Business License

The City-County Business License Office and staff will be unavailable on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. All staff will be in statewide training. We do apologize for the inconvenience. The office will reopen at 8:30 am on Thursday, March 7. You may leave a message at 803-774-1601. Thank you for your patience.


The Business License Department serves the City of Sumter and Sumter County. All operating businesses in the City of Sumter and Sumter County must possess a business license. The City and County renewals are mailed in February and due by the 30th of April. Renewals add a penalty of 5% beginning May 1st and an additional 5% beginning the first of each successive month. Applying for a license is completed in the Business License Department at 12 West Liberty Street.

  1. New businesses must complete an Application and the appropriate Clearance Form (home-based, commercial, food truck) which is sent to the planning department for approval from the Zoning Department. Commercial businesses will have to receive further approval from the Building Inspections Department and the Fire Department. Food trucks will have to receive further approval from the Fire Department. Nightclubs/bars will have to receive approval from the Police Department. There is a $50 non-refundable clearance form fee required for all new businesses, a change of ownership for an existing business, a change of addresses for existing businesses, and any addition to business descriptions for existing businesses.  
  2. If this is a home occupation, you need to provide us with a notarized letter from the person who is listed on the property records giving you permission to operate a business from this location. This statement needs to be signed and dated by the property owner. If the property is listed in your name, this letter is not required.
  3. Once the clearance form is received by the license department you will be notified to return and purchase your license.   
  4. Not sure if you have everything you need? Download this handy checklist!

If you have any questions about the application, please give our office a call. 

The License Department employs two licensed Inspectors. Inspectors are responsible for delinquent licenses, contacts with new businesses, and new constructions.

NOTE: Submission of a completed license application DOES NOT GUARANTEE that a license will be issued.

Download a Business License Application


Business License Clearance Form Procedures:

The Clearance Form appropriate for your business must be filled out completely by the applicant and returned to the Business License Department. (Note: incomplete form may result in nullification of form.)

  • A clearance form must be done for a change of ownership, change of location, and/or change of business activities.

  • The Clearance Form will be disbursed by the Business License Department to the Zoning Department, Building Inspector, Fire Inspector, and if applicable to the Health Department.   

  • Once the form has been returned to the Business License Department, you will be notified by this department as to the results of the clearance form.
  • If your form is approved, you will need to come in and complete the Business License application and pay the appropriate fees.   
  • If your form is disapproved, you will be notified and told which department disapproved of your request and who you may contact for additional information on their decision.

PLEASE NOTE: This procedure could take up to a week or more. Please be patient with us so that we may investigate your request properly and provide you with the correct information. If you have any questions you may contact someone in the Business License Department at (803) 774-1601.

Contractor Information:

All contractors local to Sumter will need to fill out a business license application and a clearance form (either home-based or commercial depending on where the office is located).

If you have questions regarding state licensing for contractors, cosmetologists, real estate, etc. please contact the Labor, Licensing & Regulations Department at (803) 896-4696 or visit their website at

Outside Services:
  • If you are trying to obtain a Retail License, Federal Tax ID number, or Liquor License, please contact the Department of Revenue at (803) 898-5000 or visit their website at
  • If you are trying to file for a Non-Profit Organization, Corporation or LLC, please contact the Secretary of State Office at (803) 734-2170 or visit their website at
  • If you need the Department of Health & Environmental Control to inspect, please contact your local office. For Sumter, please call (803) 773-5511 or visit their website at
  • If you are having trouble with a business & need to submit a complaint, please contact the Consumer Affairs/Better Business Bureau at (800) 922-1594 or visit their website at
  • See the Business License Checklist for everything you will need to apply for a new business.

 *To view a PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.