Required Costs to Start a South Carolina LLC
There is a filing fee for all LLCs in South Carolina and your business might need licenses and permits.
South Carolina LLC Filing Fee: $110
In order to form an LLC in South Carolina, you'll be required to file the articles of organization with the Secretary of State. The state of South Carolina charges a $110 fee to process and record this document.
Business Permits & Licenses: Varies
Depending on your specific industry and geographical location, your business might need federal, state, and local permits/licenses in order to legally operate in South Carolina.
Use the resources below to find out what permits & licenses are required of your business, or have a professional service do the legwork for you:
- Federal: All federal business licensing requirements can be found on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
- State: To learn about state permits & licenses and get started on the application process, head to South Carolina's Licenses, Permits, & Registration website.
- Local: Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out about the licensing requirements of your specific county/municipality.
Ready to Form a South Carolina LLC?
Optional Costs to Start a South Carolina LLC
The following expenses are recommended but not required for South Carolina LLCs. Each of the services below will make the process of setting up your business easier, but they aren't required.
LLC Formation Service: $39 - $79
While it’s possible to form an LLC in South Carolina without the help of a professional, many business owners choose to hire a service.
Additional services offered:
In addition to filing your articles of organization, LLC formation providers offer other services that can help you start your new business faster and more efficiently. Two of the most popular add-on services for LLC owners are operating agreements and EIN registration.
Operating Agreement: $40-$99
An operating agreement is a governing document that outlines the ownership and management structure of an LLC. Whether you’re starting a single-member or multi-member LLC in South Carolina, it’s important to have an operating agreement in place.
Purchasing a custom operating agreement from an online formation service is an easy way to ensure you’ll have a thorough and legally-binding document governing your new LLC.
EIN Registration: $60-$70
Upon forming an LLC, you’ll need to obtain an EIN (or Employer Identification Number)—essentially a social security number for your business. If you’d prefer not to apply for your EIN directly through the IRS, you can delegate this task to your formation provider for an extra fee.
Registered Agent Service: $0-$125 per year
You'll need to designate a registered agent for your South Carolina LLC when you complete the articles of organization.
A registered agent is the individual or business entity responsible for receiving and processing legal documents on behalf of your business.
While South Carolina doesn't prohibit business owners from acting as their own registered agents, many people choose to appoint a professional for the sake of privacy, convenience, and discretion.
Keep in mind that if you assume this role, you’ll be responsible for maintaining normal business hours at the address provided on your formation documents, and receiving service of process notices in the event that your LLC is sued.
If you decide that electing a professional is right for your LLC, we recommend ZenBusiness. Their registered agent services are free for the first year and $119 every following year.
Business License Research Service: $99
If your LLC requires several federal, state, and local permits or licenses in order to legally operate, you might want to consider hiring a professional business license research service.
While not necessary for every business owner, these services can be helpful to busy entrepreneurs looking to save time on the research and paperwork.
If you’re looking to maximize your time in the early phases of your business, we recommend checking out Incfile's $99 business license research package.
Ready to Form Your South Carolina LLC?
If you’re ready to officially form an LLC in South Carolina, check out our step-by-step guide. We’ll walk you through the entire process.