State Policies

South Carolina State Policies & Resources


South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD)
Policy Summary on Self-Employment:

South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) defines self-employment as “working for oneself in a small business enterprise selling goods or services for the purpose of making a profit”. Assessment services are provided to ensure that the self-employment venture is consistent with the individual’s unique strengths, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests and informed choice. The feasibility of the business concept and the local business economy are also considerations. When self-employment is being considered, outside resources such as services of the Small Business Association (SBA), Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) and Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are explored. These services are intended to assist the individual and Counselor to make the decision as to whether or not to move forward with the venture. Once the decision is made to move forward, the individual is required to prepare a business plan with assistance from the SCVRD Counselor as needed. The agency does not specify a particular structure for the business plan; however, using the SCORE business plan format is recommended. The plan must also be reviewed by a SCORE or SBDC Counselor. Written feedback from the SCORE or SBDC Counselor must be obtained, including recommendations for improvement. Once the noted improvements are made, the SCVRD Counselor and the individual develop the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) indicating self-employment in a particular field of work as the vocational goal. The SCVRD Counselor and the SCORE or SBDC Counselor are available to coordinate services until the individual is successfully engaged in self-employment. After that the SCVRD Counselor follows the individual for no less than six months. 

Technical assistance and other consultative services are provided to conduct market analyses and develop business plans. Other supports provided by SCVRD may include training in the actual field of work, counseling and guidance, funding for initial business licenses and start-up marketing costs. The agency may also fund initial stock, supplies, tools and/or equipment for the business as well as start-up operational costs. The start-up period may not exceed six months. SCVRD may purchase tangible personal property of an existing small business, but not the business itself. There is a limit of $3500.00 for tools/equipment and requires approval from the area supervisor. When determining the needed tools/equipment and initial stock and supplies the SCVRD Counselor either consults with an agency that works in the field of the business or with a successful business owner operating that type of business. The results of costs and bidding process should be compiled prior to submitting the information to the area supervisor for approval.

SCVRD cannot fund businesses that are considered hobbies, non-profits or speculative. They also cannot purchase vehicles, real estate or fund partnerships or franchises. All license and regulation requirements should be thoroughly noted to avoid the individual being out of compliance. Non-compliance could lead to being subjected to fines and perhaps jeopardize the proposed business venture.


The following downloadable PDF contains statewide self-employment resources and links for people with disabilities.

South Carolina Start-Up Resources (PDF)

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