South Carolina Business Facts
Though South Carolina offers a good value equation to businesses of all sizes, the state was recently ranked by USA Today as having one of the least business-friendly climates compared to other states. South Carolina has a below average share of adults with bachelor’s degrees and ranks low for the presence of arts, entertainment and recreation facilities. Despite these measures, South Carolina offers an affordable cost of living, a temperate climate and a hospitable environment that brings in $19 billion in tourism annually.
South Carolina is the headquarters of many major companies including Michelin, Sonoco, Long’s Drugs, Denny’s and Palmetto Health.
Small businesses thrive in South Carolina and employ over 772,000 people. The Palmetto State’s Department of Commerce helps entrepreneurs by offering business grants and incentive programs to help reinforce the state’s economy. These incentives include the job tax credit, no wholesale tax, no local income tax and no state property tax.
There are 3 basic options: a Corporation, LLC or DBA. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in South Carolina, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching South Carolina state databases:
Restrictions on South Carolina Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in South Carolina.
How to form an LLC in South Carolina
How to Incorporate in South Carolina
NOTE: When registering a new company the Secretary of State can take several weeks to file the paperwork. You can expedite the process by hand delivering the documents directly to them or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long South Carolina is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in South Carolina
Optional Considerations when registering a South Carolina business
Ready to register a business in South Carolina?
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be required to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s highly recommended that you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft. You can apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4.
TIP: We can obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you may need to obtain a business license for your company depending on the type of service you offer. This authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We can help you identify the necessary forms to obtain your business license.
DBA: South Carolina does not have a DBA requirement.
LLC: South Carolina LLCs do not file an annual report.
Corporation: Every year you will be required to file an Annual Report on the 15th day of the fourth month following your Corporation’s fiscal year end.
Ready to start a business in South Carolina?
South Carolina Secretary of State
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
South Carolina Taxation Department
South Carolina Labor and Employment Department
South Carolina Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA)
2. SCORE South Carolina
3. South Carolina Legal Statutes
4. South Carolina Chambers of Commerce
5. SCBOS (South Carolina Business One-Stop)
6. Angel.co South Carolina Startups
7. South Carolina Business News
10. South Carolina Green Business
Wow loved it thankyou! I dreaded making this for a month thinking it would be a hassle. It wasn't thanks to you guys!
Excellent in all aspects. Perfect for new business owners with limited resources but wants to start it off right.
IMPORTANT: We are open and have resources for small businesses to get help with Covid19!