Business Licensing

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We're glad you've chosen Rock Hill for your business location! All businesses operating or generating revenue in the City of Rock Hill are required to pay an annual license fee for the privilege of doing business in the City. If you are opening a new business, buying an existing business, or transferring a business to your ownership, you will need a new business license under your name, click on link below to begin. 

New! Online business license available.  We are no longer accepting paper applications.  Please visit our Online Services for Business Licensing to begin your online application.

Business License Renewals

All City business licenses expire on December 31; the deadline to renew without penalties is April 30. 

Annual license fees are based on the rate class associated with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the gross income for the business. You can find more information in the Business License Ordinance (Chapter 11), Rate Class Index and Fee Schedule - Appendix A - Chapter 11. You can also see our handout on How to Calculate a Business License Fee by Hand .

To renew online, you will need your application ID number to get started.  We will email you your application ID number to the email address linked to your business license account the first week in the New Year.  If your email has changed, please email us at businesslicense@cityofrockhill.com and provide your business name and contact information in the body of the email. We will gladly update your account.

Renew Annual business licenses by April 30 and pay online to receive a 5% discount and avoid any late penalties. Credit cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. (No processing or convenience fees) Please do not mail payment or attempt to pay online until you have received an invoice from us via email.

If you do not have access to a mobile device or computer, you may visit our kiosk in the Planning & Development Department located in Suite 300 on the 3rd floor of City Hall. 

    Rate Class Index   Rate Class Index         Business License Ordinance    Business License Ordinance    Frequently Asked Questions    Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Most cities and some counties in SC require a business license to be obtained for any business which is located in or doing business in their jurisdiction.  There is not one business license which covers a business for the entire state - each business will need to get one business license for each city and county the business conducts business in.  

  • Commercial Locations – You will need a business license and zoning approval. The Open for Business Program can assist you through this process.

  • Home-based Businesses - You will need a business license and zoning approval. The Open for Business Program can assist you through this process.

  • Outside City Limits - Businesses with a physical location outside of the City of Rock Hill's municipal limits are also required to have a business license if they engage in business activity within the city. An annual license must be current and active before you begin your work/project inside the city. Outside City businesses should renew their business license in the beginning of the year.  The annual business license fee is based on revenue that was collected inside the city in the previous year. 

  • Contractors Outside City Limits - Contractors with a physical business location outside the City have the option to obtain a "Per Job License" for projects they will be working on in the City that will cover their work for the duration of the project. Please provide a copy of your project contract or bid. If you do work frequently in the City, an annual license is available. Click link Online Services for Business Licensing to begin.

  • Commercial Photography - The commercial photography permit is for professionals who are paid to take photos and/or video. If you are simply taking photos of family and friends without being paid, the commercial photography permit does not apply. There is no fee for the commercial photography permit application, but if doing business in Rock Hill, a Rock Hill business license is required, as well as proof of business insurance. One-day business licenses are available for photographers whose office is physically located outside the Rock Hill city limits. Use Online Services for Business Licensing to begin your online application. To access the commercial photography/videographer permit application, please click on the link Commercial Photography/Videography Application & Guidelines.

  • Event Vendors - In order to conduct business in the City of Rock Hill, the vendor must obtain a City of Rock Hill business license. Click on Online Services for Business Licensing to begin your one-time event license web application. Special events are held on a regular basis in the City of Rock Hill and are sponsored by a variety of City departments and community groups. The event organizer is responsible for procuring vendors for the event, and must provide to the City a list of food and beverage vendors and event-related merchandise that will be sold during the event, as well as any electric or water needs for each vendor. The City requires this information 10 business days prior to the event. Special Event Ordinance (Sec. 26-13). For more information, please click on Special Events to visit website.

  • Hospitality Taxes - The City has a 2% Hospitality Tax that is required for businesses selling food and beverages prepared or modified for on-premises consumption. The tax is due on the 20th of each month.  You can view more information about the Hospitality Tax in the municipal ordinance. Link to access forms (click here) Business Tax Forms

  • Local Accommodation Taxes - The City has a 3% Accommodations Tax that is required for businesses providing short-term accommodations.The tax is due on the 20th of each month. Link to access forms (click here) Business Tax Forms