Choose A Location

Choosing a good location for your business is an important part of the startup process. You should carefully consider planning and zoning ordinances, traffic counts, and demographics data during the site selection process.

CCPL’s Online Resources


This resource will help you research your potential business location and the consumers who live nearby. If you have more than one possible location, search each one separately then compare the retail sales potential for each location. You can also analyze information about consumers who live near your possible locations such as their age, sex, income, and how much they spend on a variety of products and services in order to locate your business where your ideal customers live. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.


Search the U.S. Business database to determine where your competitors are located. Use Quick Search to find competitors by name or use Custom Search to find competitors by industry. The entry for each business includes a map and estimated square footage for that particular location. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.

Small Business Reference Center

This source includes many book chapters that will help you learn how the site selection process works. One of the best options here is “Chapter 6 – Your Business Location: Working From Home or Renting Space” from Peri Pakroo’s Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.

Small Business Resource Center

SBRC offers a good selection of articles from reference books that will help you understand how to choose a location for your business. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this resource.

Local Organizations

Business Development | Town of Mt. Pleasant

This site offers information for businesses interested in locating or expanding in Mt. Pleasant. It includes an economic and demographic profile and information about taxes/credits. For information about doing business in Mt. Pleasant or about the town’s Business Incubator program, contact the Business Development Coordinator by at (843) 884-1229.

Business Services or the Business Development Office | City of Charleston

If you are interested in locating your business in the City of Charleston, especially on the peninsula, either the Business Services or Business Development Office may be able to help you find a location. Contact Amy Barrett, City of Charleston Business Services or Ernest Andrade of the City of Charleston Business Development Office and the Charleston Digital Corridor initiative.

Charleston County Economic Development

This office assists businesses interested in locating or expanding in Charleston County. While the main focus of their website is to attract existing businesses to the area, you can search for available property there, or contact the office directly for further help.

SCORE Coastal Chapter

SCORE provides one-on-one counseling at the CCPL Business Center by appointment. To request a session, fill out their Local Mentoring Request form. Be sure to mention that you’d like to meet at the Main Library. SCORE also offers a variety of low-cost workshops on many important business topics.


Average Annual Daily Traffic | SC DOT

The SC Department of Transportation traffic count data includes over 15,000 locations. You can search the data by county and by year. This data may be also be helpful for choosing a site for your business.

Choosing a Successful Location For Your Business | Nolo Press

How to Find The Best Location |

Online Mapping | BCD COG

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments Mapping & GIS Department provides an Online Mapping website that lets you search for demographics in the tri-county area. This information can help with business location decisions. Contact Shivaprasad (Shiv) Shivananjappa, Principal Planner, for more information.

Tips for Choosing Your Business Location |

Business Licenses and Permits

You will need a business license in order to open your business. Generally speaking, you’ll need a license for each municipality where the work of your business is actually performed, so some types of businesses will need to have more than one license. Check with each municipality where you will do business for details.

Planning & Zoning

Cities and counties each have zoning ordinances that affect where you can locate a business. Check with each city and county’s planning and zoning department for details. The zoning ordinances for the following areas are available online:

CCPL’s Books

Small Business Start-Up Kit by Peri Pakroo

See Chapter 3 – Choosing a Business Location. This source is also available in Small Business Reference Center.

Call Number: 346.0652 Pakroo.  Availability varies by branch.