial information is confidential and deemed exempt from disclosure. Submit requests to the Public Information Department by e-mail, Facsimile, mail or in person. The FOIA form and all information about it can be found on their website under “FOIA Requests-Standard Request Form”. The total fee due will be provided by the Public Information Department and must be paid with cash or certified funds prior to releasing the information.

Public Information

Department Well

Department Head
Barry Spivey
Contact
Phone: (843) 915-5620
Fax: (843) 915-6220
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1275
Conway, SC 29528
Physical Address
211 Beaty Street
Conway, SC 29526
Office Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday through Friday

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