Looking to start your own limited liability company in South Carolina? Look no further! We’ve also got a free, downloadable “do it yourself” kit you can use. In other words, the price you pay to purchase equals “zero.” That kit provides more information about LLCs and includes a couple of free LLC operating agreements. (We used to sell the kit but since the Covid-19 pandemic have simply given the kit away.)
If you are already well-versed in LLCs and just need a little help getting the forms filed in the state, check out option two below, which are the step-by-step instructions on creating your limited liability company in South Carolina. (These instructions are up-to-date as of July 27, 2020.)
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
As a first step, you may want to check if the LLC name you want to use is even available. Here’s an easy and free way to do this: You can search for a similarly named LLC using the South Carolina Secretary of State online database at:
The South Carolina Secretary of State’s Business Filings database is provided as a convenience. It is updated every 48 hours.
You can reserve a name by filing an application to do so along with a check for $25. This is not a required step to create an LLC. If the Secretary of State finds that the name applied for is available, it will be reserved for your exclusive use for a nonrenewable one hundred twenty-day period.
2. Download the Articles of Organization form from the South Carolina Secretary of State’s web site, then print this form
The URL, or web page address, for this form is as shown below.
You can also file online at:
3. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
Enter your business or investment name onto the lines provided. (I used the example name, “Acme Explosives LLC.”) The name of a limited liability company must contain “limited liability company” or “limited company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.”, “LLC”, “L.C.”, or “LC”. “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.”, and “company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability
- Acme Explosives L.L.C.
- Acme Explosives LLC
- Acme Explosives L.C.
- Acme Explosives LC
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Liability Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Co.
- Acme Explosives Ltd Liability Co.
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Liability
4. Indicate the address in which the LLC office is located
On line two, put the address of the LLC office.
5. Provide the registered agent’s name and address to the Secretary of State’s office
South Carolina wants to know the name and contact information for a real person within the state of South Carolina who the state can contact if it has questions or concerns about an LLC’s operation or if legal documents need to be served. An agent must be an individual resident of South Carolina, a domestic corporation, another limited liability company, or a foreign corporation or foreign company authorized to do business in South Carolina. Generally, it’s easiest and least expensive to be your own registered agent (if you live in South Carolina). Accordingly, enter your name and address information into section 3.
6. Identify yourself as the LLC organizer
You need to provide your name and address as the LLC organizer.
Note: The name of the LLC needs to be put at the top of page 2.
7. Check the box only if the LLC will be for a specific amount of time
If your LLC is to be organized for a specific amount of time, check the box and give the date of dissolution. If your LLC is ongoing, then skip section 5 completely.
8. List management style of your LLC
If a member (owner) is going to manage your LLC, leave this part blank. If a non-member is to manage the LLC list their name and address here.
9. Agree to owner (member) debt responsibility (optional)
If a member or members have agreed to be liable for the LLC debts and obligations, check this box and indicate the specifics of this. This is optional.
10. Indicate effective date
List the specified effective date, if any. If none is listed, the articles will go into effect when the document is endorsed by the Secretary of State, which is typical in most instances.
11. Print, sign and date the form
The signature of each organizer, along with the date, needs to go into section 10.
12. Submit the application
After you complete the Articles of Organization, mail two copies of the document, a self-addressed stamped return envelope, and a $110 check made payable to the South Carolina Secretary of State to:
South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office
Attn: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the Secretary of State’s office.
Other Resources You Might Find Useful
Steps to apply for an employer identification number