Start here to find the contacts, resources, forms, links and education tools you need to plan your business, get it started or expand it.

First Steps to Start Up

Register Your Business

SC Secretary of State is responsible for business filings.

Get a Location Permit

Validate the use of property by contacting:

Zoning: 803.545.3333
Planning: 803.545.3488

Get a Business License

Obtain a business license as well as a multitude of other services:

License: 803.545.3345

Search Your Address

Ensure your location is within city limits. City Information Viewer provides you basic zoning information about your location.

Innovate Columbia

From the first inklings of an idea to mature companies looking to expand, there are dozens of programs, places, and people here ready to help entrepreneurial businesses take the next step in their journey.

Office of Business Opportunities (OBO)

Committed to supporting initiatives that benefit small, minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses that are doing business or want to locate in Columbia, this city office provides creative financing, technical assistance, and capacity building for entrepreneurs.


Business experts, executive mentors, and other partners are resources in this network. Also provides links to universities, economic development organizations, and incubators.

SC Business One Stop

Free government-provided online source for connecting with all state agencies. Provides assistance for starting, running, expanding or relocating a business.


Free, confidential advice from mentors who are retired or semi-retired executives and business owners. Also provides workshops on marketing, accounting, finance, and management. Online library with free business templates, guides, and blogs.

Small Business Development Center

To advance South Carolina’s economic development by helping entrepreneurs grow successful businesses.

Business Resources

Business Plan


Have a Business Idea?

SC Business Directory