Welcome to the Start a Business guide to registering a foreign LLC in South Carolina. Getting started is simple with the online registration portal provided by the Department of Revenue. Filers will be able to create an account through which they can manage all their filings and stay up-to-date on the status of their business. Alternatively, paper filing can be accomplished by downloading and completing the Certificate of Authority PDF. This application must be printed in duplicate before being sent to the Secretary of State with the appropriate filing fee. The $110 fee can be payed by credit/debit card for online applications, and by check or money order made out to the Secretary of State for those filing through the mail. Be sure to include a certificate of existence/good standing from your LLC’s initial jurisdiction of formation with your filings as this is required for all foreign LLCs.

It is necessary that all entities in the state operate under a unique business name which is distinguishable from that of any other entity on currently on file with the Secretary of State. For this reason we recommend that a Business Entity Search be performed prior to registration to check that availability of the desired name. Should additional time be necessary to prepare your formation documents, filing a $10 Name Reservation application will reserve a name for a period of 120 days.

How to File (Online)

Step 1- Filers must begin by accessing their online account. If an account has yet to be created, click here to view our tutorial on the registration process.

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Step 2- After successfully logging in, continue by navigating here to begin the filing process. Select the type of entity you would like to form by choosing one of the available options from the drop-down menu.

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Step 3- Specify the residency of the entity being formed by selecting one of the available options. Once chosen, click Continue to proceed.

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Step 4- Enter the name of the LLC into the entry field. The name most contain the appropriate ending or abbreviation.

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Step 5- All foreign LLCs seeking formation in the state must file the Certificate of Authority with their formation documents. Click Yes and then Continue to include the certificate with your filings.

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Step 6- The following page simply states that the foreign LLC is applying to transact business in South Carolina. Click Continue to proceed.

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Step 7- Enter the state or country under whose law the company is organized by selecting one of the options from the menu.

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Step 8- The address of the principal office must now be supplied. Enter the U.S. or international address into the entry fields then click Continue to proceed.

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Step 9- Each LLC must designate and maintain an office in the state. Enter the address of the office into the provided entry fields (must be a physical address and not a P.O. Box).

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Step 10- The name of the registered agent in South Carolina must now be supplied. The registered agent must be an individual resident, domestic corporation, another LLC, or a foreign entity authorized to do business in the state.

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Step 11- Continue by supplying the registered agent’s address in South Carolina.

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Step 12- Specify as to whether or not the duration of the company is a specific term. If no term is given, the LLC will be considered “at-will”.

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Step 13- Enter the period of duration into the entry bar. This step only relates to LLCs that selected Yes in Step 12.

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Step 14- Specify as to whether or not the company is manager-managed. If the LLC is not manager-managed, then the day-to-day activities of the organization are handled by members.

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Step 15- If the LLC is manager-managed, the names and addresses of each manager must now be supplied. Click Add to begin this process.

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Step 16- The name and business title of a manager must be provided. Enter the name into the entry field, and then select his/her title by choosing one of the options from the drop-down menu.

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Step 17- Continue by supplying the address of the manager mentioned in Step 16.

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Step 18- You may now repeat the previous three steps to add managers to your LLC. Click Continue once all the managers have been provided.

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Step 19- Specify as to whether or not the members of the foreign LLC are liable for the company’s debts and obligations.

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Step 20- A signature package must be downloaded and completed before moving forward in the filing process. Select the link titled Click for Required Signatures Form to download the package.

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Step 21- With the signatures obtained, the package must now be uploaded and included with your filings. Click Choose File to select the signature package from your computer files. Specify the delivery method and file format before clicking Continue to proceed.

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Step 22- A certificate of existence/good standing is required when forming a foreign LLC in South Carolina. Use the Choose File tab to select an item from your computer files containing the certificate.

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Step 23- All the information that has been provided so far will be displayed on the following page. Scroll down to the bottom to find an image like the one shown below. Use the Previous tab to go back to any point in the filing process and alter any details that may have been supplied incorrectly. Click Continue once your application has been verified.

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Step 24- Clicking Continue on the following page will add your application to the shopping cart.

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Step 25- The next page displays a description of the filing fee you will be required to pay. Click Checkout to proceed.

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Step 26- The fee will once again be shown. Click Continue to move forward to the final stages of the filing process. 

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Step 27- The $110 filing fee can be supplied by electronic funds withdrawal (checking or savings account) or by using your credit/debit card. Select a method of payment and click Continue.

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Step 28- The filing process is complete upon supplying your banking information, or credit/debit card details depending on which method of payment was chosen. Click Continue once all the information has been supplied to commit to payment and submit your application.

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How to File (PDF)

Step 1- Filers must begin by downloading the Certificate of Authority.

Step 2- The information required on the application is as follows:

Page 1

  • 1-Name of the LLC
  • 2-State or country under whose law the company is organized
  • 3-Address of the LLC’s principal office
  • 4-Address of the LLC’s designated office in South Carolina
  • 5-Address of the LLCs’s initial agent for service of process in South Carolina
  • 6-Specify the duration of the company (if applicable)

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Page 2

  • Name of the LLC
  • 7-If the company is manager-managed, list the names and business addresses of each manager
  • 8-Specify as to whether or not one or more members of the LLC are liable for its debts and obligations
  • Date signed
  • Signature
  • Name and business title

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Step 3- Once your application has been completed and printed in duplicate, continue by attaching a check or money order in the amount of $110 (payable to the Secretary of State). Lastly, a certificate of existence/good standing from the LLC’s initial jurisdiction must be provided. Gather all items and forward them to the address below.

South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office

1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525

Columbia, SC 29201

Tips

Renewal – In many states, LLCs are required to file an annual report with the secretary of state. During this process they are able to update their business information and specify any changes that may have occurred in the past year. The state of South Carolina however has no such requirements. However, LLCs that have filed for formation under S Corp tax status must supply a renewal with the Department of Revenue when filing their income tax returns. A fee based on the LLC’s taxable income must be submitted at this time (and will be no less than $25). Click on the link at the heading of this paragraph to download the S Corp renewal application. Once completed, have the fee and the application forwarded to the address below.

SCDOR

CORPORATE TAXABLE

COLUMBIA, SC 29214