Welcome to West Columbia from the Mayor

On behalf of the City of West Columbia, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to you as you begin your new business venture. Thank you for choosing to do business in the City of West Columbia.

West Columbia is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. There has never been a better time to be here. Our city has experienced considerable growth over the past few years. Our water and sewer rates are among the lowest in the state, and City Hall is a “one-stop shop” for city services. The City of West Columbia promotes a strong pro-business, pro-growth environment, and yet maintains a friendly small-town feel.

We are investing in public spaces to enhance livability, walkability, and connectivity. Currently, we have two new parks under construction. Carraway Park, located across from the Riverwalk Park and Amphitheater, is designed to accommodate children of all abilities. The Interactive Art Park is located on Meeting Street and includes an open-air market for local artists and farmers, as well as permanent high-quality interactive art features. Both parks include substantial parking for visitors and businesses.

As your Mayor, I am committed to providing a safe, business-friendly environment so that your business may flourish and grow. City staff is willing and equipped to help you and your business with any problems or issues that may arise regarding the services we offer, from water and sewer services, to licensing, permitting, and more. We have enclosed many of the forms you will need to get started, along with important contact information. Please do not hesitate to contact our professional staff if you have any questions.

With kindest regards,

Mayor Tem Miles

We want your feedback!

To help us better serve you, please tell us about your experience opening a new business in the City of West Columbia.

Please complete a 2-minute survey at the following link:

Important Contacts

Business License Official, Ellen Ravenell…………………803-791-1880 Ext. 285, eravenell@westcolumbiasc.gov
Director of Planning and Zoning, Wayne Shuler……….803-791-1880 Ext. 186, wshuler@westcolumbiasc.gov
Building Official, Eric Williams………………………………803-791-1880 Ext. 286, ewilliams@westcolumbiasc.gov
Fire Marshal, Danny Roberts…………………………………803-608-6510, droberts@westcolumbiasc.gov
City Engineer, Andy Zaengle………………………………….803-791-1880 Ext. 625, azaengle@westcolumbiasc.gov
Director of Grants and Special Projects, Tara Greenwood….803-791-1880 Ext. 628, tgreenwood@westcolumbiasc.gov

Business License

All new businesses operating in the City of West Columbia must first obtain a business license. Applications can be submitted in person, mailed, emailed or faxed. The steps for applying for a business license are:

1. Submit the Zoning Compliance Application and the Business License Application to the Business License office. Staff will advise the applicant if a Hospitality Tax Registration form will need to be submitted
2. The Zoning Administrator reviews the application for compliance with the Zoning Ordinance. If there are any issues, the Zoning Administrator will contact the applicant for additional information.
3. Once approved by the Zoning Administrator, the applicant will be notified to schedule inspections by the Building Official and Fire Marshall.
4. After the inspections have been approved, the applicant will be contacted to schedule a time to pick up and pay for the business license.

There are specific uses that require additional documents before the business license can be approved. (Links to the forms are found on the right of this page.) The uses are as follows:
• Vehicle Sales
• Vehicle Service
• Tire Sales
• Tire Service
• Food Trucks

If you are applying for a business license for one of these businesses, in addition to the Zoning Compliance Application and the Business License Application, you will need to submit the Certification of Compliance for that use.

If you are applying for a Food Truck license, you will also need to provide proof of general liability insurance for the operation of the vehicle, and SCDHEC approval to operate.



The City of West Columbia, by Ordinance, requires every person engaging in business within the city limits to obtain a Business License. Renewals for previously licensed businesses are due April 30, 2021.

Penalties will be assessed for any business that fails to renew by the due date or otherwise operates without a license. Applications may be picked up from City Hall at 200 N. 12th Street, West Columbia, SC 29169, or by calling the Business Licensing Department at 803.791.1880 ext. 285.

The business license ordinance was updated on December 18, 2019.

What this means for businesses:

  • The new license year will run from May 1 through April 30 annually.
  • Ability to renew business licenses online.
  • The license tax will continue to be based on gross income from January 1 through December 31.

For questions regarding business license taxes and business classification, please contact the city treasurer’s office at 803-791-1880.  A copy of the ordinance can be viewed HERE.