How to Start a South Carolina LLC

By Bazal Razzaq

Chief Editor

Updated: September 28, 2023, 12:30pm

Editorial Note: We earn a commission if you use the services recommended on this page. Commissions do not affect our opinions or recommendations.

South Carolina LLC

Nowadays, more entrepreneurs are ready to launch new businesses because of business grants provided by the government. If you also want to start a South Carolina LLC then our guide will help you get started.

To start an LLC in South Carolina, you will be required to file the Articles of Organization under the South Carolina Secretary of State which costs $110 and can be applied online or through mail.

Read our step-by-step guide to starting an LLC in South Carolina without any hazel.

#1 Choose a name for your South Carolina LLC

Before you file your LLC with the Secretary of State, check if the name is available for use. You can do the name search at Business Name Search of South Carolina Secretary of State. It will be good to follow the naming guidelines as given below:

  • The company name must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or its attributes “LLC” or “L.L.C”.

  • The company name should not include words like FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc. which is the same as a government agency.

  • The company name must not be the same as any other South Carolina Limited Liability Company, corporation, limited partnership or DBA.

  • Don’t use Restricted words like Bank, Attorney, University etc. as it requires additional paperwork and an individual with a license such as a doctor or lawyer to be a part of the LLC.

#2 Appoint a Registered Agent

You will be required to appoint a Registered agent for your LLC. The Registered agent can be an individual or a business entity who receives legal documents, notice of lawsuits, etc. on behalf of your business.

A registered agent could be one of the following-

  1. You can be a registered agent for your LLC.

  2. You can appoint a family member or friend to do the job provided they are 18+ and a resident of South Carolina.

  3. You can hire a registered agent to get the job done more professionally.

A registered agent must be available on-site during the business hours.

#3 File Articles of Organization for South Carolina LLC

To form your LLC in South Carolina, you must file the Articles of Organization. It can be filed online or through mail at $125 or $110 respectively. The state filing cost is payable to the South Carolina Secretary of State and is non-refundable.

Apply Online-

File Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State online.

Apply through the mail-

Download the form and send it through the mail.

Mailing Address- 

South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office

Attn: Corporate Filings

1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525

Columbia, SC 29201

If you are planning to expand your existing LLC to the State of South Carolina, then form a foreign LLC.

#4 Receive a certificate from South Carolina State

The state issues a certificate to confirm the existence of an LLC after its formation documents are approved. The certificate ensures an LLC will get an EIN, business bank account, and business license.

#5 South Carolina LLC Operating Agreement

A South Carolina LLC is not obligated to have an Operating Agreement but it will be good to create one. The agreement acts as a legal document that outlines the ownership and operating procedures of the LLC. It also ensures clarity among different business owners and reduces the risk of future conflict.

The Operating Agreement includes the following-

  • Name of your South Carolina LLC and its Address.

  • Duration of LLC in South Carolina.

  • Name and address of the Registered Agent for your LLC.

  • Details of Articles of Organization.

  • Purpose of forming the LLC.

  • Rights and responsibilities of members.

  • Members of LLC and their contribution.

  • Distribution of Profit and Loss.

  • The voting power of the members.

  • Method to admit new members, as well as outgoing members.

  • Management of LLC in South Carolina.

  • Buy-sell or buyout provisions.

  • Indemnification and liability clauses.

#6 Get an EIN

The Internal Revenue Service provides a nine-digit Employer Identification Number to check your LLc for taxes. The EIN can be obtained online or by mail from the IRS.

The EIN helps with the following-

  1. State and Federal level taxes.

  2. Business Bank Account.

  3. Hire employees.

Please note you don’t need an SSN to get an EIN.

Apply Online-

Get an EIN from the IRS online.

Apply through Mail-

Download the EIN form and send it by mail.

Mailing Address-

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

#7 Keep your South Carolina LLC compliant

To start your LLC in Carolina, you must comply with federal, state, and local regulations of the government. The fees, license and permit vary depending upon the nature of the business. The purpose of business determines if you have to register for one or more than one business.

If you sell a physical product then apply for a seller’s permit at the South Carolina Department of Revenue website. Also, if you are planning to hire more employees then register for Unemployment Insurance Tax at the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

You will be required to report federal income tax by filing Form 1065 (multi-member LLC) or Form 1040 Schedule C.

#8 Prepare the South Carolina Annual Report

The South Carolina Secretary of State has not been mandated to prepare the Annual report. If your LLC has elected S-Corp status or C-Corp tax status, you must file for Form CL-1 within 60 days of the formation of your LLC.

Frequently Asked Questions​

South Carolina LLC’s doesn’t require DBA filings.

It is an affordable way to manage government filings for South Carolina LLC. The benefits of having a professional outweigh the annual costs.

It takes 24 hours online to file for Articles of Organization and 5 to 7 business days through mail.

It costs approximately $110 to start an LLC in South Carolina.

The Operating Agreement is a legal document that can be kept for future reference. Many states including South Carolina don’t mandate LLCs to maintain the Operating Agreement.

The SSN is not essential to get an EIN. One can fill out the IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank and call the IRS at (267) 941-1099.

The LLCs having one or more than one members are required to have an EIN.

South Carolina doesn’t levy franchise tax on its businesses. LLCs are pass-through business entities and not subject to corporate tax. The owners of LLCs pay taxes on business profits as personal income tax filings.

Anyone could be a Registered Agent for your South Carolina LLC including you.

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