How to File the Articles of Incorporation for a South Carolina Nonprofit
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
Filing the Articles of Incorporation is a critical step in starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit in South Carolina. Whether you have been running a charity for a while or are just starting out, your nonprofit organization will need to fill out the Articles of Incorporation and file them with the State of South Carolina. This will allow you to file for 501(c)(3) status and reap the benefits of having an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
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Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in South Carolina is easy, just follow these easy steps to file the South Carolina Articles of Incorporation:
If you are starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in South Carolina, you have come to the right place. After reading the comprehensive guide for South Carolina nonprofit formation, follow this guide to file the South Carolina Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.
What is covered in this guide:
Information you will need to file the South Carolina Articles of Incorporation
To become a nonprofit corporation in South Carolina you must file Form 33-31-202, the Articles of Incorporation for Nonprofit Organizations. If you plan to seek 501(c)(3) status, you must fill out the 501(c)(3) attachment as well.
Here are the sections that you will need to complete.
Section 1: Entity Name and Type
Enter the name you have selected.
For help with selecting a name for your nonprofit read our comprehensive guide on how to name a South Carolina nonprofit.
Section 2: Initial Registered Office
Enter the information of the registered agent you have selected.
For more information read our guide: What is a registered agent? And The South Carolina Registered Agent Guide.
Section 3: Select the Appropriate Nonprofit Type
Choose one of the following:
- Public Benefit Corporation
- Religious Corporation
- Mutual Benefit Corporation
NOTE: If you will be applying for 501(c)(3) exempt status, you are most likely a public benefit corporation.
Section 4: Membership
Select the box appropriate depending on whether or not your nonprofit corporation will have members.
Section 5: Address
List the address of the principal office of your nonprofit corporation.
Section 6: Public Benefit or Religious Corporation Dissolution
You must include provisions ensuring that in the event your organization is dissolved, the assets of the organization will be used towards tax-exempt purposes.
Section 5 of this sample document provides an example of these provisions required for 501(c)(3) eligibility.
Section 7: Mutual Benefit Corporation Dissolution
This section is not relevant for organizations that will be applying for 501(c)(3) status.
Section 8: Supplemental Provisions/Information
You may use this section to state any additional provisions regarding your organization.
Section 9: Incorporator(s)
The incorporator is the person who completes, signs, and submits the certification of formation. This person does not need to be a part of your organization. This can be you or a lawyer helping you with the process of formation.
Enter the incorporator(s) name and business address here.
Section 10: Director(s)
At least 3 directors will need to be named. Their names and signatures should go in this section.
When filling the form do not use any prefixes such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” and only use the suffix box for titles of lineage such as ‘Jr.’, ‘Sr.’, or ‘III’ but not for designations such as M.D. or Ph.D.
Enter the information of the directors selected.
Section 11: Incorporator(s) Signatures
Each incorporator listed in section #9 needs to sign the form in this section.
Section 12: Effectiveness of Filing
This section allows you to determine the date on which your nonprofit corporation officially forms.
Option A: your organization will officially form on the day the Secretary of State files your certificate of formation.
Option B: you select the date of formation.
How to file the South Carolina Articles of Incorporation
There are two ways to submit your Articles of Incorporation: online or by mail.
You can file your Articles of Incorporation for Nonprofit through the Secretary of State’s online portal.
Submit 2 copies of the Articles of Incorporation, a 501(c)(3) attachment, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below:
Secretary of State
ATTN: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
The filing fee is $25 with an additional $7.50 for online filing.
- Checks and money orders for mailed forms must be made payable to the "SC Secretary of State"
- Accepted credit cards for online filing include Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express
South Carolina Nonprofit Formation FAQ
How long does it take to process Form 33-31-202?
If you file online it typically takes about 24 hours. If you file by mail expect to get a response in 2-3 business days.
How do I contact the Secretary of State for more information?
You can call for information at (803) 734-2158 or visit them at their website.
State of South Carolina Nonprofit Resources
IRS - Information for Charities & Nonprofits
IRS - Required Provisions for Organizing Documents
IRS - 990 Series for Tax-Exempt Organizations
IRS - Applying for Tax-Exempt Status
IRS - 501(c)(3) Compliance Guide
Small Business Administration - License and Permits
South Carolina Secretary of State - Business Filings
South Carolina Secretary of State - Guidance for Charities
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce
South Carolina Secretary of State - Online Forms Repository