How to Incorporate a Business in South Carolina (SC)

There are three ways to incorporate your business in South Carolina:
  1. Hire a lawyer to do the job for you (the most expensive option)
  2. Walk in to the Secretary of State office and do it by yourself
  3. Use a professional incorporation company, like Active Filings.
When you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business in South Carolina, you’ll receive everything you need to track and maintain your company, including free expedited service, one year of registered agent service, and instant access to your online account where you can add additional services, track orders, maintenance requirements and digital notifications.
However, whatever method you choose, the section below will provide you the basic information you need to know about SC filings.

South Carolina Articles of Incorporation Requirements

The Articles of Incorporation is the formation document you file with the South Carolina Secretary of State to register your corporation with the state (LLCs file Articles of Organization). In South Carolina, you can file Articles of Incorporation by mail, fax or in person (it will take the SOS 1 to 2 days to process your filing). If you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business, we are authorized to file online with the state, and we’ll form your LLC or corporation in 1 business day.
To complete your South Carolina Articles of Incorporation, you’ll need to include the following information:
  • Company Name
    The name must use the word “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company”, or “limited”, the abbreviation corp.”, “inc.”, “co.”, or “ltd.” or abbreviations of words with a similar meaning in another language. The name cannot contain language indicating a purpose other than that permitted by state law and the articles of organization. The name must be distinguishable upon records of secretary of state from the name of a domestic or qualified foreign corporation, reserved or registered corporate name, name of non-profit corporation, or name of a limited partnership.
  • Company Purpose
    List the reason for forming the corporation or the business/activity which the corporation will engage in.
  • Authorized Shares
    List the number of shares of corporate stock you are currently authorizing. Technically, this is when you “create” your stock (more can always be authorized later), and that stock will be issued to your shareholders at your first shareholder meeting.
  • Registered Agent Information
    In South Carolina, a registered agent (also known as a resident agent) is an individual or business that serves as your company’s official point of contact for lawsuits and legal notices. As part of Active Filings’ incorporation service, we include a year of registered agent service when you hire us to incorporate your business in South Carolina.
  • Names and Addresses of the Incorporators
    The incorporator is the person or company authorized to form the corporation. For example, if you hired us, we would list ourselves as the incorporator. The incorporator does not have any stake in or claim to the corporation being formed.

Director Information

* Minimum Number – One or more.

* Residence Requirements. – No provision.

* Age Requirements – None.

* Directors are required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.

Officer Information

* The officers are not required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.

Stock Information

* No extra filing fees based on number of share or amount of par value.

Yearly Requirements

Annual Statements

* Annual license fee of $15 plus $1 for each $1,000 (or fraction) of capital stock and paid in as surplus, as shown by corporate records on the first day of the income year next preceding the date of filing the report. Minimum tax, $25.

* File annual report with Department of Revenue by the 15th day of the 3^rd month after the close of the preceding income year. The tax is paid with the report. To file initial articles of incorporation or an application for certificate of authority by a foreign corporation, the articles or application for certificate of authority must be accompanied by an annual report and remittance for minimum fee of $25 payable to Department of Revenue.

Income Tax Rate

* 5% of entire net income.

For more information on taxes, visit

More information about incorporating in South Carolina:


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