South Carolina corporate law provides a process for starting both for-profit (business) and nonprofit corporations. The South Carolina Secretary of State handles the processing of new corporate entities. The Secretary has specific forms that filers can use to register their business or charity. Filers must also submit a fee with the forms to get the state to register the corporate entity.
Access the “Search Business Filings” page on the South Carolina Secretary of State’s website. You can find this page at Scsos.com/Search Business Filings. Run a search for any South Carolina corporation names you wish to use for your business or charity. You must use a name that is distinguishable from any other corporate or business name already registered in the state. Use your chosen name on your incorporation forms once you have confirmed that it is available.
Open up the “Library of Forms and Fees” page at Scsos.com/Library_of_Forms_and_Fees. Click on “Corporation – Domestic” to find the filing forms for business corporations. Click on “Nonprofit Corporation – Domestic” to start a charity, school, church, etc. From there, each type of corporate entity has an “Articles of Incorporation” form used to file your new business or nonprofit.
Fill out the “Articles of Incorporation” that applies to your organization. This is a very complicated process. You must keep in mind that the forms give only the statutory minimum to file a South Carolina nonprofit or business corporation. Consult a South Carolina business attorney for specific advice or answers to questions.
In South Carolina, you must also submit an “Initial Annual Report of Corporations” when filing a business or nonprofit political association. You can access the form at Sctax.org/NR/rdonlyres/8A01D00C-1AC8-4F5D-A1F9-3C0C2BC898F6/0/CL1.pdf. If you intend to apply with the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt nonprofit, you must submit the “501(c)(3) Attachment,” which can be found at Scsos.com/forms/Non Profits/501c3 Attachment.pdf. Refer to Publication 557 at the IRS.gov website to get more information on federal tax exemptions.
Prepare the filing fees. The total fee for a South Carolina business corporation is $135. Filers must pay $25 to register a nonprofit. Make checks payable to “Secretary of State.”
Mail in the forms and fee to the following address:
Secretary of State
PO Box 11350
Columbia, SC 29211
South Carolina Corporation and Business Search
South Carolina Secretary of State Library of Business Forms and Fees