LLC Columbia SC is a possible option for entrepreneurs who are choosing legal entities for their new or existing businesses. Similar to other places in the U.S., Columbia, South Carolina has its own set of rules and procedures for forming a limited liability company (LLC). While establishing an LLC is a relatively simple process, it is important that the business's owners meet all the requirements to ensure a smooth formation.

LLC Formation in South Carolina

An LLC is a good business structure because it protects its owner(s) from being held liable for its legal obligations. In addition, an LLC typically has minimal paperwork requirements. If you wish to start an LLC in South Carolina, you can easily do so by filling out a few forms. Before you decide to form an LLC, it is a good idea to consult an attorney or tax advisor to determine whether it is a suitable entity for your business.

Name Your LLC

Selecting a name is one of the most important steps in forming your LLC. You should do some research to come up with a name that is suitable for your business and easily recognizable and searchable. Also, the chosen name for your LLC must be different from the names of other businesses that are already on file with the Secretary of State of South Carolina.

File the Articles of Organization

To create an LLC in South Carolina, you must submit the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State. The Articles of Organization must include the following information:

  • Name and address of your LLC
  • Names and addresses of every member of your LLC
  • Whether your LLC will be manager-managed or member-managed
  • Names and addresses of every manager, if your LLC will be manager-managed

You can file the Articles of Organization online with a filing fee of $125. You may have to wait one or two business days for your LLC to be approved, but most applicants get approval on the same business day. Alternatively, you can file by mail and get approval in 10 to 14 days. Send the Articles of Organization and a filing fee of $110 to the office of the South Carolina Secretary of State. The mailing address is: Corporate Filings, 1205 Pendleton St., Suite 525, Columbia, SC 29201.

Select a Registered Agent

According to South Carolina law, an LLC is required to appoint an individual or business entity as a registered agent to receive legal papers on its behalf if it faces a lawsuit. This registered agent must be either a resident of South Carolina or a business entity that is authorized to conduct business in the state, and have a physical street address in the state.

Create an Operating Agreement

Your LLC's ownership and operating procedures should be outlined in a legal document called an operating agreement. The operating agreement does not have to be submitted with the Articles of Organization. However, it must include the following information:

  • Each member's percentage ownership interest in the LLC
  • Each member's voting power
  • Each member's responsibilities and rights
  • Rules for day-to-day management
  • Rules for holding meetings
  • Provisions for members who wish to sell their ownership interests

Comply With Other Requirements

There are other requirements that you may have to meet before you can start your LLC in South Carolina. These include:

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) - If your LLC has two or more members, it is required to obtain an EIN from the IRS, even if it does not have any employees. If you are the only member in your LLC, you are only required to obtain an EIN if you have one or more employees or elect corporation tax classification.
  • Sales tax – If you have employees or plan to sell goods and collect sales tax, you may have to register with the Department of Revenue of South Carolina.
  • Business licenses – Depending on the nature of your business and its location, you may be required to obtain state or local business licenses.
  • Employee withholding tax and unemployment insurance tax – If you are hiring employees, you must register for employee withholding tax and unemployment tax on their behalf.
  • Insurance – Most businesses are required to obtain workers' compensation insurance. Although it is usually not mandatory to get general liability insurance, it is recommended that you do so.

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