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How To Fill Out The South Carolina LLC Articles of Organization

How To Fill Out The South Carolina LLC Articles of Organization

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How To Fill Out The South Carolina LLC Articles of Organization

When it comes to starting your own business in the state of South Carolina, there are many essential steps you need to take. One of the first and most important steps is filing and creating a business structure, and a popular choice in South Carolina is the Limited Liability Company (LLC).

If you are planning to form an LLC yourself, I’ll walk you through the process of filling out the South Carolina LLC Articles of Organization, which is the official document filed with the South Carolina Secretary of State to establish a new LLC. After the filing is approved by the state, the LLC officially can officially transact business and register for the necessary business licenses and permits.

Related: Guide to starting a business in South Carolina

Anyone can learn how to form their own LLC, but using an entity formation service like Zenbusiness, Northwest, and Bizee guide you through the LLC formation process, so you will save time and know everything was done right.

Zenbusiness and IncFile are running a special where you only pay state fees for your LLC formation!

Steps To Fill Out The South Carolina LLC Articles Of Organization

To form a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, you will need to submit the completed Articles of Organization form to the South Carolina Secretary of State. The form can be completed and sent by mail (Form F00006) or filed online.

Since the LLC can be formed faster online, I’ll go over how to fill out the LLC Articles of Organization online. To get started, create an account with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s website and then click on “Start a New Business Filing”
How to form a South Carolina LLC 1

Step 1: Pick a Name for the LLC

Step 1 South Carolina LLC Name

The first step in filling out the South Carolina Operating Agreement is to pick a business name.

There are a couple of requirements when choosing a South Carolina LLC name.

1. The name of your LLC must not be too similar to the name of another business entity already registered with the state of South Carolina. You can do a South Carolina LLC name search by entering a name in the field.

2. The name of the LLC must include one of the following entity identifiers at the end of the business name:
– Limited Liability Company
– Limited Company
– L.L.C.
– LC
– L.C.
– Ltd Co
– Ltd. Co.
– LTD Liability Co

Enter the LLC name, including the identifier, to search. If there are no exact names that come up, click on “Add New Entity” to continue.

Step 2: Select the Entity Type

Step 2 South Carolina Entity Selection

On the next screen, select the type of entity. You can choose from Domestic Entity or Foreign Entity.

A Domestic Entity will be an entity that is based in South Carolina and is what most people will select when starting a new LLC. A Foreign LLC is one that was formed in another state and now wants to physically operate in South Carolina.

Next, select from the list of entities from the dropdown. In this example, I’m going over how to form a Limited Liability Company.

SC Entity Selection

Then select the “Start Filing” button for the Articles of Organization form.

Step 3: Enter Contact Information

Step 3 SC LLC Contact Information

In step 3, enter the contact information for the person filling out the Articles of Organization. Be sure to use an email address that is regularly checked in case there are any issues with the filing.

Step 4: Verify the LLC Name

Step 4 SC Verify LLC Name

Next, the name that was entered earlier will be filled in the New Entity Name field. If there is an error, a warning message will show up.

Step 5: Appoint the Initial Agent for Service of Process

Step 5 South Dakota LLC Initial Agent

One requirement to have an LLC in South Carolina is to appoint a South Carolina Agent for service of process (also referred to as a registered agent). The agent for service of process is a party that is located in the state of South Carolina that will receive important notices and service of process (which means to accept papers that start a lawsuit) on behalf of the LLC. The address of the registered office must be a physical street address, as a PO Box isn’t allowed.

Provided the LLC member lives in the state of South Carolina and is generally available during business hours, they may act as the agent for service of process. Additionally, any adult resident of the state, attorney or accountant in the state, or a registered agent service can also act as the agent for service of process.

Step 6: Provide the Address of the Initial Designated Office

Step 6 South Carolina LLC Initial Designated Office

The address of the Initial Designated Office may be, but is not required to be, the actual place of the business. It can also be the main location where the business records are kept.

A physical address in the state of South Carolina must be used for the Initial Designated Office, as P.O. Boxes are not acceptable.

Step 7: Choose the Management Structure

Step 7 South Carolina LLC Management

The next step is optional and indicates whether the LLC is Manager-Managed or Member-Managed.

Member-Managed LLC means the Members are involved with the day-to-day operations of the business. Many LLCs are operated and run by the owner, in which case would be Member-Managed.

Manager-Managed LLC refers to a Limited Liability Company that hires a manager to run the business, similar to hiring a CEO of a corporation.

If the LLC will be Manager-Managed, check the box and enter the Manager’s name and address.

Step 8: Elect Member Liability

Step 8 South Carolina LLC Member Liability

Step 8 is also optional, but if any of the LLC Members should be liable for the debts and contracts of the LLC, check the box and enter the Member information.

Step 9: Select the Term of the LLC

Step 9 South Carolina LLC Duration

Another optional section, the term of the LLC refers to the length of time (or duration) the LLC is to exist.

Most LLCs will be perpetual as most people don’t have a set end date in mind when to close the business. However, if there is a predetermined date, the LLC will close, check the box, and enter the date. This is more common for investment-related entities.

Step 10: Choose a Delayed Effective Date

Step 10 South Carolina LLC Effective Date

An option to choose an effective start day is available for up to 90 days in the future. Some will delay the effective date (starting date) of the LLC if they aren’t ready to start the business but want the filing out of the way or if they are close to the end of a calendar year.

By default, the effective date is the day the Secretary of State files the formation paperwork. Otherwise, enter a different start date.

Step 11: List Names of the LLC Organizers

Step 11 South Carolina LLC Organizaer

The Organizer is someone who is involved with the LLC formation.  The Organizer may or may not be a member, such as a mentor, attorney, or accountant, but any of the initial member(s) could be listed as an organizer.

At least one organizer is required to be listed and will sign they are present when filing the document.

Step 12: Review and File the Articles of Organization

Before filing, there is a form that you can submit with the Articles of Organization, called the Initial Report of Corporations.

Form CL-1 only needs to be filed if your LLC elects to be taxed as a C corp or S corp. If you aren’t sure yet, you have up to 60 days after the LLC is formed to submit to the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR). be due.

South Carolina Initial Report of Corporations

On the next screen, you can elect to obtain some additional documents.

One is the Certificate of Existence. This document proves the entity is in good standing with the state. This document may be requested by a bank or vendor to check on the status of the entity, however, it often isn’t worth getting when first registering, unless you are specifically being asked for it. Most requestors will require the document to be less than 60 – 90 days old. When the entity is newly created, a copy of the Articles of Organization is often sufficient.

While a copy will be sent after the LLC is formed, an official Articles of Organization form can be requested. This can be especially important when registering to sell to the government.

SC Document Request

Last, you will pay and file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.

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South Carolina LLC FAQs

How much does a South Carolina LLC cost?

The cost to form an LLC in South Carolina is $110.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved in South Carolina?

LLCs formed online in South Carolina are processed within 1-2 business days, while mailed in forms can take up to two weeks.

Does SC require an operating agreement?

South Carolina Statute § 33-44-103 states that an LLC operating agreement is optional.  Although it isn’t required, it is recommended that most LLCs have one, as it can help prevent disputes among members and better protect the LLC’s legal status.

Related: How to Create a South Carolina operating agreement

Do South Carolina LLCs need an EIN?

Only South Carolina LLCs that either have more than one member, will hire employees, or elect to be taxed as a partnership or corporation are required to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number or FEIN) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If the LLC isn’t required to get an EIN (though you can still get one), the LLC will use the social security number of the business owner.

Related: How to apply for an EIN

What is a CL-1 form in South Carolina?

The CL-1 form is the Initial Annual Report of Corporations. This form is for corporations or LLCs that elect to be taxed as a C corp or S corp.

Form CL-1 is due within 60 days of the entity being formed.

What business licenses are needed in South Carolina?

The requirements for business licenses and registrations in South Carolina vary depending on what the business does and where it’s located.

Here is a list of common South Carolina business licenses.


  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

How To Fill Out The South Carolina LLC Articles of Organization

How To Fill Out The South Carolina LLC Articles of Organization

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