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Greenville Business Magazine

City of Columbia Business License Division Extends Renewal Deadline

May 08, 2020 12:13PM ● By David Dykes

The city of Columbia's business license division, which remains closed to the public to minimize the spread of Covid-19, said the 2020 business license renewal deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 15.

City officials said all in-city businesses must submit a copy of their 2019 IRS tax return and paid business personal property tax receipt along with the 2020 business license renewal application.

For those who haven't filed a 2019 tax return, the officials said the following documents will be accepted:

o    Income Statement

o    Profit & Loss Statement

o    Sales & Use Tax Report (retail businesses only)

o    Prior Year 2018 IRS Tax Return (This is for estimates only. The 2019 tax return must be submitted once filed, and any necessary adjustments will be made prior to issuing the business license).

City officials also said penalties for current hospitality tax and tourism development fees have been deferred until June 30, 2020.

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

New businesses pay license fees on projected gross income from the start of business date through Dec. 31 of that year.

 To obtain a new business license, city officials said:

 A new business application must be completed and returned to the business license division via mail, email, fax, or drop box.

    • A copy of the application can be downloaded from the business license webpage under the link New Business License. 

If the business activity will take place in a commercial location within the city limits of Columbia, one or more of the following clearance approvals may be required:

    • Zoning - $10 zoning fee required
    • Building Inspection
    • Fire Marshall
    • DHEC
    • Engineering.

The approval time frame could vary up to 10 business days, city officials said.

 Once the business license application is complete, a staff member will contact the business owner to provide a payment invoice, the officials said. Payments can be made by mail or drop box.

 The business license will be issued once the payment is processed.

Due to modified operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be some delay in the processing of new business application, city officials said.