This tutorial has been created to serve as a general guide to the process of registering a domestic or foreign LLC in the state of South Carolina. Our comprehensive guides will provide you with step-by-step instructions to get your entity up and running as quickly as possible. All business filings will be processed by the Secretary of State, through which online and paper applications are managed. Navigating through the online portal is possible only after an account has been created with the Department of Revenue (tutorial found here). Paper filing will require filers to print off the PDF of the Operating Agreement and submit it through the mail once completed. Business representatives must submit a total of $110 regardless of the chosen method of application. Explore the links below to learn about the exact requirements necessary to file.

How to File

Step 1- The first step we recommend filers take is to perform a business search of the Secretary of State’s name database. A business search is necessary to check the availability of the operating name chosen for your entity. Once an available name has been chosen, you may wish to file a $10 Name Reservation application. Doing so will provide you with 120 days in which a name’s availability is secured.

Step 2- After deciding on a name, filers can begin the actual filing process by submitting an online or paper application. Click on the link below assosiated with your entity type to view our tutorials on this process and learn more about the steps required when filing with the Secretary of State.

Step 3- When your formation documents have been completed either through the online portal or by PDF application, a filing fee must be prepared. Online filers can pay the $110 fee by credit/debit card or electronic funds withdrawal (checking or savings account). The registration process for online applications is completed upon payment of the filing fee. Individuals filing by mail must provide a check or money order made out to the Secretary of State. They will then need to forward the PDF application in duplicate to the address below with the filing fee attached. Foreign business representatives should note that a certificate of existence/good standing will be required when filing for formation.

South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office

1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525

Columbia, SC 29201


EIN – An Employer Identification Number should be obtained as soon as acceptance of formation has been received from the Secretary of State. Obtaining an EIN is paramount to the operation of any successful business. The IRS uses this number as a way of identifying each individual employer located within the United States. With an EIN your business will be legally allowed to hire employees, apply for loans, register for bank accounts, and perform a number of other business transactions. Click on the link at the heading of this paragraph to learn more about the Online and Paper application procedures.

Operating Agreement – Drafting an operating agreement will provide your limited liability company with an organization tool used to relay the various logistical and financial provisions not previously defined in the initial formation documents. In the event of a future legal dispute, an operating agreement can be referenced as it clearly describes the rules and regulations that the management must abide by. There’s no legal obligation to draft an agreement, however we highly recommend that you do as it will often serve as the single most important legal document on file with the LLC. Linked at the heading of this paragraph is a free template, available for download in MS Word and PDF formats.

Renewal – Most states in the country require limited liability companies to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. Renewing is necessary to update their general business details and remain in good standing. Fortunately for LLC representatives in South Carolina there is no such requirement. There is however a report that must be filed with the Department of Revenue for all LLCs with S Corp tax status. The SC 1120 S document should be completed when filing your income tax reports. A fee based on the amount of taxable income must be included and will be no less than $25. Send the SC 1120 S report and the filing fee to the address below.




How to (Video)