How Much Does an LLC Cost in South Carolina (Full Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: February 5, 2024
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Creating an LLC in South Carolina isn't as simple as just paying a fee and filing the necessary documents.

As an experienced Mergers and Acquisitions specialist, I helped several businesses and individuals form LLCs in different states.

Together with business experts in the state, we have spent months researching the costs and requirements to create an LLC in South Carolina to provide you with information on all the costs associated with starting an LLC.

Quick Summary

  • An LLC in South Carolina costs $110 to file the Articles of Organization. 
  • Forming your South Carolina LLC may come with other costs, including a registered agent service, business licenses and permits, filing for an EIN, a DBA, name reservation, and other documents.
  • Comparatively speaking, starting an LLC in South Carolina falls within the average of forming an LLC across the United States which costs $50 to $500.
  • Through my experience, I learned that it’s important to hire a legal professional to ensure all LLC documents are legally binding. 


Cost to Start an LLC in South Carolina

An LLC owner doing paperwork in an office

There are mandatory fees and optional costs when forming an LLC in South Carolina. These include the following:

1. LLC Formation Filing Fee ($110 - Mandatory)

An LLC in South Carolina costs $110. This fee is to register your LLC and file your Articles Of Organization with the Department of State.

You can file your South Carolina Articles Of Organization in person, via mail, or online at the Business Entities Online website [1].

When I wanted to file using the expedited service, I learned that the state doesn’t offer one – which was fine since online submissions are processed within 24 hours.

2. Registered Agent Service Fee ($80-$300 – Optional)

South Carolina law requires you to choose a registered agent when filing for your South Carolina LLC. It costs $80 to $300 to employ the services of one.

To remain compliant with state laws, I advise my clients to hire a registered agent since they receive service of process on behalf of the company.

3. Name Reservation Fee ($25 - Optional)

To reserve a business name for your LLC in South Carolina, you must submit an application and a $25 fee payable through the Secretary of State. Your reservation lasts for 120 days.

Name reservation prevents any other LLC in South Carolina from using your company name before you register it.

Before reserving a name, I ensure that the LLC name complies with state naming guidelines. I look up a South Carolina LLC if it is available using the Business Name Search [2].

Expenses Following the Approval of Your LLC

Once the limited liability company has been approved and legally operating in the state, you may need to pay for additional documents.

1. Business License (Depending on the Line of Business - Mandatory)

South Carolina doesn't have a statewide business license for LLCs; however, each municipality controls its own business licenses and registrations. The cost will vary depending on where your LLC does business.

I navigated the South Carolina Business One Stop, since it has a listing of the requirements for each locality concerning business licenses [3].

2. Annual Report Fee ($0)

Unlike most states, a South Carolina business doesn't need to pay an annual report fee. Only an LLC taxed as an S-corporation must pay the fee [4].

South Carolina doesn't require an operating agreement, but it is a good idea for your business to have one. An operating agreement is a statement that establishes how your LLC will be run, profit distribution, and voting requirements to name a few.

The cost of an operating agreement can vary depending on if you do it yourself ($0) or pay an attorney to draft one up.

A client of mine opted to use an online template from a reputable LLC formation service. The costs range between $100 to $200.

4. DBA Name ($10 - Optional)

A DBA name costs $10 in South Carolina. If you are considering doing business under any name other than your legal business name, register a Doing Business As Name.

Unlike most states, DBAs aren't registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State but are registered in the county where the business is.

5. Certified Copies ($3 + $0.50 per additional page - optional)

You can order certified copies for $3 plus $.50 per additional page. This includes South Carolina LLC, including your Articles of Organization, LLC owner's information, and more.

I keep a copy of these documents for protection against potential legal issues.

Certified copies can be ordered online, by phone, or in person at the South Carolina Secretary of State [5].

6. Certificate Of Existence ($10 - Optional)

For an LLC in South Carolina, a certificate of existence is the same as a certificate of good standing. You can order a certificate of existence for $10.

I advise clients to obtain this document since a South Carolina business is required to provide a Certificate of Existence if creating a business bank account or registering as a foreign LLC in another state.

An employer identification number (EIN) costs $0 to file and can be done online, via mail, or phone through the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS employer identification number can be used to get a business bank account and is necessary if you have employees.

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FAQs

How Much Is A Business Bank Account In South Carolina?

The cost of a business bank account in South Carolina varies. Some banks can charge monthly fees from $10 to $50, while others don't charge monthly fees or offer incentives instead of monthly fees.

How Much Does South Carolina Tax An LLC?

South Carolina doesn't charge LLCs with any corporate tax. LLC members individually need to pay state and federal income on earnings from the LLC.

Do You Need Professional Help With Your South Carolina LLC?

South Carolina is an excellent state for forming an LLC because it has no annual fee, doesn't charge a state business license fee, has fast approval times, and the overall cost is low compared to other states.

Being your own registered agent, handling all the paperwork, business insurance, and legal notices can be a lot more effort than you think.

If you want to focus on your business and leave legal processes to someone else, consider using an LLC formation service.

These South Carolina LLC formation services can easily help your business through every step of the LLC process.

The LLC formation service can manage necessary forms like your Articles of Organization, operating agreements, liability protection, and more for your small business, making the formation process seamless.


References:

  1. https://businessfilings.sc.gov/businessfiling
  2. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t12c020.php#:~:text=(A)%20Except%20for%20those%20corporations,annual%20report%20with%20the%20department.
  3. https://scbos.sc.gov/county-resources
  4. https://businessfilings.sc.gov/BusinessFiling/Entity/Search
  5. https://sos.sc.gov/online-filings/business-entities/document-request-online

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