A South Carolina Registered Agent or South Carolina Registered Agent Service is required by law for every business entity in the state of South Carolina. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept legal papers (documents) on your behalf if it is sued. The registered agent or registered agent service must have a physical street address in South Carolina and be available during regular business hours.
In my South Carolina Registered Agent guide, I’ll walk you through the detailed process of when you should get a registered agent or registered agent service for your South Carolina business, how to pick one, if they are required and how to change one if needed. Typically you’re getting a registered agent when you setup your South Carolina LLC. Check out my guide on how to setup a South Carolina LLC so you can make sure you’re following all the right steps in the process. If you are just looking for the professional service to help you – use Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness.
Best South Carolina Registered Agent Service
ZenBusiness will be the best option for setting up a registered agent service in South Carolina. They can also help you with getting your LLC formed so if you’re looking for the best option, check them out today!
The best South Carolina Registered Agent for your South Carolina LLC is when you’re using ZenBusiness. Their team will setup your business and help you get the registered agent service needed to operate during normal business hours, have a physical address in South Carolina and make sure they accept legal documents on your behalf.
A registered agent company is exactly those three things. It’s required by law to have a registered agent in South Carolina so it’s important that you look for the best registered agent service that will offer these three things.
Northwest Registered Agent works with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office to make sure they are following all the right rules for a Limited Liability Company, domestic LLC, foreign LLC or whatever type of business you’re thinking of setting up.
It is also possible to start with one registered agent service and change your registered agent to a new group that you can use if for whatever reason the current solution you have doesn’t work.
The other option is to use a local law firm who offers registered agent services but typically you’ll find the fastest customer service and easiest way to get your LLC setup is through a national service like ZenBusiness.
The last option (which I don’t recommend) is being your own registered agent which we’ll get into later in this guide.
What is a South Carolina Registered Agent?
A South Carolina Registered Agent is no different than any other state’s registered agent. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept legal documents on your behalf, operate during normal business hours and has a physical street address in South Carolina.
It is required by South Carolina law to have a registered agent (statutory agent) and making sure you have a registered agent’s address in South Carolina.
Some of the South Carolina registered agent requirements to operate in South Carolina are:
- Must have a physical address in South Carolina
- Must be available during normal business hours
- Must be able to accept legal documents on your behalf
You may want to figure out how to do this with a PO Box as your mailing address but that is not your Registered Agent’s address. You must have a service or physical address in South Carolina that is not a PO Box. Sometimes this can be challenging because you want to act as your own registered agent but it’s a bit of a challenge.
When you’re going down the path of forming your South Carolina LLC – you’ll need the registered agent’s name, address of the registered agent and put them on the South Carolina Articles of Incorporation. The South Carolina registered agent requirement is important to maintain liability protection (and your personal assets) that your South Carolina LLC provides.
Why do I need a South Carolina Registered Agent?
One of the biggest reasons you need a registered agent is because it’s required by law. It’s required by law in every state in this country and a South Carolina Registered Agent service must have a physical address in South Carolina.
One of the other important things is to realize that everything related to your registered agent is going to be on public record. Anyone that goes to search the Secretary of State’s business information and registration portal (found here) will be able to see the registered agent’s name and address so make sure you’re using it the right way.
If you’re going to setup a South Carolina registered agent and try and act as your own registered agent just realize that anyone can look up that information. If you’re ever going to be traveling and someone needs to serve you legal papers – you’ll need a person there during normal business hours. The South Carolina Secretary of State’s office has a portal like we talked about with this information as public record so just be careful what you decide to do. It’s important to make sure that you’re not using your home address or a location you just don’t want on public record.
When should I obtain a South Carolina Registered Agent?
It’s also important to understand when you’re setting up a South Carolina LLC that whether it’s a domestic LLC, foreign LLC or just a Limited Liability Company that you need to get a resident agent setup at that time. If you don’t do that and are going to transact business you may end up having your LLC dissolved because it’s required by law to have a registered agent associated to your LLC.
You’ll want that South Carolina registered agent’s name to be something that your business entity will use and get setup in South Carolina.
You’re also going to want to be responsible for making sure you’re going to be submitting annual reports associated to your business. The registered agent should help you figure out the dates, compliance deadlines that come up and starting that at the beginning of your journey on the LLC formation process is the best step.
I highly recommend figuring out the state fees in South Carolina associated to this with registered agents. There are South Carolina registered agents or services that you could use that are not the national providers.
If you decide to use local law firms that have offices in South Carolina that may work but I always recommend just going with Northwest Registered Agent.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In South Carolina?
Yes this is possible but like we’ve been talking about – it’s not the best idea. I don’t recommend being your own registered agent because of the public record info we discussed earlier.
Being your own South Carolina registered agent is going to cause you issues in the long run. It may seem like a good idea at the beginning of the adventure on your LLC formation journey but in the long run it’s going to be a challenge.
It’s just as important to have help with your official mail or anybody that’s going to serve you legal papers and to have a South Carolina registered agent help you with this.
If you’re deciding to go down the path of doing this in South Carolina then you may end up with people coming to your home. If you go with a national provider like Northwest Registered Agent or a South Carolina law firm with offices in the state, you’ll have some protection, which is the point.
You will need to be at your home or whatever the registered agent’s address is in South Carolina during normal business hours so I would also think about that if you decide to do this on your own.
The last point on this is that it’s required by law to have a registered agent so make sure you have something in place.
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?
The costs can range depending on what route you want to go. If you use Northwest Registered Agent or a local law firm, it’s going to be around $100 – $300 per year.
You’ll want to read the reviews and do your research so you don’t get taken advantage of with exorbitant prices.
You can also be your own agent but as we’ve talked about that has other costs other than the monetary fee associated to.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In South Carolina?
When you’re forming your LLC in South Carolina, there is a section on the Articles of Organization that requires the name and address of the registered agent.
You will also put this in the Operating Agreement if you have one but that’s not required by law in South Carolina.
It’s important to get started with the right foot and set it up from the beginning.
The paperwork can be found on the South Carolina sos.sc.gov site here.
How Do I Change My Registered Agent In South Carolina?
If you’re looking to change your registered agent it’s pretty straightforward. You will need to find the Certificate of Change form and get it back to the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office. I believe the change fee is $10 and here is a direct link to the file.
Here are the filing instructions form the PDF above:
- Two copies of this form, the original and either a duplicate original or a conformed copy, must be filed.
- $10.00 filing fee made payable to the South Carolina Secretary of State.
- Include a self-addressed stamped envelope to have a filed copy returned to you by mail.
Return to: Secretary of State
1205 Pendleton St., Ste. 525
Columbia, SC 29201
Pursuant to Section 33-5-102(b) of the 1976 S.C. Code of Laws, as amended, the registered agent can file this when the
only change is the street address of the registered office. In this situation, the following statement should be typed on the
form above the registered agent’s signature: “The corporation has been notified of this change.” In this case the filing fee is $2.00.
The above information may change and it’s important to validate it with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office directly.
South Carolina Registered Agent FAQ
Does South Carolina require a registered agent?
Yes. You will need to have a registered agent that has a physical office in South Carolina, operates during normal business hours and can accept legal documents on your behalf.
Does registered agent mean owner?
No. A business owner is not a registered agent. You will have owners of your business that will be very different than a registered agent.
What is a registered agent service?
A registered agent service is a company that you can hire to be your registered agent. This company will have an office in South Carolina and will accept legal documents on your behalf.
Best Registered Agent
The best option for your registered agent service