A Busker is a person who performs in public areas; accepts donations from the public; and has obtained a permit pursuant to the ordinance.
"Perform" includes, but is not limited to the following activities; acting, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime, juggling, magic, dancing, reading, puppetry, sidewalk art and reciting.  Buskers shall not offer items for sale but they may offer items in exchange for a donation. 



The purpose of this permit is for those commercial establishments that are seeking an exemption from the City of Columbia Ordinance 14-106 (hours of sale restricted for commercial establishments) which prohibits on-premise sale or consumption of beer, ale, porter, and/or wine at commercial establishments located in the City limits of Columbia, SC after 2:00 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.
A yearly $100.00 non-refundable application fee is required.  Applications received without the fee will be returned immediately. For additional information, please contact the City of Columbia Business License Division at 803-545-3345. 




Sec. 11-311. Definition.  For purposes of this division, a garage sale is defined to mean the sale of any new or used personal property, which sale is conducted on or about the premises of a private residence or in any zoning area that permits single-family residential use, by any resident or residents of a neighborhood, one of whom must be the occupant of the premises, and which sale is open to the public.
Sec. 11-312. Permit.  It shall be unlawful for anyone to conduct a garage sale in the area described in section 11-311 without first obtaining a permit from the license inspector of the City for each sale, and such permit shall be posted at the site of the sale. The cost of each permit is to be $5.50. The maximum period of each permit is two consecutive days, not to include Sunday. The maximum number of permits allowed per year is two for any one family unit, location, lot or premises. All participants in any joint sale must be named on the permit.




The City of Columbia Business License Division is responsible for the licensing of Taxi's, Shuttles, Limousines, Horse Drawn Vehicles & Pedicabs.  Applications for any of these types of  businesses should be made at 1339 Main St. 1st Floor, Business License Division.  For additional information, please call 803-545-3345.



The City of Columbia Business License Division is responsible for the licensing and franchising of Sidewalk Vendors in the City of Columbia.  Applications for Sidewalk Vending can be obtained at 1339 Main Street, 1st Floor.  A sidewalk vendor is someone who intends to operate a cart, etc., on the Right-of Way, which is generally a City sidewalk on a permanent basis.



Please contact the Business License Division at 803-545-3345 for information regarding the Going Out of Business requirements.





Single Event Permits are for an event not lasting more than ten days.

Group Event Permits are for those promoters wanting to obtain a permit for their event.  In this case the exhibitors or participants would not be required to obtain a business license.




The City of Columbia Business License Division is responsible for licensing food trucks that operate within the City. To obtain a food truck business     license you will need to complete a City of Columbia business license application. In addition to the applicable business license fees, a $10.00 zoning fee will be required to request zoning approval. Zoning will also require a written letter of permission from the owner of the private commercial property where the truck will be located. Other required documents include  a DHEC approval letter, and fire inspection approval. All mobile food trucks are subject to fire inspections by the City of Columbia Fire Department. Please see the details below from the Columbia Fire Department's website:

      Fire Inspections

  • Inspections for business and peddler’s licenses must be done by appointment at the commissary site indicated on the application within the City of Columbia.
  • Food trucks that do not comply will have 30 days after an inspection to do so.
  • Compliant food trucks will be issued a sticker (to be displayed in a prominent location at or near the service window) and recommended for business or peddler’s license approval.
  • Copies of inspection orders and reports must be kept in a safe place inside the food truck for review.

Other codes and standards not listed above may also apply. All licensed food trucks must be registered through the S.C. Department of               Motor Vehicles and meet S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control requirements.