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Department of Revenue Collections
(Formerly known as Business License User Fee Department)

Contact Information, Office Hours
Functions, Department Responsibilities
FAQ's, Common Terms, History, Interesting Facts
Business License Ordinances
Renew a Business License

Functions

Field Operations
Office Administration
Legal Processing

The Department of Revenue Collections collects revenues totaling more than $59 million per year in the form of fees for accommodations, business licenses, solid waste disposal and hazardous material services. This Department also files legal actions against delinquent accounts and maintains bankruptcy files.

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This Department Does

dot  Collect accommodations fees for Charleston County and other governments
dot  Enforce and collect fees for business licenses for Charleston County and other municipal governments
dot  Assess, bill and collect fees for the disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and for the pickup and processing of recyclables
dot  Bill for and collect fees from businesses and industries for operation of the County's Hazardous Materials Division
dot  Maintain all bankruptcy files involving funds owed to Charleston County
dot  File legal actions against delinquent accounts and for non-compliance to collect unpaid fees
dot  Work with the Planning Department on zoning issues
dot  Collect hospitality payments for the municipalities of North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach..
dot  Collect streetscape assessments for the municipalities of Charleston and Mount Pleasant.

This Department Does Not

dot  Collect trash and garbage (See Solid Waste/Recycling)
dot  Collect sales taxes
dot  Register business trademarks or corporation applications
dot  Issue Employer ID numbers
dot  Issue contractor licenses (See Building Services)
dot  Issue alcohol, liquor or beer licenses

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I have my own septic tank, why do I have to pay the solid waste disposal fee?
A: The solid waste disposal fee covers the cost of disposing of household garbage and commercial waste. The fee also covers the costs of picking up, sorting and processing recyclable materials. While not all residents receive curbside recycling pickup service, drop sites are available to all County residents.
   
Q: Who is required to buy a business license?
A: According to County ordinance, "Every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation or profession . . . ." If one realizes any income from a business activity, excluding employment by others who hold business licenses, that person is required to purchase a license.
   
Q: Where can I get a business license?
A: To receive a first-time license, you should go to the Business License Office at the Charleston County Public Services Building.

Once you have obtained your initial license, you may renew it online with your Visa or MasterCard, or mail your renewal application and payment. Fill in all required information, including gross receipts, any deductions and the calculated license fee. You must sign and date the application.
Send payments to:
Charleston County Business License Department
4045 Bridge View Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405-7464
   
Q: When is my license renewal due?
A: The license renewal form and fees are due by January 31st of each year. January 31st is the last day to renew without penalties. If payment is received after this date, a 5 percent per month penalty will be assessed on the license fee due.
   
Q: Why can’t I apply for a new license online?
A: There are zoning regulations required for new businesses and a zoning permit must be obtained before a new license may be issued. You may contact the Planning Department for more details.
   
Q: How do I receive my license if I pay online?
A: After your payment has been processed, we will mail your license receipt for payment to the mailing address indicated on your account.
 

Please see additional questions here.

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Common Terms

HazMat Fee-- A user fee collected from local businesses and industries who use certain types and quantities of hazardous materials. Revenues are utilized to fund the County's Hazardous Materials Division (HazMat) which trains personnel, purchases emergency response equipment and improves response capability for accidents involving these substances.

Solid Waste Disposal Fee-- A fee charged to each resident and business in Charleston County for the disposal of trash and garbage and the collection and processing of recyclables.

Accommodations Fee-- A fee charged to those who use hotels, motels and other lodging establishments that rent accommodations to persons on a transient basis of 30 days or less. The fee is used to construct, improve and provide services or facilities available to tourists.

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History

In June 1987, the Business License Department was created with five employees. A citizen board, appointed by County Council, hears all appeals filed. The Department received $900,000 in business license fees its first year.

Through the years, the Department's responsibilities expanded to include the collection of Solid Waste User fees, Accommodation fees and Haz Mat fees. The Department's name was changed to Business License/User Fee. Now the Department collects more than $59 million each year and has 21 employees.

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Interesting Facts

dot  Fee and rate structure charts, along with their related ordinances, are available from the Department of Revenue Collections.
dot Since 1991, BLUF has received the National Association of Counties' Achievement Awards for:
- Mobile Home Inventory Control
- Automated Business License Audit Program
- Functional Consolidation of Business License Systems

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Contact Information
Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building
4045 Bridge View Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 202-6080
(843) 202-6066 (Fax)

Office Hours
Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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