Business Licenses FAQ

Call Us at 843-280-5585
The information included in this section may never have all of the information that you need or answer every question that you may have. The City Staff is available to assist you with any questions or information you need concerning business license. Our number is 843-280-5585.
What is a Business License?
A business license is an excise tax levied on the privilege of doing business in the City of North Myrtle Beach and the value of that privilege is measured by a business’ gross income. Even though it is measured by gross income, a business license is not a sales, property or income tax.
What gives the City the right to require a Business License?
South Carolina Code, Section 5.7.30, authorizes municipalities to levy a business license tax based on a business’ gross income.
Who is required to have a Business License?
Any business physically located within the City of North Myrtle Beach (In-town business) is required to have a business license. Additionally, any business that is located outside of the city of North Myrtle Beach (Out-of-town business) but comes into the city to do business is also required to have a business license.
What is the difference between an In-town Business and an Out-of-town Business?
In-town businesses are businesses that are physically located inside the city of North Myrtle Beach and their business license fee is based on 100% of the gross income generated at their location.
Out-of-town businesses are businesses that are located outside the city of North Myrtle Beach but come into the city to do business. Their business license fees are based on gross income generated within the city, but at double the rate of an in-town business.
How do I apply for a Business License?
You may request an application by mail or fax, or pick one up in the Business License Office at 1018 2nd Ave S.
How much does a business license cost?
The business license fee is calculated based on gross income and the type of business. Our staff will be glad to assist you in determining your specific classification and resulting fee.
You may receive an application by mail, fax or at our office at 1018 2nd Ave S.
How long is a business license good?
Business licenses are valid from May 1 to April 30 each year. Renewals are mailed out the middle of March and due back in our office by April 30th.
What if I refuse to purchase a license?
In cases where an individual refuses to purchase a license, a Uniform Summons to appear in Municipal Court is issued and the case is heard before the municipal judge. Failure to purchase a business license can result in court costs and fines up to $1088.00 and/or 30 days in jail. The court fine is in addition to all business license fees and penalties.
What are the penalties for businesses operating prior to getting a business license?
To avoid penalties, a business must obtain a business license prior to opening to the public. If a business has been in operation without a business license, it could be subject to fees and penalties for a period of up to 3 prior years in addition to the current year.
What are the penalties for businesses that are late renewing their business license?
Business license renewals postmarked May 1 or later by the U.S. Postal Service will be assessed a 5% penalty. This penalty will increase 5% each month.
Can business license penalties be waived?
Per City ordinance, and in compliance with the equal protection clauses of the South Carolina and United States constitutions, business license officials are not permitted to waive penalties under any circumstance.
Will the business license fee always be the same?
No. By state law, business licenses are based on a business’ gross income. A business’ first business license fee will be based on a reasonable estimate of gross income from the start of operation to April 30th. The base business license fee covers $2,000 of gross income. After a business’ initial business license, subsequent licenses will be based on actual gross income from the previous year.
What do I do if I have a change in FIN/EIN/SSN due to business restructuring or purchase of the business?
If a business restructuring occurs, the ownership structure of an existing business changes from/to sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, LLP, partnership or any other form of ownership, and there is no purchasing of the assets of the existing licensed business, a new business license is not necessary. However, we do require the Business License office, in writing, of the change so that we may update the information in our system.
If an ownership change occurs or a new business purchases the assets of an existing business resulting in a FIN/EIN/SSN change, a new business license is required.
If you have any questions regarding business restructuring and ownership changes please contact the Business License office at 843-280-5585.
Can I operate two types of businesses under one license?
If a business conducts more that one type of business from a single location, each business is classified separately. It is not unusual for one business to have more that one license. Examples include wholesale and retail within the same business operation or a hotel with a restaurant at the same location. In both cases, the revenue is separated into each type of business and a separate license is required.
Can other people operate under my license?
Any W-2 employee can operate under your business license. Any 1099 or subcontractor must have their own separate business license. This would include subcontractors working for a general contractor, janitorial services, caters, etc., that are hired by you to perform work on your behalf or for you. Just remember that is the person or company is not on your payroll with all State and Federal taxes taken out, they need their own license.
Are there any other requirements to get a business license?
You need to make sure you have all proper state licenses (contractor, specialty, ABC, retail licenses, etc.) prior to applying for a City of North Myrtle Beach business license. Contractors wishing to operate within the City of North Myrtle Beach will be required to provide the city with their S.C. State Contractors or Home Builders license numbers before obtaining a City business license.
Who establishes the amount of the business license fee?
City Council
How is gross revenue defined?
All revenue received from a business operation without any deductions for cost of goods sold, salaries, or cost of sales. It should conform to the gross income reported for state and federal income tax purposes.
What do I get from the business license fees that I pay?
A business license fee enables essential services such as fire protection, street and sidewalk maintenance, parks and recreation programs, code enforcement activities and building inspections. Funding from this fee ensures quality service to the residents and business owners located in the city, as well as to business owners coming into the city to conduct business. These revenues help ensure a high quality of life, which in turn helps create a desirable and prosperous business environment in the City of North Myrtle Beach.