HOW TO START AN LLC IN SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina is a business-friendly state; the LLC process is fast and easy. You’ll need to start by coming up with a unique name for your LLC, registering your business and getting set up to hire employees and pay taxes. Once you are done with these tasks, maintenance is simple; South Carolina does not require an LLC to file annual reports and has few other compliance requirements once the business is established.
Naming the LLC
- An LLC in South Carolina needs to follow some specific naming guidelines to be legal. It may take some time to figure out the name that suits a business best, or the owner may already have a name in mind. No matter what the LLC will be called, the name needs to follow the existing rules and guidelines.
Naming Guidelines in South Carolina
- The chosen name must include either the full words “Limited Liability Company” or one of two abbreviated forms, L.L.C. or LLC.
- Some words are not allowed to be used in an LLC name in South Carolina; these include words already in use by state or Federal agencies.
- Restricted words may possibly be used, but require additional paperwork for approval.
- The name must be unique and not already in use by another entity.
Is the Name for the LLC Available in South Carolina? (How To Search)
- Since the name chosen needs to be unique, the fastest and easiest way to avoid duplication is to do a quick online search with the business filings department of the state government. Simply visit the official site and search for the proposed name.
Is the domain name available?
- Since a cohesive brand and web presence is a must, the business owner should check to make sure the domain name for their chosen LLC is available and secure the domain for use on the company website. Even if there is a site in place, securing the name ensures that no one else can use it and allows you to use it when you are ready.
Select a Registered/ Statutory Agent
- A registered agent can benefit your new LLC in a variety of ways; they act as a responsible third party who can receive process notices and notifications and government correspondence on your behalf and act as a contact person for your business. South Carolina has few rules regarding registered agent selection; the individual simply has to live in the state or be authorized to work in the state. Incfile offers FREE Registered Agent service for the first year with every package or as a $0 standalone service.
Filing Articles of Organization
- The state of South Carolina requires LLCs to file Articles of Organization and to pay a fee of $110 at the time of filing. There is an online form that can be used to complete this process.
Create Operating Agreement
- You are not required to create an operating agreement if you start an LLC in South Carolina as of 2017.
RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS
Getting Your EIN
- An EIN is an employee identification number, issued by the Internal Revenue service. Sometimes it is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number. It’s a unique number issued to each business. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account; file Federal and State Taxes; and hire employees.
- Before you get your EIN make sure your new business has been properly formed before applying and be wary of paid sites. EINs are free direct from the IRS.
- The easiest way is to apply online for an EIN. Note, the IRS website has office hours, and is only available Monday through Friday, 7am to 10pm. Yes, we also agree this is one of the most ridiculous things we’ve ever seen. You can call 1-800-829-4933, between 7am to 7pm of your time zone, Monday to Friday. Snail mail: You can download the form and mail it in.
Keeping Business and Personal Accounts Separate
- Get a business bank account for your business. This will help you protect your personal assets from potential creditors and lawsuits, and will also make life a lot easier come tax time.
- Get a business credit or debit card. This will help you keep your expenses separate and easier to track.
- No matter what business you run, accounting software and processes is a must for any small business. If you have an accountant, ask them which software they work with and recommend. A good accounting system is necessary to track income and expenses, so you can easily see if you’re making money and make filing income taxes so much easier.
- Always try and find something that will: sync with all of your bank and credit card accounts automatically – not just downloads, but auto sync; auto-match vendors, customers and other accounts; and let you accept credit cards and ACH drafts with ease. This can be applied for online, as can unemployment.
Will the LLC Have Employees?
Before the first employee can be hired, a South Carolina LLC will need to have the following in place:
- Unemployment Insurance/Workers Compensation Insurance for employees
- Withholding for employees
- Complete all employee paperwork, including proof that the employee is eligible to work in the United States
- Sales tax collection for the products and services you sell
- Permits for your local government or city, state and the federal government as needed
- Licenses for the business and any staff members that require it
- General liability insurance to protect the LLC from lawsuits and injuries
- Post all required OSHA and employee posters and documents
KEEPING YOUR LLC COMPLIANT
- You are not required to file an annual report for your South Carolina business, but you do need to request a Certificate of Good Standing, this can be done online. Although you do not have to file an annual report in South Carolina, you may opt to do so; you may also need to renew any licenses and registrations for your employees, vehicles and equipment on an annual basis.
ABOUT HOW TO START AN LLC
I'm an entrepreneur myself. When talking to others who want to start their own business, they often get wrapped up in the nitty gritty of paperwork and forming the company. They forget that what really matters is customers, sales, and profit. That's why I created How to Start an LLC.org: a simple resource and guide so you can spend less time on forming your company, and more time on building it.
My lawyers want me to remind you that I'm not a lawyer and that I'm completely unqualified to offer legal advice. This site is meant to serve as a reference for you on your journey. If you have questions or concerns, please contact a qualified lawyer (or accountant) to help you. Also, as a general rule, never take random legal advice on the internet.