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South Carolina SBDC

South Carolina SBDC

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What does the SC SBDC do?

The SC Small Business Development Center program helps small business owners and potential owners succeed by providing low- or no-cost guidance and training in proven management fundamentals. Part of a statewide network supported by the SBA and a consortium of four state universities (Clemson, SC State, USC and Winthrop) the South Carolina Small Business Development Center serves businesses through free one-on-one confidential counseling and nominally priced training programs.

Is this the SBA?

Although we are supported by and report to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Small Business Development Center is not the SBA. You may reach the SBA at www.sba.gov or at (803) 765-5376 in South Carolina.

Can I get information on starting a new business or improving my existing business?

Take a look at our Seminars near you! For example, in the Entrepreneur Information Seminar you can learn how to write a business plan and get an overview of legal structures, financing, and licensing. Also, visit the Links section of our web site for useful start-up information.

Are there grants available for starting businesses?

We are not aware of any grants for financing the cost for starting a business..

How do I get a loan for my business?

Loans are obtained through bank or non-bank lenders. If a banking relationship has been established, that bank should be the first contact for financing. Lenders will look at:

  • Character – Integrity, credit score, net worth, personal commitment, management ability.
  • Capital – How much you plan to put into the businesses (20-50% of startup costs).
  • Capacity – The idea, as explained in the business plan, must generate enough cash flow to make loan payments.
  • Conditions – Outside factors, such as interest rates, industry trends, competition and other factors in the economy may affect your business.
  • Collateral – Assets to cover the amount of the loan.

For a list of SBA preferred vendors, please click here.

What kind of registration and licenses are generally required to start my business?

Specific requirements vary in each state, county and locality, but it is possible to list the kinds of basic licenses and registrations a new business will need:

  • Local: A business license from city, town and/or county, depending on your location, will usually be necessary. In addition, you’ll have to meet zoning laws, building codes, and similar regulations.
  • State: In most states if your business isn’t a corporation and your full name isn’t in the name of the business) you’ll have to register under what’s called a Trade Name Registration. You should also file for a Sales and Use tax number in some lines of business (like liquor stores, construction, barber shops, real estate offices) specific licenses are needed.
  • Federal: You may need an Employer’s Identification Number (EIN)

Can you help me sell my product/service to the government?

Yes, the USC Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers assistance with procurement (the process by which the government buys goods and services). Call the Small Business Development Center for an appointment to discuss your particular needs.

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