The City of Folly Beach recognizes that the rental of homes on the island is a valuable source of income for our residents and property owners. Many of the people who live on Folly Beach today were able to move here because they first purchased a home and rented it out until they were able to relocate. Others use income from renting as a way to offset the high costs of insuring and maintaining property on a barrier island. No matter what your reason for renting, the City would like to make you aware of the requirements necessary to make sure your rental property is properly licensed and registered with the City, County, and State.
Please follow the checklist below to make sure you’re in compliance with City, County, and State regulations and taxes for renting your home.
1) Business License
You must obtain a Business License for any rental of your home. It is required for all short and long-term rentals of primary or secondary rentals. It must be renewed in January every year.
- Business License Application
- Business License Fee Calculator:
- If you have previously had a business license and you are renewing, you can pay the above amount HERE. Otherwise, please bring your application to City Hall with your payment, or send it by mail to City of Folly Beach, PO Box 48, Folly Beach, SC 29439.
2) Rental Registration
If you rent your house on a short-term basis (less than 30 days), you must also obtain a Rental Registration in addition to your business license, which allows the City to maintain information on your short-term rental. This must also be renewed in January of each year. THE RENTAL REGISTRATION FEE IS $100 AS OF JULY 1, 2017!
- Rental Registration Information: Ordinance 19-10
- Rental Registration Form 2017 (editable form)
- Online Rental Registration Site
- List of Registered Short Term Rentals
3) Beach Rules
You must also post the Beach Rules in the home, where they can be easily seen by all renters:
- Beach Rules, required to be posted in all rental properties
4) Sales and Accommodations Taxes
The rules for when you are required to collect sales an accommodation taxes are complicated and depend on whether your house is a primary (4%) or secondary (6%) residence and how many days of the year it is rented. There are several types of taxes that must be collected, and some are paid to the State of South Carolina and some to Charleston County. Please contact the State Department of Revenue at (844) 898-8542 Option 6 (toll free) or (803) 898-5000 (local) with specific questions about State taxes you owe. Please contact Britt Miller at Charleston County with questions about County taxes, firstname.lastname@example.org or (843)202-6095.
Below are some basic guidelines for taxes, but we encourage you to contact the State or Charleston County about your specific property.
If your home is your primary residence and it is taxed at a 4% property tax rate:
- You may rent your primary residence and continue to live in it during rentals (ie: having a roommate or boarder) without paying sales or accommodation taxes.
- You may rent your home without living in it for up to 15 days per year without charging accommodation tax or collecting state taxes. However, you must obtain a business license and complete a rental registration form with the City of Folly Beach.
- You may rent your home without living in it for up to 72 days per year and keep your 4% exemption, but you must collect all Sales and Accommodations Taxes, as outlined below for second residences. You must also obtain a business license and rental registration license. Failure to collect and pay the appropriate taxes will result in three years of retroactive penalties during the annual audit.
If your home is a second residence or taxed at a 6% property tax rate:
In addition to the business license, rental registration, and beach rules above, you must collect the following taxes. Even if you hire a property manager, you as the property owner are ultimately responsible for collecting these taxes from the renters and submitting them to the appropriate state and local agencies. You may itemize the taxes on rental bills as shown below. Failure to collect and pay the appropriate taxes will result in three years of retroactive penalties during the annual audit.
|State Sales Tax||5.0%||Remitted to State|
|State Local Options Sales Tax||1.0%||Remitted to State|
|State Accommodations Tax||2.0%||Remitted to State|
|County Transportation Tax||1.0%||Remitted to State|
|School District/ Education Tax||1.0%||Remitted to State|
|County Accommodations Tax||2.0%||Remitted to County|
|Folly Beach Accommodations Tax||2.0%||Remitted to County|
|Total Taxes on Accommodations||14.0%|
For questions, forms or additional information concerning the taxes please contact: