South Carolina Corporation Requirements

Each state has different requirements for forming a corporation. Whether you are starting a business or incorporating a business already in existence, you’ll want to understand state requirements for South Carolina incorporation.

What is the cost to incorporate in South Carolina?

At BizFilings, we clearly outline our fees and the state fees to form a South Carolina corporation. View our pricing to incorporate as a C corporation or S corporation to plainly see:

  • BizFilings’ package prices. BizFilings offers three incorporation service packages from which you can choose.
  • State fee for standard turn-around. Our pricing shows the state fee to incorporate in South Carolina with standard turn-around. Please note, South Carolina requires that an attorney licensed to practice in South Carolina sign the Articles of Incorporation. The attorney fee is included with the state fee we display in our pricing.
  • Expedited turn-around. You will see the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for expedited turn-around.
  • Certified copy. Our pricing also clearly displays the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for issuing a Certified Copy of the Articles of Incorporation.

Incorporate in South Carolina

What are the requirements for a corporate name in South Carolina?

The name must contain the word "Corporation," "Incorporated," "Company" or "Limited," the abbreviation "Corp.," "Inc.," "Co." or "Ltd.," or abbreviations of words with similar meanings in another language. The name cannot contain language indicating a purpose other than that permitted by state law and the Articles of Incorporation. It must be distinguishable upon records of the Secretary of State from the name of a domestic or qualified foreign corporation, reserved or registered corporate name, non-profit corporation or limited partnership.

What are the requirements for director information in South Carolina?

The following are South Carolina’s requirements for directors of corporations.

  • Minimum number. Corporations must have one or more directors.
  • Residence requirements. South Carolina does not have a provision specifying where directors must reside.
  • Age requirements. South Carolina does not have age requirements.
  • Inclusion in the Articles of Incorporation. Director names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation.

What are the requirements for the Articles of Incorporation in South Carolina?

The document required to form a corporation in South Carolina is called the Articles of Incorporation. The information required in the formation document varies by state. South Carolina's requirements include:

  • Officers. Officer names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation, but they must be listed in the initial report.
  • Stock. Authorized shares and par value must be listed in the Articles of Incorporation. An increase in the number of shares or par value does not affect initial filing fees.
  • Registered agent. Corporations must list the name and address of a registered agent with a physical address (no post office boxes) in South Carolina. The registered agent must be available during normal business hours to accept important legal and tax documents for the business.
South Carolina Registered Agent Service

Other filings required at time of incorporation

Some states require additional filings or steps at the time of incorporation, such as a county level filing, publishing notice of the incorporation in a local newspaper or an initial report filing. South Carolina requires the following:

  • Initial report. South Carolina requires corporations to file an initial report at the same time as filing the Articles of Incorporation.

Professional services businesses

South Carolina allows professionals, such as accountants, attorneys and physicians, to form a professional corporation (PC).

After forming a corporation, you must undertake certain steps on an ongoing basis to keep your business in compliance. These steps are also important in preserving the limited liability a corporation provides its owners. This guide outlines the ongoing requirements for South Carolina corporations.

Corporate records

South Carolina corporations must keep the following items with their corporate records at the principal office:

  • The Articles of Incorporation and any amendments
  • Bylaws or restated bylaws and any amendments
  • Permanent minutes of shareholder and director meetings and all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors in place of the board of directors and on behalf of the corporation
  • Resolutions adopted by its board of directors creating one or more classes or series of shares and fixing their relative rights, preferences, and limitations
  • Permanent records of actions taken by the shareholders without a meeting
  • Written communications to shareholders for the past three years
  • A list of the names and addresses of all shareholders listed alphabetically showing the number and class of shares held by each
  • A list of names and business addresses of current directors and officers
  • Most recent annual report
  • Federal and state income tax returns for the past 10 years

Corporate taxes and fees

The following are taxation requirements and ongoing fees for South Carolina corporations:

  • Annual report. South Carolina requires corporations to file an annual report on or before the 15th day of the third month following the close of the fiscal year. The filing fee is based on the corporation’s capital stock and paid-in capital or capital surplus. The minimum fee is $25.
  • Taxes. For complete details on state taxes for South Carolina corporations, visit Business Owner's Toolkit or the State of South Carolina .
  • Federal tax identification number (EIN). An EIN is required for corporations that will have employees. Additionally, most banks require an EIN in order to open a business bank account.
  • State tax identification number. South Carolina does not require a state tax identification number.

Business licenses

Business licenses and/or permits are required for most businesses. The BizFilings Business License Application Package can help you stay on top of these requirements.

S corporation election

South Carolina recognizes the federal S corporation election and does not require a state-level S corporation election.

Additional South Carolina information

View the following additional resources BizFilings has for forming and maintaining companies in South Carolina:

State Guides

The state in which you form your company can provide certain benefits.

Please select both a state and a topic.

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