Starting a company

How To Start An LLC In South Carolina

South Carolina is an excellent place to establish a business. You may enjoy the gorgeous mountains and southern friendliness while centrally located between New York and Miami. South Carolina's transportation network comprises interstates, ports, and trains, allowing your company to remain connected to the east coast and beyond. This will ensure that you reap benefits all throughout the year and enjoy great revenue. 

To register an LLC in South Carolina, you must follow a few steps. Creating a South Carolina LLC is quite straightforward, and it is an excellent way to secure your assets and get tax benefits.

Key Takeaways

  • The limited liability company (LLC) is a corporate form that shields its owners from personal accountability for the firm's debts or liabilities.
  • The regulation of LLCs differs by state.
  • An LLC can be formed by any organization or individual except banks and insurance companies.
  • Profits earned by LLCs are not taxed directly.
  • Profits and losses are distributed to members, who report them on their tax returns.

Starting A Limited Liability Company In South Carolina

Before you start your own Limited Liability Company, you must take care of several essential elements. Go through the steps mentioned below to form an LLC in South Carolina.

Select Your Business's Name

You probably already have a selection of names in your mind for your new LLC business. This is the moment to narrow down that list to a single item. However, this process involves more than just choosing a business name. This is because the name you select for your Carolina LLC must meet specific requirements. In South Carolina, limited liability businesses must contain words in their titles that help people identify them as one. This indicates that your company's name must have one of the following:

  • Your company's name must be different from the other Carolina-registered LLCs. This implies you must choose a unique name for your LLC.  
  • You cannot select a name that suggests you are linked with a government agency or body. Therefore, you should avoid "Commission" and "Municipal."
  • You cannot include "Prof Corp," "P.C.," or "PC" in the name of your LLC.
  • You cannot use a name that implies you're an insurer unless your business is an insurer subject to Carolina's Insurance Code. For instance, if your name contains the term "insurance," you must also include words such as "Insurance Agency" or "Insurance Broker" to clarify that you are not an insurer.

The last thing you want is to start forming a new South Carolina LLC only to learn that the name you choose is already in use by another South Carolina LLC. Therefore, you must conduct a business name search to ensure that your business name is unique and not taken.  After choosing a name, you may submit a Name Reservation Request form to reserve it for up to 60 days. 

Create A Website

Customers want to be able to research and investigate the businesses and brands they are interested in on online platforms. This implies that your firm will require a website and new social media profiles.

You must register a domain for your new website. Your business name may not be accessible as URL, but don't fret: There are numerous methods to create a domain name that accurately represents your brand. After registering your domain name, consider allocating time to develop your new website or hiring a web designer to do so for you.

Hire A Registered Agent

Your limited liability company needs a registered agent to accept legal and government papers. Anyone filling this position must be at least 18 years old. In addition, they must have a physical address within the state.

File Your LLC Documents

When you know that you are ready for your LLC formation, you have numerous options:

  • Online filing: The quickest approach to get your LLC up and running is to file your paperwork online
  • Send documents through mail: The LLC-1 Form must be downloaded and completed to file by mail. You must include a check that is payable to the Secretary of State in the amount of any applicable fees.
  • File in person: You may submit your documents in person. You must pay a $15 processing fee if you choose to submit in person.

Create A Business Plan 

Creating a business plan is a must to implement your business ideas and keep your company on the right track. A business plan is a document that outlines market analysis, company description, products and services, management customer segmentation, marketing, operations plan, financial plan, etc.

Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The new limited liability company owners must apply for a federal employer identification number (EIN) as per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The federal employer identification number (EIN) serves the same purpose as Social Security Number (SSN).

Filing Of Certificate Of Formation

The next thing you must do is file a certificate of formation. This is also known as an annual report. The documents outline the name and address of your LLC, etc. You can also apply personally in Carolina’s Secretary of State office. 

Get License & Permit

You must also obtain the license and permit to run your limited liability company. This will depend on your business operation and the products and services you plan to offer customers.

Knowledge About South Carolina State Tax

 You must understand that the Carolina Franchise Tax Board imposes an annual tax on all owners running limited liability companies in the state. Paying the taxes on time will help you avoid any legal issues. You can visit South Carolina's official site to get more information on this.


Company insurance will help you save your firm from unforeseen circumstances. You can check out the guidance and tips the Carolina Department of Insurance laid down to know which kind of insurance will be best for your company.

Financial Considerations

 You must open a business bank account to run a limited liability company. This is also important to separate your assets and business profit and keep your company safe from liabilities.

Essential Duties After Forming Your Carolina LLC

After establishing a Carolina LLC effectively, your work still needs to be completed: After founding your LLC, there are further steps you must take to maintain your business's good standing with the state and provide the groundwork for its long-term success.

Submit Form LLC-12 (Statement of Information)

Within ninety days after incorporating an LLC, the Secretary of State requires you to file Form LLC-12 (Statement of Information). You will be required to pay a $20 filing fee. Form LLC-12 must be completed and filed every two years following the original filing.

Acquire a Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN)

Even though single-member LLCs with no workers are not needed to have an EIN, it is always a good idea to obtain one for your LLC. It is available for free online through the IRS website.

There are several advantages to obtaining an EIN for your LLC, including:

  • Banking: You must establish a different bank account for your LLC. However, you must ensure that many banks will need your LLC to have its own EIN to create an account.
  • Business licenses and permissions: Your LLC will require an EIN number in order to apply for a business license in South Carolina.
  • Credibility: Having an EIN for your LLC might aid in establishing greater legitimacy for your firm.
  • Privacy: Some businesses require vendors to provide their EIN or SSN while sending invoices. If your LLC has an EIN, you can keep your SSN confidential in such circumstances.

Pay Taxes

Even if you are not actively conducting business in the state, your Carolina-formed LLCs must pay a minimum yearly franchise tax of $800. Creating an LLC in South Carolina will ensure you get great tax benefits. The first installment of this tax is due on the fifteenth day of the 4th month following your LLC's formation date. The due date for subsequent annual payments is April 15 of each year.

Create a Limited Liability Company Operating Agreement

Although you will not be obliged to register an operating agreement with the Secretary of State, you must still have one. An operating agreement is vital to the operation of your LLC since it specifies the organizational or ownership structure and operating guidelines of your LLC. A comprehensive operating agreement adds respectability to your limited liability company. After drafting an operating agreement, you should retain it with your other LLC records.

  • Maintain Business Compliance

After completing the steps above, you must stay on top of everything. Follow the steps to stay in compliance with state regulations. For instance:

  • Registered Agent 

It would help if you guaranteed that your registered agent is always physically available during regular business hours to accept delivery of crucial legal and government correspondence. 

  • Permissions and Licensing

Depending on your LLC's business, you may be required to apply for various licenses or permissions. Carolina provides a convenient tool that allows you to look for necessary permissions.

  • Filing of a Statement of Information.

Since you only need to file a Form LLC-12 (Statement of Information) every two years after your initial filing, you should maintain track of the next filing deadline by noting when your next filing is due.


What does LLC mean?

The abbreviation "LLC" refers to a corporate organization that offers LLC protection to its owners.

How do I file my LLC's taxes?

The IRS generally treats a single-member LLC as a sole proprietorship. This means they do not need to pay taxes and are exempt from filing tax returns and paperwork (other than Form 568). Members of an LLC may elect to have the entity taxed as a corporation or a partnership.

How much does it cost to form a South Carolina LLC?

The standard filing fee for a Carolina LLC is $70, but this fee has been temporarily eliminated for filings between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. Nonetheless, there are other costs to consider. A registered agent service, for instance, may cost between $50 and $150 each year. Other taxes and fees imposed by Carolina include an annual minimum franchise tax of $800, a $20 filing fee for Form LLC-12, and additional costs for high-income LLCs.

Do I need to file taxes if my LLC generates no income?

If you choose to tax your LLC as a corporation, you must file taxes even if it has no income. The law requires corporations to file annual corporate tax returns regardless of whether they have earned income. Additionally, Carolina LLCs are required to file Form 568.


The decision to start an LLC in Southern Carolina is exciting and profitable. However, you need to keep the points mentioned above in the article in mind to ensure that the process is carried out smoothly. Also, make sure to read the guidelines laid down by the Carolinian government regarding the formation of an LLC. 

This will ensure that you pay all your taxes and comply with the laws.  Starting an LLC is quite easy. All you need to do is follow these steps, and you can also hire a registered agent to help you carry out your tasks perfectly. 

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