The first crucial step to forming a South Carolina LLC is to choose its name. Although there are naming conventions that you can follow depending on your preference, keep in mind that your business name shouldn’t closely resemble the name of an existing business already.
Check using the business name search to ensure that it is not yet taken by another business.
Also, when filing a South Carolina LLC, it is state mandated that the business name include any of the three: ‘LLC’, ‘L.L.C.’, or ‘Limited Liability Company.’
Once you’ve chosen an LLC name, it’s now time to choose or hire a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent is mandatory when starting an LLC in South Carolina.
First, that individual should be a resident of South Carolina. Plus, he or she has to be present at all times during office hours because of their responsibility to accept all legal papers and documentations from the state office in behalf of your business.
That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get a South Carolina Registered Agent free of charge when you incorporate your LLC with IncFile – which is $100 less than other online incorporation services.
Now that you have a named your business and chosen a Registered Agent, it’s finally time to register an LLC in South Carolina. Registering your LLC calls for a celebration because you are finally making it official!
For a South Carolina LLC filing, you can download this PDF. From there, all you need to do is follow the instructions, and you’re good to go.
Fee for filing the LLC: $110 payable to the South Carolina Secretary of State
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is an equivalent to your social security number. It is your LLC’s unique identifier, and almost all operations of your business will require a South Carolina EIN.
You can go online and visit the IRS’s website, and register for an EIN there. Getting an LLC EIN is free.
As a new business owner in South Carolina, you need to keep your business and personal finances separate by opening a separate bank account. This keeps everything simple and separate in the eyes of the law.
Another important thing to note is that opening a business account can help you keep finances on track. You should monitor the ins and outs, put the profits and assets where they belong.
There are many options available from Bank of America to Chase. For a quick outline of the best place to open a business bank account, see this quick review.
When you have followed the 5 required steps above on forming an LLC in South Carolina, you are now an official business. To further become an official legally operating LLC, here are a few more additional requirements you might need to follow.
Behind every successful business is a well written business plan. It is the blueprint for your business – like a blueprint is needed for a solid foundation on a house.
Starting a South Carolina business always involves risks, but with a sound business plan, you can curb those risks. Plus, a business plan is critical when you’re looking for funding for your South Carolina LLC.
If you don’t want the IRS to be swooping down on your business and shutting it down, make sure to take care of your South Carolina LLC tax obligations.
Incorporating an LLC in South Carolina means that you have to pay your taxes. From income tax to sales and use tax, there are a number of taxes you will have to adhere to.
You can look to our South Carolina business taxes guide to help you with your tax obligations.
Another requirement to legally operate is to adhere to South Carolina business licenses and regulations. There are several business licenses and permits that need to be obtained when you’re starting an LLC in South Carolina.
Before you start doing any kind of business, you should get your South Carolina business licenses and permits processed and taken care of. You can use our South Carolina business licenses and regulations guide for starters.
On this step, you need to create an LLC Operating Agreement for your business. Although not mandated, I highly recommended that you create one for your future business operations.
An LLC Operating Agreement outlines your business’ terms of operations as well as business dealings with other businesses. In a way, the Operating Agreement protects your legal rights as a business.
For easy creation of this document, here is a free template you can customize online.
In the internet age, it is important to have an online presence for your South Carolina LLC. This builds credibility and allows your customers to learn more about your business – which is good!
Although building a website was extremely difficult to do in the early 2000’s, nowadays you can use a simple tool like WordPress to build a customizable website. No need to spend thousands on a custom designer and you can learn how to do it yourself through this guide.
This guide is intended for information purposes when starting an LLC in South Carolina and is not legal advice. You should always go to your lawyer for matters about specific questions on how to form a South Carolina LLC.