Last Updated: June 3, 2024, 2:36 pm by TRUiC Team

South Carolina Registered Agent

You must elect a registered agent when forming an LLC in South Carolina. Your South Carolina registered agent will be responsible for receiving legal documents (i.e., service of process, etc.). 

You can act as your own agent, but many small businesses choose to use a third-party service because a service will:

  • Protect your privacy and reduce risk
  • Give you the freedom to leave your place of business during normal business hours
  • Collect important legal documents securely, online

We’ll help you make the best choice for your business.

Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC formation ($29 plus state fees).

A person happily working remotely at a beach while their registered agent service takes care of business

Choosing a Registered Agent in South Carolina

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A South Carolina registered agent serves as your LLC’s primary point of contact with the Secretary of State, as well as with other entities that may be attempting to deliver service of process.

Appointing a registered agent in South Carolina is a legal requirement for LLCs and corporations. This can be yourself, a partner or another individual, or a commercial registered agent service

Having said that, all prospective registered agents need to satisfy the following requirements in order to be eligible:

  • They must be at least 18 years old.
  • They must have a physical street address in South Carolina. 
  • They must always be available during normal business hours at their specified address.

Registered Agent Services

  • Convenience: Hiring a third-party service will allow you to focus your time on other areas of your business without worrying about potentially missing an important notification. It will also ensure that you will not have to be physically present at your registered office address during regular business hours. 
  • Privacy: All South Carolina registered agents’ addresses and names become publicly available. This means that hiring a third-party service can be an affordable way of protecting your privacy. 
  • Compliance and Online Storage: Most third-party services elect to scan all received documents and upload them online in PDF form, meaning that you will not have to worry about potentially losing an important compliance-related document. 
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Let’s Find the Right Registered Agent for Your Business

We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.

Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?

Yes, you can, assuming that you are at least 18 years, have a physical address in South Carolina, and are available during regular business hours.

Having said that, we recommend avoiding this route unless you are operating on an exceptionally strict budget. This is because hiring a third-party service is relatively inexpensive (i.e., around $10 per month) and can help you stay legally compliant in the long run whilst protecting your private information. 

If you are currently forming a new LLC, it makes sense to hire an LLC formation service that includes a free year of registered agent services. Reputable services can charge as little as $29 per formation (excluding state fees).

If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in South Carolina guide.

Best South Carolina Registered Agent Service

If you're in South Carolina and either looking to form a new LLC or switch your existing registered agent, it's crucial to consider factors like cost, range of services, reputation, and customer support. 

Many people seek registered agents offering features like mail forwarding, document scanning, and compliance monitoring.

Northwest Special Offer

If you haven't formed your LLC yet, consider Northwest's LLC formation package for $29 plus state fees, which includes a free first year of registered agent service. 

  • Premium customer service
  • Streamlined ordering
  • Robust privacy features

To help you make an informed choice, we've compiled a table comparing the top 5 South Carolina registered agent services below.

Best Registered Agent Services




  • Premium customer service
  • Streamlined ordering process
  • Privacy by default
  • Local document scanning




  • Established brand with high authority
  • Ongoing legal services


Four point five out of five


  • Affordable pricing
  • Convenient online dashboard for documents
  • Positive customer reviews



  • Email and SMS notifications
  • Automatic mail forwarding
  • Learning center with free information

Rocket Lawyer 


  • Support from legal experts
  • Accessible customer service

Whether you're starting a new business or considering a change, it's crucial to weigh factors like pricing, services, reputation, and customer support when choosing a registered agent in South Carolina. Compare quotes and read online reviews to find the best fit for your needs.

Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service

Many businesses choose to use a registered agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Legal compliance: A commercial registered agent service will ensure that you don’t miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error). 
  • Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the South Carolina Business Search. Using a registered agent service will help keep your information private.
  • Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees. 
  • Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about losing an important document. 

A national registered agent service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in. 

How to Elect a Registered Agent in South Carolina

For your LLC in South Carolina, you will need to select your registered agent when you complete your LLC’s Articles of Organization

This is the formation document that you will need to file with the South Carolina Secretary of State — in conjunction with the $110 filing fee — in order to officially form your LLC.

Electing a Registered Agent Online

You can form your LLC online on the South Carolina Secretary of State website ($110 filing fee required). Your registered agent’s name and contact information will be requested when you file your LLC’s Articles of Organization online:

An image of the online LLC filing form for the state of South Carolina

Electing a Registered Agent by Mail

To form your LLC by mail, download the Articles of Organization form ($110 filing fee required), fill out the required fields, and submit a physical copy to the South Carolina Secretary of State. You’ll be asked to provide your registered agent under the number 3 on page 1:

An image of the manual LLC filing form for the state of South Carolina

How to Change Your Registered Agent in South Carolina

To change your South Carolina registered agent, you will need to fill out and submit a Notice of Change form with the Secretary of State. The filing fee for this is $10. 

Keep in mind that you will need to submit a different form depending on how your business is registered: 

These can be filed online, by mail, or in person:


Mail or In Person:
Secretary of State
Attn: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton St., Ste. 525
Columbia, SC 29201

Check out our full guide on how to change registered agents in South Carolina.

South Carolina Registered Agent FAQs

Yes, you can, although this is generally not recommended. 

This is because being your own agent can be relatively time-consuming, and it will also save you a relatively insignificant amount of money (i.e., about $10 monthly). 

For more information, we recommend checking out our South Carolina Registered Agent article.

This will depend on your business’s entity type. 

If you are registered as a general partnership or sole proprietorship, you will not need to elect a registered agent (also known as a statutory agent). 

Incorporated entities, on the other hand, are legally required to appoint an agent in order to be formed (e.g., corporations, LLCs, etc.).

This will depend on who your agent is. 

If it is a friend, partner, or yourself, it will likely cost you nothing. 

On the other hand, a third-party service can charge as little as $10 per month, and (generally speaking) up to $300 per year. 

See our How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost article for more information. 

You can become your own LLC’s registered agent (sometimes known as a resident agent) by writing down your own details in the registered agent section of your LLC’s Articles of Organization.

This is the formation document that you will need to file with the Secretary of State in order to form your LLC. 

See our Can I Be My Own Registered Agent article for more information.