Do I Need an Attorney to Incorporate in South Carolina?

17 Oct, 2023

On Behalf of Mack & Mack Attorneys | business law

Forming a corporation in South Carolina allows your business to separate itself from its owners while possessing many rights as individuals would have. Corporations are then able to loan and borrow money, pay taxes, enter contracts, and more. There are multiple different types of corporations your business can become, and each comes with different functions regarding taxes.

It may be advantageous for businesses to incorporate their business, though some business owners may wonder if an attorney is required to aid them in the process.

What Are the Requirements for Incorporating a Business in South Carolina?

If you’ve made the decision to incorporate your business, you must meet certain requirements.

For example, the directors of your business are not required to live in the state you’re trying to incorporate in. However, your business must be led by at least one director. There are no age requirements to be considered a corporation, and you also don’t have to list your directors by name in the Articles of Incorporation.

The Articles of Incorporation is the document you must complete to officially form the corporation. Your document must meet certain criteria to be considered valid, including:

  1. Stock. You must list any authorized shares and par value, though an increase in either entity won’t affect the initial filing fees.
  2. Officers. While the names and addresses of officers aren’t required for this document, you must state them in the initial report.
  3. Registered agent. You must also state the name and address of a registered agent who is located in South Carolina. They must also be available during regular business hours so they can accept and manage tax and legal documents for the business.

Along with submitting the Articles of Incorporation, South Carolina requires businesses to submit an initial report, which usually contains basic information about your business. Lastly, there is a one-time fee you must pay in order to be officially incorporated. The fee is $110, though if you submit your documentation online, the fee may go up to $125. You won’t have to pay a regular fee to maintain your corporate status, so once you pay this amount, your documentation will be considered valid.

Why Hiring an Attorney Can Be Beneficial

You can technically proceed with filing corporation documents without the help of an attorney, though it’s highly recommended to speak with one regardless. An attorney can help you make sense of various business laws that may be complicated to understand entirely. Your focus should also be on maintaining your business and keeping it operational, while an attorney can help you behind the scenes with the paperwork and ensuring everything is implemented correctly.

If you were to submit your initial report or Articles of Incorporation full of errors or inconsistencies, your request for incorporation may be denied. There are also multiple types of corporations you can submit paperwork for, such as a C-Corp or S-Corp. The different types of corporations each come with their own tax, ownership, and documentation rules, and it’s crucial you understand which type of corporation suits your needs.

While not required to hire an attorney to incorporate in South Carolina, their experience navigating local business laws can streamline the process of becoming a corporation, one of the most common business entities in the state.


Q: Do I Need an Attorney to Incorporate in South Carolina?

A: No, you do not need to meet with an attorney prior to incorporating your business in South Carolina. However, an experienced business law attorney can make a significant difference in how the process goes. Business law on its own is complex, and you likely have other business matters to focus on. Your attorney can gather the information necessary to file the required paperwork and then help you at various points in the incorporation process.

Q: How Do I Get Incorporated in South Carolina?

A: To become incorporated, you need to appoint a registered agent, select a name for the business, and submit an interior report and Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. Once you’ve completed these steps, you will then hear back after the documents have been thoroughly examined. You also must pay a fee as determined by the Secretary of State in order to finalize the incorporation.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Incorporate in South Carolina?

A: Once you’ve been approved for a corporation, you must pay a one-time fee of $110. This will allow you to finalize the process and officially be considered a corporation. If you file your documents online, the fee may go up to $125, though you won’t have to pay any annual or monthly fees regardless of how you file your documents.

Q: Does South Carolina Have an Annual LLC fee?

A: No, there is no annual or monthly fee for filing for incorporation in South Carolina. You only need to pay the one-time payment of either $110 or $125 to have your corporation become official. That said, you may have other expenses you must pay for at a regular rate. However, the filing itself is not a recurring payment, and you don’t have to pay multiple times to keep your corporation official.

Contact a Business Attorney Today

Business law is tricky to understand, especially if you’re starting your own business from scratch. You may want to incorporate in South Carolina for any number of legal or financial reasons, yet the process of doing so is full of paperwork and details that are complicated to fully make sense of. In this situation, you need an attorney you can trust to help you incorporate your business and submit accurate documentation.

At Mack & Mack Attorneys, we take pride in addressing legal issues your business is facing while supporting clients who wish to incorporate. For more than 80 years, our family has worked diligently with business owners in South Carolina in their incorporation process, something we’re ready to assist you with as well.

To learn more about what we do and schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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