Limited-Liability-CompanyThe South Carolina limited liability company is the most popular form of business entity in which to operate a business.  A South Carolina limited liability company (LLC) is a hybrid type of statutory legal entity, pursuant to the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act of 1996, that combines principles of the corporation (such as limited liability for all members) with principles of the partnership (such as simple partnership management structures and informal decision-making procedures). A South Carolina limited liability company offers business owners important legal and tax benefits unavailable through any other business organization form.  Many start-up businesses and small business owners elect the LLC business entity  to operate their businesses because of these benefits and the combination of limited liability and a partnership tax structure.

Limited Liability Company Under South Carolina Law

Under South Carolina law, the name of a LLC must contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “LC,” or “L.C.”  The word “Limited” can be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” The name of the LLC must also be distinct and recognizably different than the names of other business entities that have filed with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Searching the South Carolina Secretary of State business name database is advisable.

Many start-up businesses and small business owners elect the LLC business entity to operate their businesses because of these benefits and the combination of limited liability and a partnership tax structure.
A South Carolina limited liability company is established by filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State – note that filing the Articles only technically establishes the LLC, it does not ensure the business owners are taking full advantage of what the LLC business form offers. The Articles of Organization must include: the name and address of the LLC, the name and address of the LLC’s registered agent; the purpose of organizing the LLC; a statement addressing the duration of the LLC (whether it be a perpetual period of time or specified period of time); whether the LLC will be managed by manager(s) or by member(s) (if it is manager-managed, the Articles must include the the names and addresses of the initial managers); and the organizer(s)’ name and address.

South Carolina requires that all LLCs have a registered agent for service of process. The agent is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept an LLC’s legal papers in case of a lawsuit and must reside in South Carolina or authorized to do business in South Carolina. South Carolina also requires every LLC to file an annual report due on its anniversary date. Moreover, South Carolina does not legally require LLCs to create operating agreements, but it is highly advisable to do so in order for members to understand the rules of operation.