How To Form an LLC In South Carolina
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1. Choose a Name for Your South Carolina Limited Liability Company
Check for an Available Name for the LLC in South Carolina: Deciding on a name for your LLC is one of the first things that you should do before you file Articles of Organization in South Carolina. Take care to select a name that is not in use by another LLC in South Carolina. You can search online databases and other official records to make sure that the name that you have selected is available. On the official website of the South Carolina Secretary of State you can search a database of business entities: South Carolina LLC.
Reserve a Name for Your South Carolina LLC: Reserving a name for your LLC is not required in South Carolina, but if it will be a long time before you will file Articles of Organization you might want to reserve a name. Download the name reservation application for LLCs here: South Carolina LLC. The filing fee will be $25.00. The name that you select will be reserved for a period of 120 days.
Filing for Trademarks Protection and Doing an LLC Name Search: It is possible that the name that you select for your LLC is available in South Carolina but in use by an LLC in another state. There may be restrictions on your use of the name. If you speak to an attorney you may be able to better understand what these restrictions may be and how you can take steps to trademark the name that you have selected. Go to how to choose a name for your llc for more information on choosing a name for your LLC.
South Carolina LLC Name Requirements: The name of your South Carolina LLC must include the designation "LLC," “L.L.C.,” “LC,” “L.C.” or "Limited Liability Company.” “LLC” stands for “Limited Liability Company,” never “LLC Corporation, “Limited Liability Corporation,” or anything else that seemingly indicates a corporation. LLCs are a distinct kind of business organization and should not be confused with corporations.
2. Find a Registered Agent in South Carolina
Deciding on a registered agent is another important step in your preparation to form an LLC in South Carolina. Registered agents act as agents for service of process. They receive all tax forms, legal documents, and other official notices for an LLC. Several corporate services companies in South Carolina offer registered agent services to LLCs for a fee of around $75.00 to $150.00.
3. File Articles of Organization with the South Carolina Secretary of State
Minimum Requirements for the Articles of Organization: The Articles of Organization that you file for your South Carolina LLC must contain the name of your LLC, the address of your initial office, the name and address of your registered agent, and the name and address of each organizer. You must state whether the LLC will be managed by a manager or by its members. The Articles of Organization must be signed by each organizer. You can download a form for this document online at South Carolina LLC.
Other South Carolina Legal Provisions: It may be in your interest to include additional provisions in your Articles of Organization. If you speak to a lawyer you can better determine which additional provisions will be most beneficial for your company.
Where to Submit the Articles of Organization for Filing: You should send two copies of your completed and signed Articles of Organization along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office, Attn: Corporate Filings, 1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525, Columbia, SC 29201.
Filing Fee: The fee to file Articles of Organization in South Carolina is $110.00.
4. Form a South Carolina Limited Liability Company Agreement (Operating Agreement)
You must file Articles of Organization document to form an LLC in South Carolina, but the document that will actually govern the day-to-day operations of your LLC is the LLC Agreement. An LLC Agreement governs an LLC and the actions of its members similar to the way that by-laws govern a corporation. You can tailor your LLC Agreement to the needs of your company. You will want to consider various factors including the purpose and scope of your company, how many initial members that the LLC will have and how subsequent members will be admitted, whether the members will be organized in a board or a committee, and what the procedures will be for voting, settling disputes, distributing money, and transferring interests. You will also want to consider what the initial capital investments will be and whether or not you plan to seek outside investors. You can even include provisions concerning what will happen if you eventually decide to sell the company, incorporate, or dissolve the LLC. It can be complicated to create an effective LLC Agreement. It is advisable to seek professional assistance from a lawyer and an accountant in creating your LLC Agreement so that you can be sure to comply with all state requirements and federal tax laws.
After creating your LLC Agreement, prepare to make securities filings for your LLC, obtain an EIN from the IRS, and apply for a business license in the city where you will be doing business. There are several corporate services companies in South Carolina that can help you make these filings for a fee. Go to http://www.cityapplications.com/business-licenses.html for more information on how to get a business license in your city.
5. Qualify Your South Carolina LLC to Do Business in Other States
Your LLC requires a qualification or registration before you can do business in other states. You must obtain this qualification before your LLC can do business in your home state if the main office of the company is located in another state. You will most likely be required to pay taxes in your home state when you do business in other states. Go to [Qualifying to Do Business in Other States] for more information on how to qualify your LLC to do business in other states.
6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Taxes in South Carolina
The state of South Carolina may require some kind of annual filings for your LLC. Contact the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office if you have questions. You are required to file a tax report and pay the required taxes yearly. Go to the official website of the South Carolina Department of Revenue at South Carolina LLC for more information about the taxes that apply to your LLC.
Many complex decisions are involved when you prepare to form an LLC in South Carolina. It is advisable to seek professional assistance from an accountant and an attorney so that you can be confident that an LLC is right for you and that all your paperwork will be processed correctly.
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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.