Last updated: April 10, 2023

Creating an LLC in South Carolina isn't as simple as just paying a fee and filing. Many other costs can be involved in the process that you may not be aware of.

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.

In this article, we will review all the costs associated with a South Carolina LLC, so you can spend more time and effort focusing on your budding business.

Quick Summary

  • The South Carolina LLC state filing fee is $110 for Articles Of Organization.
  • A South Carolina LLC is not required to file an annual report unless they are taxed as an S-Corporation.
  • Building your South Carolina LLC may come with other costs, including filing your Articles of Organization, filing for an EIN, a DBA, name reservation, and more.

How Much Does An LLC Cost In South Carolina?

An LLC owner doing paperwork in an office

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

South Carolina LLC Filing Fee

The South Carolina LLC fee of $110 is a one-time filing fee for your Articles Of Organization.

Unlike the majority of states, a South Carolina business doesn't need to pay an annual report fee.

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 and file an annual report [2].

South Carolina Registered Agent Service Fee

A registered agent from South Carolina holding paperwork

Hiring a South Carolina registered agent will require you to pay a fee between $100 to $300 a year. Hiring registered agent services is necessary if you don't have a South Carolina address or can't feasibly be your own registered agent.

South Carolina law requires you to choose a registered agent when filing for your South Carolina LLC.

A registered agent accepts legal documents and notices for your LLC. The registered agent must have an address in South Carolina and be available during normal business hours.

You can choose to be your own registered agent or hire a registered agent service.

If you choose yourself as your registered agent service, you will need to have a South Carolina address which will be made public, and you are required to be available every day of the week all year during regular business hours.

South Carolina Business/ License Tax

An LLC owner holding a folder of paperwork for Tax

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.

The South Carolina Business One Stop has a listing of the requirements for each locality concerning business licenses [3].

Certain specialty businesses may need a specific local business license. Depending on the nature of your business, there are also various South Carolina business taxes your LLC may be required to pay, including use tax, sales tax, and more.

Other South Carolina LLC Cost Factors

A person in an office writing down on a paper

The following additional expenses could be incurred while forming an LLC in South Carolina:

1. Name Reservation

To reserve a business name for your LLC in South Carolina, you must submit an application and a $25 fee.

Name reservation prevents any other LLC in South Carolina from using your company name before you register it. Your reservation lasts for 120 days. This is filed through the South Carolina Secretary of State.

Before reserving a name, look up a South Carolina LLC if it is available using the South Carolina Business Name Search [4].

2. DBA Name

An LLC owner holding paperwork at her desk

A DBA name costs $10 in South Carolina. If you are considering doing business under any name other than your legal business name, you must 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.

Your limited liability company can register for a DBA or "assumed name" with the County Clerk.

3. Certified Copies

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

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

4. Certificate Of Existence

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.

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.

5. Operating Agreement

An office worker holding paperwork in an office

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, who profits at what percentage, and more.

The cost of an operating agreement can vary depending on if you do it yourself or pay someone to draft one up.

6. Employer Identification Number

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.

7. Certificate Of Authority

A Certificate of Authority allows a foreign business to conduct business in South Carolina.

Companies that are incorporated in another state are hiring employees in South Carolina, or are opening a business location within the state need to apply for a Certificate of Authority. This is included in the $110 South Carolina LLC fees.

South Carolina Foreign LLC

An LLC owner doing paperwork

When creating a foreign LLC in South Carolina, you will need to pay the $110 state filing fee.

Paying the fee and filing an application for creating a foreign LLC will expand your LLC into the state of South Carolina. Filing is available online, by mail, or in person.

You must also file a Certificate of Authority to conduct business with your foreign limited liability company in South Carolina.


Do I Need An Operating Agreement In South Carolina?

No, you don't need an operating agreement in South Carolina. South Carolina doesn't require an LLC to have one. However, an operating agreement can protect your LLC members, personal assets, limited liability status, and more.

Do I Need To Pay Business Taxes In South Carolina?

Whether or not you need to pay business taxes in South Carolina depends on your business. If you are selling a good or service, you will need to pay sales tax and possibly use tax. The taxes you will need to pay vary based on your industry.

Can My Foreign LLC Do Business In South Carolina?

Yes, your foreign LLC can do business in South Carolina if you are registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State. You must also have a registered agent located in South Carolina to accept legal documents on behalf of your LLC.

How Long Will It Take To Create An LLC In South Carolina?

How long it takes to create your LLC depends on how you file your Articles of Organization. If you file online, your LLC may be approved in 1 to 2 business days. If you file by mail, it can take up to 3 to 4 business days plus mailing time.

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. An incentive can include maintaining a specific minimum balance or meeting a certain number of direct deposits monthly.

Is South Carolina A Good State To File My LLC In?

Yes, South Carolina is an excellent state to file your LLC in. The South Carolina Secretary of State doesn't charge for a state business license for a business entity, has fast approval times, no annual filing fee, and the majority of their filing fees are very low.

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.

How Long Does A DBA Last In South Carolina?

A DBA lasts for five years in South Carolina. After five years, you need to renew your fictitious business name.

Where Do I Create My LLC In South Carolina?

In South Carolina, you create your LLC with The South Carolina Secretary of State. You file your Articles of Organization and pay the $110 fee to legally create your LLC in the state.

Can An LLC Buy Property In South Carolina?

Yes, an LLC can buy property in South Carolina. As long as the proper tax liabilities are being met by the LLC, there are no specific requirements.

Can You Have A Single-Member LLC In South Carolina?

Yes, you can have a single-member LLC in South Carolina. Single-member and multi-member LLCs are considered to be the same and have the same requirements.

Can I Start An LLC In South Carolina For Free?

No, no one can start an LLC in South Carolina for free. A business entity must pay the filing fee and file its Articles Of Organization to legally transact business in South Carolina. Any business that doesn't follow these requirements can meet serious legal consequences.

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.



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