South Carolina imposes a sales tax on the typical consumer or even business transaction. However, some South Carolina tax exemptions exist as tax incentives to promote South Carolina business. For example, when a reseller buys at wholesale to either incorporate a product into another product or directly sell it at retail, South Carolina typically gives a South Carolina sales tax exemption. A business planning on claiming these exemptions generally first needs to register for a sales tax ID number with the state. The business can then use South Carolina tax exempt forms to claim exemptions on sales tax.
If this is a new business, you should first file formation documents. In this state, certain business entities must file with the South Carolina Secretary of State. These include several kinds of corporations, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships. Check the website at scsos.com/Business_Filings to see if you need to register your South Carolina business at the state level.
You should always do this first, as it then allows you to file for other business registrations in South Carolina under the business entity’s name. For example, if you form a South Carolina LLC, then you can file for South Carolina sales taxes and claim state tax exemptions under the South Carolina corporation name.
Decide if you need to also make a federal filing. For most businesses, this means possibly getting a federal employer identification number, which is commonly called an “EIN.” This EIN number, issued by the Internal Revenue Service, is required if your business has employees and for all nonprofits. You should also check for specialized requirements for certain other businesses such as tobacco sellers, etc. You can find out if you need an EIN number by searching for “EIN application” on the IRS.gov website.
Next, you need to register your business for South Carolina sales tax. In this state, you can fill out a business registration form by using the South Carolina Business One Stop business portal at scbos.sc.gov/default.aspx. When you complete this South Carolina business registration, you will get a tax ID number that is used to pay sales tax and other taxes.
Find the necessary South Carolina tax exempt forms to see how to qualify for a sales tax exemption. Perhaps the most common of these is the “Application for Certificate” form at sctax.org/NR/rdonlyres/620E91FA-E7AA-4EA8-94C3-9AACE48DC6B4/0/ST10.pdf. This form includes South Carolina tax exemptions for resale and many other kinds of special exemptions. However, there are other kinds of exemptions on South Carolina sales tax that require another form. View the list of available South Carolina tax exempt forms at sctax.org/Forms+and+Instructions/businessRegistration/default.htm.
After getting a tax exemption certificate from the Department of Revenue, you generally give that certificate to the seller when making a purchase that qualifies for a South Carolina tax exemption.
South Carolina Sales Tax Forms (Including Tax Exemption Forms)