Starting A Business

Are you planning to start a business in Central? We are pleased to have your new business in our town. 

Please be aware there are four different levels of government to consider: federal, state, county, and city/town. Each level of government has its own requirements for businesses to operate and may include different kinds of fees, taxes, licenses, and/or permits. 

If you are just starting on your journey as a small business owner, the following resources are available to assist you:

Clemson Small Business Development Center:

SC Small Business One Stop:

South Carolina Government:


The following steps are required for in the town of Central. This list is not exhaustive, and depending on your situation, other requirements may apply. 

1. Have you verified the address where you plan to set up your new business and completed leasing/purchasing requirements? 

This is a required before you begin to apply for permits.

2. Have you confirmed that the zoning and available parking on the site are suitable for your business?

3. If you're planning to build or make renovations to an existing building, have you received a building permit?

Commercial building permits can only be issued to properly licensed contractors the State of South Carolina. The following steps are typically handled by your contractor:

3A. Submit building renovation plans to the Building Codes office at City Hall. City staff will review the plans, and based on code requirements, will either approve them or request that you make some changes. Staff will issue a building permit once all building code and zoning requirements have been met.

3B. Acquire plumbing, heating, air conditioning and gas permits if building or renovation plans will require alterations of these systems.

4. Have you applied for a sign permit?

You must have a sign permit before you can erect any signs at your address.

5. Has your contractor requested all of the required inspections throughout the construction process?

Inspections are conducted over the course of construction and a final inspection is required once building renovations are completed. Your contractor is responsible for ensuring that all inspections are requested in the proper sequence. Your contractor must request inspections in advance.

6. Have you applied for a Certificate of Occupancy?

Once your building passes all inspections you will need a Certificate of Occupancy. A separate inspection is required for issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy. Normally this application and request for inspection is handled by the tenant or business owner. 

7. Have you applied for a business license?

You must have a business license to operate your business in Central.

Fees for business licenses vary according to the type of business you are operating. Some businesses are required to have a background check on all owners, officers and managers of the business. This requirement will add additional time to your business license process and must be completed prior to applying for and obtaining a license for these types of businesses.


To obtain any business-related license or permit, please visit City Hall, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. Additional information on any of these processes can be found by inquiring at: