Business Planning

Starting a business may appear to be a difficult undertaking, but the City of Spartanburg's Economic Development Department has streamlined and simplified the process. In Spartanburg, our goal is to help entrepreneurs move from the planning phase to a grand opening as quickly as possible.

Our New Business Guide and the checklist below are resources that outline some of the most important steps. However, it's important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and depending on your situation, other requirements may apply. Contact our team and we will work with you to develop a startup checklist unique to your business idea.

New Business Requirements Checklist

1. Contact the Planning Department (596-2068) to verify the address where you plan to open and operate your new business, as well as to confirm the property's zoning and parking are suitable for yor business. If you are locating downtown, in the Central Business District, there may be special zoning requirements for renovations.

2. Contact the Building Inspections Department to apply for a building permit if you're planning to build or make renovations to an existing building. The Building Inspections Department is located at the Wright Center, 201 Caulder Avenue, Room 210. Commercial building permits are only issued to properly licensed contractors, therefore make sure your contractor is properly licensed by the State of South Carolina and has a City of Spartanburg business license. The following steps  are typically handled by your contractor:

  • Submit building renovation plans to the Building Inspections Department. City staff will review the plans, and based on code requirements, will either approve them or request that you make changes. Staff will issue a building permit once all building codes and zoning requirements have been met. 
  • Acquire plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical permits if building or renovation plans will require alterations of these systems. These permits can be obtained through Building Inspections.

3. A sign permit is required before you can erect any signs at your business location. Sign permits are obtained through the Planning Department's office at the Wright Center, Room 217.

4. Once your building passes all inspections, obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. The CO may be applied at any time during the process but the certificate cannot be issued until all inspections for any other permits have been completed. Applications can be obtained at the Building Inspections office at the Wright Center, Room 210.

5. A business license is required to operate a business in the City. Business license applications are obtained at the Finance Department on the first floor of City Hall at 145 West Broad St. Fees for business licenses vary according to the type of business. For more information, contact Business Licensing at 596-2055.