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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Background a Business

Shop, Compare & Protect Yourself

Shopping around, comparing terms and dealing with a licensed company may save you money and a headache or two.  Whether you need a loan, are looking to buy a car or other product or service, knowing the terms and researching the company are the most important steps to get the best deal for you.

Are they Licensed?

Licensee LookupState, federal and local laws require licenses or permits to work in certain fields.  DCA oversees fifteen different business types, including credit counselors, gyms, mortgage brokers, pawnbrokers and preneed funeral contract providers.  For a full listing of industries under DCA's purview and to search for a licensee, use our "Licensee Lookup" tool.

Can't find the industry you're looking for on DCA's list? Checkout some of the other state agencies we often refer consumers to below.  Remember, cities and counties may also require a business license.  So, check locally, too. 

Other State Agencies that Oversee Specific Industry Licensing and Regulation
South Carolina Agency Name  Industries Licensed
Board of Financial Institutions Consumer Finance Division  - Lenders (charging over 12% APR)  - Mortgage Lenders and Servicers  - Payday Lenders  - Check Cashers.
Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation  - Contractors  - Funeral Homes  - Real Estate Brokers  -and more!
Dept. of Insurance  - Insurance Companies  - Storage Facilities  -Bondsmen  -and more!
Dept. of Health and Environmental Control

 - Health Care Facilities (includes hospitals, hospice, nursing home sand tattoo facilities) 
 - Retail Food Establishments  - Tanning Facilities (other than financial or billing-related)   - and more!

Secretary of State  - Business Filings (LLCs, Corporations)  - Charities  - Notaries 

Search Complaints

Search DCA ComplaintsDCA receives thousands of complaints each year. Search our complaints to see how many were filed against a business and how the complaints were handled. If the business is regulated by another state or federal agency, check with that agency for complaints.

Check online. Visit the Better Business Bureau. A simple internet search can reveal a "scam" or if a business or product is complained about regularly, too.

Ask for References

Ask friends, family, neighbors or co-workers for references, especially if you are making a big purchase or are in need of repair work for your home or vehicle. Request references from the business, too.  Ask the consumer to detail their experience with the business.

Compare Rates/ Charges and Fees

Shop around and compare prices and terms to make sure you get the best fit for your needs and your pocketbook.  Going to get a loan or finance a deal? If the business is charging over 18%, checkout our APR listing where you can compare maximum interest rates by company name and type:

Looking for a car? Compare dealer closing fees: