Starting a Business

City Requirements

Business Licenses

The City of North Charleston business license ordinance requires every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation or profession, in whole or in part, within the corporate limits of this city to pay an annual license fee and obtain a business license.

Zoning Verification

You must verify that your business type and operation is allowed within the designated parcel in which you wish to do business.


The City of North Charleston requires a number of permits pertaining to construction, renovations, and modifications to buildings.

Building and Fire Inspections

Before you can begin to operate your business, you must ensure that the all building and fire codes have been met, in order to ensure the safety of the public.

Food Handling businesses

If your business will be handling food for public consumption, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control requires certian permits.


The signage on your property and on the outside of your business must meeting city requirements.

Construction or improvements to your business

If you are making physical improvements to the location in which you will be conducting business, building permits are required to ensure proper and safe construction.

Transient merchants and vendors

Roadside vendors and mobile businesses are required to receive a special permit before conducint business in North Charleston.

State Requirements

Visit the Small Business Charleston Resource Network

Federal Requirement

Visit the Small Busines Charleston Resource Network