How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing in South Carolina?
You can obtain your certificate of good standing, known as a certificate of existence in South Carolina, by requesting it from the Secretary of State.
There are two main steps for getting your certificate of good standing:
What is a certificate of good standing? A certificate of good standing is a state document that verifies your business was legally formed and has been properly maintained.
Step 1. Make Sure Your South Carolina Business is Compliant
To qualify for a South Carolina certificate of existence, your business must stay up-to-date with state compliance requirements:
Licenses & Permits
To operate your business in South Carolina, you must follow federal, state, and local licensing guidelines. This can include regulations like health permits and building permits.
You can find out more about state licensing requirements with South Carolina’s official state website.
Depending on your business activity, you will have to register for different forms of South Carolina state tax. This can include sales tax, withholding tax, or Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax.
South Carolina corporations must file an annual report as part of their income tax return. This report verifies the business’s basic information including its principal office address and registered agent information.
The annual report must be filed with either the C corporation tax return or the S corporation tax return. These returns must be sent to the Department of Revenue by April 15. They can be filed online or by mail. There is no filing fee.
South Carolina LLCs do not have to file an annual report.
Step 2. Order Your South Carolina Certificate of Good Standing
Once your business remains compliant with the state, you can request a South Carolina certificate of existence from the Secretary of State. This can be done online.
Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing in South Carolina?
While you don’t necessarily need a certificate of existence to run your business in South Carolina, there are several instances where you may need to get one. These include:
- Purchasing business insurance
- Applying for business loans
- Opening a business checking account
- Registering to do business in other states
South Carolina Certificate of Good Standing FAQ
What is a South Carolina certificate of good standing?
A certificate of good standing is a legal document that confirms that your business is compliant with state regulations.
In South Carolina, a certificate of good standing is known as a certificate of existence.
Certificates of good standing are also known as certificates of status or certificates of compliance.
How do I get a certificate of good standing?
You can get a South Carolina certificate of existence by remaining compliant with state regulations and ordering a certificate online.
How much does a certificate of good standing cost?
In South Carolina, ordering a certificate of existence costs $10.
How soon do you need a certificate of good standing?
Because many banks and insurance companies will want a business’s certificate of good standing in order to do business, we recommend getting one as soon as possible.
How long is the certificate of good standing valid for?
A South Carolina certificate of existence does not have a set expiration date. However, requesters — such as banks, creditors, and foreign business states — often have their own guidelines for a certificate's validity.
What does a certificate of good standing mean?
Obtaining a South Carolina certificate of existence means that the state recognizes your business as both active and compliant.
When do you need a certificate of good standing?
South Carolina businesses often need a certificate of existence in order to do business outside of South Carolina, obtain business loans, open business bank accounts, or purchase business insurance.
Who is required to get a certificate of good standing?
South Carolina businesses are not legally required to obtain a certificate of existence. However, your business may choose to get one if you decide to do business outside of South Carolina or get a business bank account.
Where do I find a certificate of good standing?
After ordering your South Carolina certificate of existence, it will be available to view online.