Follow These Three Easy Steps:
Get Help Filing Your Articles of Organization:
Filing the Articles of Organization is Simple!
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
You can download and mail in your South Carolina Articles of Organization, OR you can create an account and file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.
Get Your South Carolina Articles of Organization
Option 1: Create an account with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Select “Start a New Business Filing.” Enter your desired business name and select “Add New Entity.” Then, choose “Limited Liability Company” from the provided dropdown and select the Articles of Organization.
Option 2: Download the Articles of Organization PDF from the South Carolina Secretary of State.
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization
In this step, we will help you complete the South Carolina Articles of Organization form.
You will need to know the following information to complete the form:
- Entity Name and Address
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Governing Authority Type
- Member Debt Liability
- LLC Duration and Effective Date
Entity Name and Address
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- meets South Carolina naming guidelines.
- is not already in use by another business in South Carolina.
Follow the South Carolina Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company” or one of their abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., LC, L.C.). “Limited" may be abbreviated as "Ltd." and "company" may be abbreviated as "Co."
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- In some states, certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual to be part of your LLC.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes South Carolina reserved names.
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in South Carolina? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the South Carolina Secretary of State website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in South Carolina guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
Registered Agent and Registered Office
A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your South Carolina LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office.
Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in South Carolina. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours. Your registered office address cannot be a P.O. box.
To learn more about choosing a South Carolina registered agent, read our How to Choose a South Carolina Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
You must list the names and addresses of each organizer, and each one must sign the form.
You will need to decide if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Read our Management by Members or Managers article to determine the best structure for your LLC.
Member Debt Liability
You must state whether any of the members of the LLC will be liable for any of the company’s debts or obligations.
Company Duration and Articles of Organization Effective Date
The company will be registered as perpetual, and the Articles of Organization will take effect on the date that they are endorsed by the Secretary of State unless otherwise specified.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the South Carolina Secretary of State.
There are two ways to file your Articles of Organization:
- Complete the form online.
- Submit a hard copy by mail.
File the South Carolina Articles of Organization
Option 1: Create or log into your account with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Select “Start a New Business Filing.” Enter your desired business name and select “Add New Entity.” Choose “Limited Liability Company” from the provided dropdown and select the Articles of Organization. Then, fill in the required fields and submit.
Option 2: Download and mail in the Articles of Organization PDF to the South Carolina Secretary of State.
State Filing Cost: $110
South Caroline Secretary of State's Office
Attn: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
Turnaround Time: The online filing process is usually completed within 24 hours. If the filing is mailed, the Secretary of State’s Office will usually complete the process within two to three business days after it is received, though longer filing times may be experienced depending on workload volume.
Steps After Your South Carolina LLC Is Officially Formed
Once you’ve filed your Articles of Organization, you should take the following steps:
Create an Operating Agreement
An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.
In South Carolina, you aren't required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC's private business records; you do not file it with the state.
For more information, read our South Carolina LLC Operating Agreement guide.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our 5 Best Business Bank Accounts for Entrepreneurs reviews on StartupSavant.com.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with South Carolina's Licenses, Permits, & Registration website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Brand Your Business
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Your business name is the cornerstone of good branding and a successful business. To learn more about creating the best name for your business, read our How to Name a Business guide.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.