Aiken early participant in streamlined business license process

Navigating a local business license process can be daunting for business owners, especially for those who have transient companies, such as contractors, landscapers, and caterers that do business in different areas.  These companies often have to submit the same information to multiple jurisdictions. 

Now some South Carolina cities and towns, including Aiken and North Augusta, are taking steps to make a dent in the paperwork complexity by offering a standardized business license form. 

The Municipal Association of South Carolina partnered with several business organizations, including the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the Business Licensing Officials Association of South Carolina, to develop the new standardized application that a business can use in any jurisdiction that chooses to offer it. 

The one-page application, introduced in early March, contains all of the information most cities need to issue a license.  The business owner simply needs to complete one form and make copies for each jurisdiction when he applies for a license.  Originally developed with contractors in mind, the application allows cities to use the standard application for any type of business working in multiple jurisdictions. 

Thirty-five South Carolina cities and two counties have agreed to accept the new process so far; more are being added each week according to the Municipal Association. 

“This is good news for our business community,” said Charlie Hartz, owner, Dunkin Donuts of Aiken, and vice chair of Public Affairs for the Aiken Chamber of Commerce. “Business owners deal with multiple issues on a daily basis. The new standardized application will help alleviate some of those challenges for businesses that have to deal with multiple government jurisdictions,” Hartz said.  

Adopting the application is a local decision for each city to make, according to Scott Slatton, legislative and public policy advocate for the Municipal Association .  “While using the application is strictly voluntary, we encourage cities to adopt it as a way to reduce the paperwork burden on transient business, thereby making cities more business friendly,” Slatton said. 

The standard application does not relieve the business from complying with each city’s zoning or building requirements.

To learn more about the City of Aiken business license process, click here.

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