South Carolina Registered Agents & Your LLC
Every business entity needs to formally appoint a person or business to act as a Registered Agent. In South Carolina, a Registered Agent can also be known as an Agent for Service of Process.
Your South Carolina Registered Agent provides various services to your LLC, including the acceptance of formal documents and correspondence from the South Carolina Secretary of State. It’s important to note that your LLC must have a South Carolina Registered Agent at all times—you’ll appoint one when you first start your business, but you can also replace your existing agent at a later date.
Rules for Registered Agents in South Carolina
There are certain rules that you must follow when you’re appointing a South Carolina Registered Agent service for your business. They are:
- If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in South Carolina.
- If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be able to conduct business in South Carolina.
- The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in South Carolina, not a P.O. Box.
- The Registered Agent must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence.
Note that the Registered Agent address does not need to be the same as your South Carolina LLC business address.
What a Registered Agent Does
Your Registered Agent carries out several valuable services for your business. They accept official communications and documents from the South Carolina Secretary of State on your behalf. This may include:
- Correspondence from the Secretary of State, such as a notice to file reports and other forms
- Service of process documents (for example, if your LLC has legal proceedings issued against it)
- Official South Carolina and federal government documents, form filings and requests for information (including taxes, permits and company filings)
The Incfile Registered Agent Service for South Carolina LLCs
Incfile provides a complete Registered Agent service for any LLC that’s incorporated in South Carolina. Even better, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.
Incfile is authorized to conduct business in South Carolina and can legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what the service includes:
- An always-available South Carolina Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf
- A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business
- An email notification whenever we receive documents for your business
- Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you
- A free (+ state fee) first year, whether you form your business through us or not ($119 a year after)
Appointing a South Carolina Registered Agent
You can appoint a Registered Agent when you first incorporate your South Carolina LLC or at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.
Appoint a Registered Agent Service When You Create Your South Carolina LLC
Your business needs to have a South Carolina Registered Agent Service as soon as it’s formed. You can achieve this through one of the following methods.
File Articles of Organization with the South Carolina Secretary of State
You will need to include details of your Registered Agent in your Articles of Organization. This is the form that you file with the SC Secretary of State to formally create your business.
Incorporate Through Incfile and Get a Free South Carolina Registered Agent
When you incorporate through us, we complete and file your Articles of Organization based on the information you’ve provided. Additionally, we give you a free South Carolina Registered Agent service for the first year, and we’ll include details on your Registered Agent in the form that we file with the state.Incorporate Your Business Through Incfile
Change Your Registered Agent After Your LLC Is Formed
You can also change your official Registered Agent after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.
File a Form with the South Carolina Secretary of State
Once you’ve chosen a new South Carolina Registered Agent, you can complete a form. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the Secretary of State so they can update your records.
Have Incfile File the Change on Your Behalf
When you choose to use our SC Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect important information about your business, complete the form on your behalf and send it to the South Carolina Secretary of State. We’ll let you know once we officially become your Registered Agent.Order Incfile's South Carolina Registered Agent Service
South Carolina Registered Agent Search
In some situations, you might want to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another South Carolina LLC. If you do, you can search the business database of the South Carolina Secretary of State, which will often provide details of a specific business’s Registered Agent.
If the Registered Agent isn’t available from the searchable business registry, contact the South Carolina Secretary of State to request the information.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent in South Carolina?
What happens if you choose not to assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the South Carolina Secretary of State? There are several possible ramifications, including:
- Getting served or sued and not finding out about it: If your LLC is sued and you don’t know about it, you could lose to a default judgment in your absence.
- Falling out of good standing with the South Carolina Secretary of State: If you don’t respond to certain correspondence (like the request for your annual report), certain states may revoke your right to do business.
- Losing your status as a South Carolina LLC: A SC Registered Agent “proves” to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your LLC may be dissolved.
Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
If you have an address in South Carolina, you can choose to be the Registered Agent for your LLC. We don’t recommend this approach as there can be some drawbacks:
- The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in South Carolina. If you’re forming an LLC outside of SC, you will need to use an in-state Registered Agent. You always need to have someone on hand during business hours at the South Carolina address to sign for important documents.
- The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the South Carolina Secretary of State's website. If you would prefer your name and address aren’t published, you should choose a Registered Agent service.
- If you change your South Carolina business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the SC Secretary of State for the new address if you act as your own Registered Agent. This would not be the case if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.
FAQs About South Carolina Registered Agents
Yes. All LLCs are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the South Carolina Secretary of State.
You can either do it when you incorporate your South Carolina business through paperwork filed with the Secretary of State or afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we will file all necessary forms on your behalf.
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above. If you still want to be your own Registered Agent, you need to fill in the correct forms and pay a fee to the South Carolina Secretary of State.
Yes. Additionally, if they are a business providing Registered Agent services, they must be legally able to conduct business in your state.
Useful Resources for South Carolina Registered Agent Services
You might find these resources helpful: