Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 1:57 pm by TRUiC Team


How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in South Carolina?

The cost to start an LLC (limited liability company) online in South Carolina is $110. This fee is paid to the South Carolina Secretary of State when filing the LLC’s Articles of Organization.

We recommend Northwest ($29 + State Fees) to help form your LLC.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in South Carolina?

South Carolina LLC Online Filing Fee: $110

The main cost to start an LLC in South Carolina is the $110 fee to file your LLC's Articles of Organization online with the South Carolina Secretary of State.

For a look at LLC cost in every state, read our other Cost to Start an LLC and How to Form an LLC guides.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in South Carolina

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into South Carolina, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in South Carolina.

The cost for registering a South Carolina foreign LLC is $110. You can register a foreign LLC in South Carolina by filing an Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business.

Optional LLC Formation Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation

Reserve your name for up to 120 days prior to LLC formation by filing an Application to Reserve a Limited Liability Company Name and paying the $25 filing fee.

Foreign LLC Fictitious Name

If a foreign LLC’s legal name is not available in South Carolina, they can file an Adopting a Fictitious Name form and pay the $2 fee to use a different name.

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Ready to Start Your South Carolina LLC?

Explore our LLC formation services review to find the best service for you.

South Carolina LLC Ongoing Fees

When establishing and maintaining a limited liability company (LLC) in South Carolina, it's important to consider the ongoing costs involved. Luckily, South Carolina does not have any annual report requirements for LLCs.

However, South Carolina LLCs are required to have an agent for service of process, also known as a registered agent. Should you choose to outsource this position by using a commercial registered agent, expect to pay a yearly fee of about $200.

How to Register a South Carolina LLC Yourself

Establishing your own LLC in South Carolina is a relatively simple process. By following the steps outlined below, you can easily register your South Carolina LLC on your own.

Recommended: Using an LLC formation service like Northwest ($29 + State Fees) saves time and ensures compliance. Besides the low cost, we like their streamlined approach and excellent customer service.

Six Basic Steps to Start an LLC in South Carolina

Step 1: Name Your South Carolina LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Step 6: Keep Your Company Compliant

Step 1: Name Your South Carolina LLC

When you name your South Carolina LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of South Carolina
  2. Meets South Carolina naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in South Carolina guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in South Carolina.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

All LLCs in South Carolina must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. But most importantly, they are responsible for accepting service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your South Carolina registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in South Carolina
  • Be available during normal business hours to accept service of process

In South Carolina, your registered agent must consent to their appointment by signing the Articles of Organization if filing by mail.

Get Free Registered Agent Services

Form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent to get one year of registered agent services free of charge.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

The South Carolina Articles of Organization is a document that is filed with the South Carolina Secretary of State to form an LLC. The fee for filing the Articles of Organization is $110 online.

For detailed instructions for completing the Articles of Organization, visit our How to File the South Carolina Articles of Organization guide.

File the South Carolina Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With the South Carolina Secretary of State

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Articles of Organization by Mail

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $110, payable to the Secretary of State

Mailing Address:
South Carolina Secretary of State's Office
Attn: Corporate Fillings
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for South Carolina LLCs, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our South Carolina LLC operating agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

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Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Step 6: Keep Your Company Compliant

Operating an LLC in South Carolina requires adherence to federal, state, and local government regulations. This includes obtaining business licenses and permits, meeting tax obligations, filing necessary reports, and following appropriate hiring procedures. Here's a brief overview:

  • Obtain necessary business licenses and permits. These depend on your business type, with fees and requirements varying. Resources include our South Carolina Business License guide, professional licensing research services, and your local government.
  • Stay current with your South Carolina LLC tax responsibilities. This may involve registering for a seller's permit if you're selling a physical product, and registering for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax if you have employees. South Carolina’s base state sales tax is 6%, with counties able to add up to 1%.
  • File the required reports. LLCs taxed as a C or S corporation must file an initial report within 60 days of formation (Form CL-1) and an annual report alongside their state tax return. LLCs taxed as disregarded entities or partnerships don't need to file an annual report.
  • If hiring employees, ensure you:
    • Confirm their eligibility to work in the US.
    • Report them as "new hires" to the state
    • Provide workers' compensation insurance
    • Withhold employee taxes
    • Display compliance posters in your workspace
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Steps After LLC Formation

Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay up to date with state reporting requirements.

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

South Carolina LLC Cost FAQ

In South Carolina, you need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State to start an LLC. You can do this either online or by mail and it costs $110.

South Carolina does not have a provision for using a DBA or "doing business as" name for LLCs. All business must be conducted under the legal name of the LLC as registered with the Secretary of State.

South Carolina does not require LLCs to submit an annual report, which simplifies ongoing compliance for businesses. The exception to this is if your LLC chooses to be taxed as a C corporation or S corporation. In this case, you would file an annual report alongside your state corporation income tax return.

Using an LLC formation service in South Carolina can be highly beneficial. Such a service can guide the business through the filing process, ensure all state-specific paperwork is correctly completed, and keep the business updated on any changes in legislation or reporting requirements. Moreover, some LLC formation services also offer a Registered Agent service, handling all relevant legal and official correspondence for the LLC.

You can verify the availability of a business name in South Carolina by using the Business Name Search on the Secretary of State's website. This ensures that your chosen business name is not already in use by another entity in the state.

In South Carolina, a Certificate of Existence, also known as a Certificate of Good Standing in other states, verifies that an LLC is authorized to conduct business in the state. It confirms the LLC has met all statutory requirements and is in compliance with state law. This document may be requested by lenders, investors, or other parties who want to confirm the LLC's legitimacy.

Article Sources

IRS - Employer ID Numbers:
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers

South Carolina Secretary of State:
https://businessfilings.sc.gov/BusinessFiling/

SBA - Apply for licenses and permits:
https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-permits

Chamber of Commerce - South Carolina Chamber of Commerce List:
https://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/chambers/SouthCarolina.html