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South Carolina LLC Cost

It will cost $110 ($125 online) to file formation paperwork to start your South Carolina LLC. Luckily, your business won't be on the hook for any annual report fees in South Carolina. However, you'll still have other expenses to consider while establishing your LLC. These include hiring a registered agent, purchasing business licenses, and getting business insurance. This article will cover the required and potential costs associated with starting an LLC in South Carolina.

What You'll Find In This Article:

  1. South Carolina LLC Formation Filing Fee
  2. South Carolina Annual Report Fee
  3. South Carolina Registered Agent Fee
  4. South Carolina State Business License Fee
  5. South Carolina Professional Licensing Fees
  6. Local Business License Fees in South Carolina
  7. Optional LLC Fees in South Carolina
  8. Business Insurance Premiums
  9. Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in South Carolina
A blue card reading “Cost to Start an LLC in South Carolina” and showing the $125 state filing fee next to a white shape of the state.

South Carolina LLC Formation Filing Fee: $110

The first and most important expense you’ll face when starting a South Carolina LLC is the $110 fee to file your South Carolina Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. When submitting your articles online, you’ll also need to pay a $15 electronic records access fee, for a total of $125. After filing, you can officially start doing as an LLC in South Carolina.

Filing is available by mail, in person at the Secretary of State’s Office in Columbia, and online through the Business Entities Online portal. South Carolina doesn’t offer expedited filing, but if you file online, your registration will be processed on the same or next business day.

South Carolina Annual Report Fee: $0

Unless you’ve decided to have your LLC taxed as a corporation, you won’t need to file an annual report in South Carolina, which means no annual report expenses.

However, on the off chance you choose to have your LLC taxed as a C-corp or an S-corp, you’ll need to file an Initial Annual Report of Corporations (Form CL-1) and pay a $25 fee within 60 days of forming your LLC.

LLCs taxed as corporations are also required to submit form SC1120 (C-corps) or SC1120S (S-corps) by the 15th day of the 4th month following the end of your fiscal year annually (if your fiscal year is the calendar year, this is April 15th). Along with the form, you’ll need to pay a license fee, which is 0.1% of your LLC’s capital and paid in surplus, plus $15. At minimum, you must pay $25.

Annual reports can be filed with the Department of Revenue by mail or online through MyDORWAY.

Read more about the South Carolina Annual Report.

South Carolina Registered Agent Fee

As part of establishing your LLC, you’ll need to appoint a South Carolina registered agent. As required by law (Title 33 § 33-44-108), your LLC must have a designated agent for service of process who has an office in South Carolina where they can accept legal documents during regular business hours.

You or another member of your LLC can act as your own registered agent, but you must be available 9-to-5 every week, all year. Plus, you’ll have to list your personal information on your formation documents, which become public record. Hiring a registered agent service can help maintain your privacy while ensuring that someone is always on hand to receive your legal notices. Fees for registered agent service vary. At Northwest, we charge a fixed rate of $125/year.

South Carolina State Business License Fee

South Carolina doesn’t have a general license for all businesses. Still, your LLC may need to get some type of license at the state level. For example, if you’re advertising a business opportunity, you’ll be legally required to file a Registration and/or Biennial Renewal Application of Business Opportunity, which costs $100. You can find information about specific licensing requirements for your LLC on the state’s Licenses, Permits, and Registration page.

Your LLC may also need to obtain a tax license, such as a Retail or Arts & Crafts License. License fees vary by type—a Retail License is $50, while an Arts & Crafts License is $20. You register for all business tax licenses through My DORWAY.

Learn how to get a South Carolina Business License.

South Carolina Professional Licensing Fees

Professional licenses are required for those with jobs that require specialized education or technical training to perform, such as doctors, engineers, plumbers, and cosmologists. Fees and qualifications for professional licenses vary by field and license type. For example, a Veterinarian’s License issued by the South Carolina Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners costs $175, while a Dental License from the South Carolina Board of Dentistry is $300.

You can find all the information you need on professional licensing requirements for your LLC on the state’s Labor Licensing Regulations Division of Professional and Occupational Licensing Boards.

Local Business License Fees in South Carolina

Every municipality in South Carolina issues its own business licenses and permits. You’ll need a local business license not only for the municipality where your LLC is physically located but also wherever your LLC does business.You can use the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s directory of municipalities by county to find contact and licensing information for your local jurisdiction(s).

Optional LLC Fees in South Carolina

So far, we’ve reviewed the required costs associated with starting a South Carolina LLC. However, there are still a few more expenses you may face while establishing your new LLC.

Name Reservation

Reserving a name for your LLC with an Application to Reserve a Limited Liability Company Name is $25 ($32.50 online). Name reservation is a way to lay claim to your desired business name before you officially register your LLC with the state. No other business can take your desired name while you have it reserved. Name reservation is good for 120 days and is nonrenewable. You can file your application by mail, in person, or online.

DBA (Doing Business as) Name

The cost to get a DBA (“doing business as” name) in South Carolina varies by county. South Carolina is one of the few states that doesn’t register DBAs at the state level. Instead, you’ll need to register a DBA at the city or county level. According to information on DBAs provided by Richland County, in many cases, all you’ll need to do to use a DBA is list your DBA on your local business license application. You’ll need to contact your local jurisdiction(s) for exact instructions on getting a DBA in your area.

Certified Copies of Business Documents

Ordering certified copies of your business documents costs $3 for the first page and $0.50 for each additional page. If you order online, you’ll also need to pay an electronic records access fee, which varies according to your initial filing fee, as follows:

Statutory Filing Fee Range Electronic Records Access Fee
$0.01-$5.00 $2.50
$5.01-$24.99 $5.00
$25.00-$29.99 $7.50
$100.00-above $15.00

It’s a good idea to have certified copies of documents like your Articles of Organization on hand for legal, banking, or record-keeping purposes. You can make an online document request or contact the Secretary of State’s office.

Find out how to get a certified copy of your South Carolina Articles of Organization.

South Carolina Certificate of Existence

You can get a Certificate of Existence (also called a Certificate of Good Standing) from the Secretary of State for $10 ($15 online). A Certificate Existence proves that your business is up-to-date with all its state filings and fees. You’ll often need to provide a Certificate of Existence when applying for a loan, taking part in legal proceedings, or registering to do business in another state. Certificates can be ordered online or by contacting the Secretary of State’s office.

Here’s how to get a South Carolina Certificate of Existence.

Business Insurance Premiums

If your LLC has four or more employees (including part-timers), you’ll need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp helps protect employees from financial loss by covering medical costs and lost wages in the case of workplace injury. You can buy coverage through a commercial insurance carrier or through the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s assigned risk program for South Carolina. The price of workers’ compensation insurance depends on how many employees you have and how much risk they’re exposed to in the workplace.

You may also wish to invest in liability insurance. Liability insurance covers losses due to natural disasters, workplace accidents, lawsuits, and property or equipment damage. If needed, you can also get additional coverage for cyber or industry-specific issues. The cost of your liability insurance will be based on the hazards faced by your business and the level of coverage you desire.

Learn more about LLC Business Insurance.

How much does it cost to register a foreign LLC in South Carolina?

If you’re registering your out-of-state LLC as a South Carolina foreign LLC, the cost is $110 ($125 online) to file an Application for a Certificate Of Authority. You’ll also need to appoint a South Carolina registered agent on your application. Filings are accepted by mail, in person, or online.

Keep in mind that before you can begin operating legally in South Carolina, your LLC must obtain all required business licenses and permits, which can lead to additional costs.