Starting a New Business

When starting a business, there are many important decisions to make and many rules and procedures that must be considered. While there is no single source of information for starting a business, the following steps have been developed to assist you in starting your business. To get started, select your business type.

Step 1. Create a Business Plan

Small Business Administration (SBA): "Create Your Business Plan"

Step 2. Finance Your Business

Small Business Administration (SBA): Funding Programs

Step 3. Determine a Business Name and the Legal Structure of your Business

Small Business Administration (SBA): "Choose Your Business Structure"

Step 4. Choose a Location and Check Zoning Regulations

  • Before finalizing any location plans or lease agreements, contact the Town's Community Development Department to:
    • Determine if your location is zoned for your type of business and verify if any special regulations are required.

      Zoning Search

    • Obtain a home occupation permit if you plan to operate your business from home.

Step 5. Register Your Business

SC Department of Revenue

  • SC Retail Sales Tax License

Step 6. Get a Tax Identification Number

IRS: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online

Step 7. Register for State and Local Taxes

Step 8. Apply for a Business License

All businesses conducting business within the Town of Hilton Head Island, including home based businesses, are required to obtain a business license.

Apply for a Business License

Step 9. Obtain Building Permits and Other Approvals

Step 10. Other Permits and Licensing


Business Guide

Small Business Administration

SCORE SC Lowcountry