How to Register an LLC in South Carolina: A Step-by-Step Guide

Forming a limited liability company (LLC) in South Carolina provides your business with tax flexibility, personal asset protection, and brand credibility. By following these seven steps, you can successfully register your LLC in South Carolina and start your business with confidence.

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South Carolina LLC Quick Facts 

  • To register an LLC in South Carolina, you must file Articles of Organization.
  • The filing fee is $110.
  • In South Carolina, all LLCs are required to submit an Annual Report.
  • Every LLC is required to appoint a registered agent. 

7 Steps to Registering an LLC in South Carolina

Starting an LLC in South Carolina is a straightforward process that can be completed in just seven steps. 

Ready to start your South Carolina LLC? Follow these steps: 

  1. Name Your South Carolina LLC
  2. Appoint a Registered Agent
  3. File the Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes 
  6. Submit an Initial Report
  7. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your South Carolina LLC

To start an LLC, you first need to decide on a name for your business. 

There are few basic rules you need to follow to name an LLC in South Carolina: 

  • Your LLC name must include “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, or “Limited Company”
  • The name should be unique and distinguishable from any other business entity registered in the state
  • Avoid including terms that imply government affiliation or misrepresent your business’s purpose

For the full list of naming requirements, review the South Carolina State Legislature

To check the availability of your chosen business name and ensure it is unique, you can perform a business name search on the South Carolina Secretary of State website

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Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

To register an LLC in South Carolina, you are required to designate a registered agent. A registered agent plays a crucial role in the LLC registration process by receiving important legal documents and notices on behalf of your company. 

In South Carolina, your registered agent must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be a business or individual with a physical address in South Carolina 
  • Cannot be the LLC itself, but can be an LLC owner or employee 
  • Must be present at the designated office during normal business hours 

Who Is Eligible To Serve as a Registered Agent in South Carolina?

A registered agent can be the LLC owner, an employee of the company, a friend or family member, or a hired registered agent service. 

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

To register an LLC in South Carolina, you need to submit your Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State. You can complete this filing online or by submitting this form by mail or in person. 

The filing fee is $110

It is recommended to have the following details prepared: 

  • Your LLC’s name and designated office 
  • The name and address of your registered agent 
  • The names and addresses of all LLCs organizers 
  • Management structure (manager-managed vs. member-managed) 

Quick Note: If you have already formed your business in another state, you need to register as a South Carolina foreign LLC. This can be done by filing an Application for a Certificate of Authority online or by mail with the Secretary of State along with a $110 filing fee. 

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Creating an operating agreement isn’t required in South Carolina. However, it can be a beneficial practice for LLCs regardless. This document outlines the internal procedures and ownership details of your company, ensuring that all members are aligned and helping to prevent future conflicts. 

Step 5: Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes

All LLCs need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN is a unique number that allows the IRS to track your business for tax reporting purposes. 

You can obtain your EIN for free on the IRS website.

In addition to obtaining an EIN, it is important to understand and fulfill your tax responsibilities as an LLC in South Carolina. This includes identifying any additional requirements for your business to pay taxes. To learn more about tax requirements for your South Carolina LLC, visit the Department of Revenue website

Step 6: Submit an Initial Report 

Once your LLC is registered, you will need to file an Initial Report. South Carolina businesses are required to file an Initial Report within 60 days of formation

To do so, file this form online or by mail to the Secretary of State. You will be required to repeat this filing every year as an Annual Report.  

Step 7: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report 

LLCs in South Carolina are required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

New LLCs must ensure to file this report within 90 days of formation, while existing LLCs must complete the filing between January 1st, 2024, and January 1st, 2025. Failure to meet this requirement will result in a $500 per day fine.

You can conveniently file this report online for free on the FinCEN website

Next Steps

  • Open a business bank account to separate and protect your personal assets. We recommend Lili to open a business bank account in minutes and access a suite of financial tools. 
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  • Identify and obtain any licenses and permits that may be required federally or by the state. To learn more about licensing requirements by the state, visit the South Carolina state website
  • Ensure your business has the necessary insurance coverage, such as general liability, workers’ compensation, and personal liability insurance. We recommend Next Insurance for fast, affordable coverage for your new LLC. 
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Additional Tips for Success

  • Build a strong network: Finding other entrepreneurs, mentors, advisors, and leaders in your industry can open new opportunities and provide support throughout your business’s lifecycle.
  • Keep track of your compliance requirements: South Carolina has multiple reporting and fee requirements you need to follow to ensure your business stays compliant.
  • Plan for the future: Map out the goals and ambitions of your company to ensure you’re hitting important milestones.


Starting a business in South Carolina is an exciting venture, and registering your LLC is an important step in the process. By following these steps diligently, you can successfully register your LLC in South Carolina and set your business up for a successful future.