The Town of Beaufort operates under the council/manager form of government, which combines the political guidance of elected officials with the specialized experience of an appointed Town Manager.

The Town Board of Commissioners consists of five commissioners and the mayor. The mayor serves two-year terms and only casts a vote in the event of a tie while the commissioners are elected for alternating four-year terms.

The Board of Commissioners appoints the Town Manager and the Town Attorney. All other staff are hired through a hiring process.

The Town Manager provides day-to-day administrative management and oversight. The Town Attorney serves as general counsel to the Board of Commissioners and Town departments and divisions. Each department is headed by a director that oversees various divisions.

Board-appointed advisory boards include: Planning Board, Historic Preservation Commission, Board of Adjustment and Parks & Recreation Advisory Board.

The Town Manager oversees the staff that includes the Town Clerk, Parks & Events Coordinator/Public Information Officer, Finance Department, Planning & Inspections Department, Public Works, Public Utilities, Fire Department and Police Department.