Register a Foreign Corporation in South Carolina
To register a foreign corporation in South Carolina, you must file a South Carolina Application for Certificate of Authority with the South Carolina Secretary of State, Business Filings Division. You can submit this document by mail, in person, or online. The Application for Certificate of Authority for a foreign South Carolina corporation costs $150 to file. Below, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about how to file the Application for Certificate of Authority and register a foreign corporation in South Carolina. Or, sign up for our South Carolina Foreign Corporation service, and we’ll handle your filing instead!
Free PDF Download
Download the South Carolina Application for Certificate of Authority. Fill out the form and submit it to the state.
Do It Yourself Online
Our free account and tools will walk you through registering your Foreign Corporation in South Carolina. All for free.
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Free Guide to Registering a Foreign Corporation in South Carolina
What does it cost to register a foreign corporation in South Carolina?
South Carolina charges $150 to register foreign corporations. This total includes the $135 filing fee plus a $15 admin portal fee/online fee.
How long does it take for the state to process the South Carolina Certificate of Authority?
Online Processing: 24-48 business hours. Normal Processing: 7-10 business days, plus additional time for mailing. In Person Processing: while you wait at no additional charge.
How will I get verification of qualification back from South Carolina?
If filing in person you will receive it there, if filing by mail you will receive a file stamped copy by mail, if filing online you will receive a verification email.
What forms do I file with South Carolina to qualify my out of State Corporation?
Foreign corporations are required to file the Application for Certificate of Authority form (in duplicate), the Initial Annual Report form (for profit corporations only), an original Certificate of Existence and the filings fees.
What do I need from my home state?
A Certificate of Existence is required.
Does it need to be an original copy?
How current does the certificate need to be?
Must be current within 30 days of filing.
Will I need an South Carolina registered agent for my corporation?
Yes, when you hire Northwest as your registered agent, it’s a flat rate yearly price of $125 a year. You’ll have an online account that tracks your report due dates, which states you’re registered in, when your yearly service with us is up, and any documents we receive locally for you are uploaded into your account immediately for complete viewing.
If or when you get served with a lawsuit, we can email up to 4 people and your attorney at the same time for real time complete viewing of a lawsuit. You’ll receive annual report reminders. It’s the same price every year, and there are no weird fees or cancellation fees.
You’ll also see all the pre-populated forms and specific filing instructions on the thank you page, in your online account, and they are emailed to you immediately upon signing up for 1 year of registered agent service.
Does the South Carolina registered agent need to sign the filing?
How can I file the South Carolina Certificate of Authority?
By mail, in person or online.
What is the state agency that accepts the out of state registration?
South Carolina Secretary of State Business Filings Division PO Box 11350, Columbia, SC 29211 or Edgar Brown Building 1205 Pendleton Street Suite 525, Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: (803)734-2158
Do the signatures on the South Carolina corporation application need to be original?
Yes, if filing by mail or in person.
Who has to sign the foreign corporation filing?
A person authorized by the corporation must sign the form.
Are there any weird things about registering in South Carolina?
County filing or publication is not necessary, unless specifically required by the county in which your registered agent resides.
Are there ongoing South Carolina annual report and/or initial reporting requirements?
An initial annual report is required by the Secretary of State when filing, for profit corporations only. No annual report is required with the Secretary of State. However, the Department of Revenue may contact you requesting annual reports.
What are your fees?
You’ll need to have an South Carolina registered agent. We charge $125 a year to act as your registered agent in South Carolina. It’s a flat rate, once a year fee, and includes more than other registered agents. Here’s a little more about our registered agent service registered agent service.
We charge a $100 one-time filing service fee if you would like us to obtain the certificates needed from your home state, and register your company in any state you choose.
We have offices in every state and can act as your registered agent and make your filings for you in any state. If you would like to register with multiple states at once, we can usually drop our filing service fee down.