South Carolina Secretary of State: The Roles and Responsibilities for Businesses



The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) provides information about filing taxes online at You may file your business income tax return electronically using the SCDOR’s e-file service. If you have questions regarding the use of the e-file service, contact the department’s Customer Service Center at 1-877-824-9222.

If you want to start a business in South Carolina, you need to register your business name with the state before opening your doors. There, you’ll find instructions on registering your company name.

You should keep records of your business transactions, including invoices, receipts, bills, etc., for three years after the end of each year. These records are called “accounting books” and they are kept in a safe place, away from home. You must maintain these accounting books until you file your annual report with the South Carolina Secretary of States.

To get started, you first need to decide what type of business entity you want to create. You can choose between a corporation, partnership, LLC, S Corporation, trust, or sole proprietorship. Each option offers different advantages and disadvantages. A corporation is a separate legal person owned by shareholders who elect directors to manage its affairs. Partnerships are groups of two or more people who join together to share profits and losses. An LLC is a group of individuals who pool their money to buy assets and then divide them among themselves according to their contributions. Corporations and partnerships require formalities, while an LLC does not. Trusts are similar to corporations except that they don’t pay corporate taxes. Finally, sole proprietorships are businesses operated by just one individual.

Once you’ve decided which type of business structure you want to operate, you need to determine whether you’re going to incorporate or set up an LLC. Incorporating requires additional paperwork and fees, while setting up an LLC is much easier. Once you’ve chosen either route, you need to decide if you want to open a business bank account. Banks offer many services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, debit cards, and ATM access. Opening a business bank account gives you access to funds, but it also means having to comply with strict regulations.

After choosing the right business structure, you need to decide where to locate your business. Most states allow you to conduct business anywhere in the state, but some states limit your location to certain counties. In addition, some states charge extra licensing fees if you want to operate out of a specific area.

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Finally, you need to decide what kind of business license you want to apply for. Depending on the type of business you plan to run, you might need a general business license, sales tax permit, food handler’s permit, liquor license, occupational license, or any number of others.

What services does the secretary of state offer for South Carolina businesses

1. Business licenses

The Secretary of State’s office provides business licenses for companies in South Carolina. A license is issued after filing a $25 application fee and paying any applicable taxes. If you need help applying for a business license, contact our office at 803-898-5080.

2. Real estate transactions

If you’re buying or selling real property, we’ll provide information about how to file paperwork and what forms you may need. We also offer assistance with obtaining mortgages and title insurance. Contact us at 803-895-5800.

3. Notary public service

Notaries public perform notarial acts, including signing legal documents, witnessing signatures, and administering oaths. You can find out if you qualify to become a notary public by visiting

4. Voter registration

Voter registration applications are accepted year-round. To register to vote, visit

5. Vehicle registrations

Vehicle registrations are handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Visit for more information.

6. Wills & estates

You can make a will yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Find out how to prepare a will here.

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7. Workers’ compensation

The Department of Insurance administers workers’ Compensation. Call 800-922-0222 for more information.


Create your LLC Corporation with just 3 easy steps


The documents you will need to complete the process of filing an LLC in South Carolina Secretary of State.

  •  Articles of Organization – $300

This document contains information about the company’s name, address, purpose, members, and directors. You’ll have to provide proof of payment for this document.

  •  Certificate of Good Standing – $100

You’ll use this certificate if you want to do business under a different name than what was listed on the articles of organization. If you’re doing business under a different name, then you’ll have to file this document with the secretary of state.

  •  Operating Agreement – $150

If you plan on having employees, then you’ll need to draft an operating agreement. This document outlines how the company will operate and who will make decisions.

  • Resolutions of Members – $50

Resolutions of members are necessary if you want to change the number of members or add/remove members. These resolutions are filed with the secretary of state at no cost.

  •  Notice of Annual Meeting – $25

Notice of annual meeting is required if you want to hold an annual meeting. This notice is filed with the secretary of states office at no cost.

  •  By-laws – $50

By-laws outline the rules and regulations of the company. A copy of these by-laws should be included with the articles of organization.

  •  DBA (Doing Business As) Registration – $200

Dba registration is required if you want your company to operate under a different name than its legal name. This document is filed with the secretary of state’s office at no cost.

How to avoid common mistakes some people make when filing for an LLC in South Carolina Secretary of State.

  •  Not having enough money

I would first recommend having at least $500 cash on hand before doing anything else. If you don’t have any money saved up, then you should start saving now. You’ll need this money to pay the fees associated with setting up your business.

  • Filing late
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If you file after the deadline, you may not get your license until months later. So if you want to do this right, you should plan ahead and set aside time to complete everything.

  • Using the wrong address

You should use the address where you live. Don’t use your parents’ house or your friend’s apartment.

  • Choosing the wrong name

Your company name shouldn’t be something generic. Choose a unique name that represents what you’re going to offer.

  •  Forgetting about taxes

When you register your company, you’ll have to pay income tax. Make sure you know how much you owe and when you need to pay it.

  •  Ignoring legal requirements

There are many things you need to consider when starting a business. Some laws and regulations apply to everyone who wants to operate a business.

  •  Making a mistake



Frequently Asked Questions

How much is an LLC in South Carolina

To form an LLC in South Carolina, you need to file Articles Of Organization with the Secretary of State’s Office. You should expect to pay $100 filing fee plus $25 per year thereafter. There are no additional requirements to maintain an LLC in South Carolina.

Who Can Be Members Of An LLC?

Anyone who wants to become a member of an LLC can do so. However, each state has different rules regarding who can be members of an LLC. In general, only natural persons can be members of an S-Corp. On the other hand, anyone can be a member of an LLC.

How Do I Get Started As A Member Of An LLC?

If you want to start a business as an LLC member, you first need to decide what type of entity you want to set up. Next, you need to determine whether you want to incorporate as a C-Corp or an S-Corp. Once you know what kind of corporation you want to create, you can apply for incorporation at the Secretary of State‘s office. After you approve your articles of organization, you can register your LLC name with the Secretary of State.

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