Business Licenses

Every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation, or profession referenced in whole or in part, within the limits of the town, is required to pay an annual business license fee based on gross receipts. A new business shall be required to have a business license prior to operation within the Town.  Business licenses are valid for one year, beginning June 1st and expiring on May 31st.  In summary, businesses with a physical location within the town, businesses located outside of town limits but providing goods or services within the town, and home offices located within town limits require a business license.

Vendors participating in special events also require a business license.  A special event license is available to businesses to operate for no longer that two days at town-sanctioned special events in the course of a business license year.  The Town Ordnance regarding such license can be found here.

The business license fee is calculated based on the applicable North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code, the Class Rate for your business activity, and your gross receipts.  For businesses that gross in excess of two million dollars ($2,000,000), declining rates are used based on the rates found here.  

Self-Service Portal through CitizenServe

You may now apply for a business license, renew or update your existing business license, or pay your hospitality tax online through our Self-Service Portal.  First-time users of the portal must first register.  Follow the Step-by-step instructions here to create an account.

For more information, please contact the Business License Office.

Hospitality Tax

For businesses engaged in the sales of prepared food and beverages, a 2% hospitality tax is required to be collected from the consumer and paid to the Town of Summerville by the 20th of each month.  Please follow this link for more information.

Temporary Locations

For business proposing to operate their business temporarily in town and do not have a permanent location, a temporary use permit is required (i.e. Christmas tree sales, fireworks stands, mobile food vendors, etc.). A business license will not be issued until the temporary use permit has been approved. Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department.

Non-Profit

Non-profit organizations may be exempt from the city’s business license fee. In order to determine if your organization is exempt, you must complete and submit a business license application and your documentation from the Internal Revenue Service as proof of your non-profit status.