Step one: Choose a name for your LLC
Choosing a name for your LLC is one of the most fun, challenging, and important steps in the formation process. First, you need to make sure that there is not already an existing business with the same name or a name that is substantially similar. To do this, you can run a search through South Carolina’s business name database.
Once you have chosen a name, you must incorporate an identifier term such as LLC, Limited Co., somewhere in the name. An LLC’s name cannot have the word incorporated or Inc. in the title because it is misleading.
Today, you should also secure a domain name that matched your LLC name. Even if you are not going to be creating a website right away, many businesses need to have an online presence to be successful. In addition, you will want to buy the domain name as soon as possible to prevent other competitors from buying it first. If the domain you want is available, you can reserve it for a nominal fee.
Step Two: Designate a registered agent
To create an LLC in South Carolina, you must designate a registered agent. A registered agent can be an individual or another corporation, but they must be residents of the state of SC. The purpose of a registered agent is to accept legal documents on the LLCs behalf, and thus, a physical street address must be on file with the South Carolina Secretary of State.
Step Three: File Articles of Organization with the South Carolina Secretary of State
To register your LLC in the state of South Carolina, you must file Articles of Organization. South Carolina provides a fillable form on its official website. Articles of Organization contain basic information about the LLC, such as the LLC’s name, address, owners, purpose, etc. To file the Articles of Organization, South Carolina requires a one-time $110 filing fee. You can expect your LLC filings to be processed typically within two business days.
Step Four: Create an Operating Agreement for your LLC
An operating agreement sets out the LLC’s operations and procedures. For example, it can include things such as an individual’s financial obligations, day-to-day procedures, the procedures for adding new owners, etc. While the formation of an operating agreement is not required by state law, it is highly advised and seen as a matter of professionalism to do so. In fact, if an LLC has an operating agreement, South Carolina will recognize it as a governing legal document. Which will impact the outcome of disputes in the future.
Step Five: Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for tax purposes
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) essentially just identifies your LLC for tax purposes. It’s basically a social security number for your business. An EIN will be required when the LLC files its taxes and may be required if it opens up a bank account.
This process can feel daunting, so we strongly encourage you to seek the counsel of a Business Law attorney in South Carolina.
At the Epstein Law firm, we have years of experience forming LLCs in South Carolina and we can help your business get things right from the beginning. Reach out to set up a consultation today!