South Carolina Business Formation Lawyer

Before you get down to running your business, you must choose its name, the products or services you will manufacture or market, and the structure you will operate under. The entity you choose should fit what you envision for your company. Will you own it alone, sell stock to raise capital to run it, or welcome partners to make it grow?

At Sparks Law, our knowledgeable attorneys are here to answer your questions and advise on the structure that best fits your needs. One of our South Carolina business formation lawyers could walk you through your options and help secure your company’s success.

Requirements for New Business Owners

South Carolina entrepreneurs can form sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), or corporations. Each entity features different requirements, which a skilled business formation attorney could help fulfill.

Sole Proprietorship Paperwork

A sole proprietorship has one owner who does not need to file paperwork with the Secretary of State. Permitting and zoning requirements may apply, as well as a county filing if the business name is different from the owner’s name. Sole proprietors are responsible for business losses, and the profits are treated as personal income on the owner’s tax returns.

LLC and Corporation Filing Requirements

More complicated business systems require more steps. For instance, corporations and LLCs must:

  • Determine a name for the business and make sure no other firms in the state are using it
  • Select a registered agent to receive documents, including lawsuits in the company’s name
  • Submit required documents to the Secretary of State (if an LLC, Articles of Organization; if a corporation, Articles of Incorporation)
  • Check local zoning laws and apply for appropriate city or county business licenses and permits
  • If the company employs workers, request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
  • Talk to a local business attorney to draft an LLC operating agreement or corporate bylaws

A legal advisor could guide a new entrepreneur through the early and ongoing duties for founding a business in South Carolina.

General and Registered Limited Liability Partnerships in South Carolina

South Carolina recognizes general partnerships and registered limited liability partnerships as codified under the Uniform Partnership Act (UPA).

General partnerships are made up of two or more persons who go into a for-profit business together. The partners are accountable for the company’s debts and are liable for wrongful acts and negligence of any partner committed in the business’s name. Profits are passed directly to partners to record as personal income on their tax returns. A partnership agreement generally governs the company’s operations.

Under the UPA Section 33-41-370, partners in a registered limited liability partnership are not liable for any wrongful acts of other partners. Still, they will be accountable for their own actions when representing the company. Owners should consult a dedicated attorney in their area to discuss whether a partnership is the best structure for forming their business.

Starting a Limited Liability Company

Like a registered limited liability partnership, limited liability company members are not liable for debts incurred by or lawsuits filed against the company. Members buy ownership shares with their initial and subsequent capital contributions, which can be in cash, property, or services.

Members are strongly advised to adopt an operating agreement in writing. This document will guide business operations and settle any misunderstandings that arise. A business formation lawyer at Sparks Law can help draft or review these contracts.

Creating a Corporation in South Carolina

The most complicated entity is the corporation because there are enhanced reporting duties, especially if the company goes public. The Securities and Exchange Commission oversees public companies through extensive quarterly and annual reports. The Board of Directors, elected by shareholders, oversees the corporation, which is managed by officers who may also be directors. A well-practiced attorney at our firm could help entrepreneurs decide whether a corporation is the best vehicle for their new company.

Speak to a South Carolina Business Formation Attorney

If you are starting a business, congratulations! You are creating jobs and offering valuable products or services to consumers. To ensure your success as an entrepreneur, it is crucial to choose the correct entity for your specific business goals and vision.

Let the experienced legal team at Sparks Law help. By consulting one of our experienced South Carolina business formation lawyers, you will be better positioned to make the right choices for you and your company. Contact us today to schedule your initial meeting.