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How to Get a Certificate of Existence in South Carolina

Written by:

Coralee is a business writer with experience in administrative services, education, and software testing.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Get a Certificate of Existence in South Carolina

How to Get a Certificate of Existence in South Carolina

In South Carolina, potential creditors or investors might request a certificate of existence for your LLC, and you’ll need to provide one or risk losing crucial financing. Thankfully, this guide provides all the information you need to get this certificate in South Carolina. 

What is a Certificate of Existence for South Carolina? 

In South Carolina, a certificate of existence, known as a certificate of good standing in most other states, verifies that you’re a legally registered business entity that is up to date on all filings and fees and permitted to do business in the state. 

You do not have to obtain this certificate to do business in South Carolina, or in any state. It is simply used to verify your strong status to third parties such as banks.

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Why Do I Need a Certificate of Existence?

Your LLC only needs a certificate of existence if another party requests one. For instance, a bank might request one if you’re opening a bank account or applying for a loan. A credit firm might request one if you apply for a business credit card or if you set up credit card processing.

If you’re registering as a foreign LLC in another state, you will probably be asked for a certificate of existence. 

A foreign entity is simply a business entity doing business in a state other than the one in which it’s registered. For example, if your business is registered in South Carolina but you also do business in Georgia, you’ll need to register a foreign entity in Georgia.

Where to Get a Certificate of Existence in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the Secretary of State issues certificates of existence. Just go to their business search page to look up your business, log into your account, and request your certificate. The cost is $10 and you should receive your certificate immediately. 

Requirements for a Certificate of Existence

You must be registered as a business entity in that state. Operating as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership does not require registration in South Carolina, so those entities are not able to obtain a certificate of good standing. Corporations and LLCs, like your business, must be registered with the state, so they are able to obtain the certificate. 

How Much Does a South Carolina Certificate of Existence Cost? 

Again, the fee to obtain a certificate of existence in South Carolina is $10. But it’s well worth it because this is an official document that proves your business’ financial accountability and could open the door to greater investment and expansion.