South Carolina Fundraising Licensing

Resources for charities, businesses, professional fundraisers, and individuals conducting charitable solicitation activities
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Below, you'll find licensing requirements for a range of fundraising activities. At a glance, you can see requirements, fees, filing instructions, and links to forms for everything from charitable gaming and cause marketing to professional fundraisers and charitable gift annuities.

Make sure your fundraising activities meet the unique requirements of each jurisdiction where you’re soliciting. Feel free to explore, bookmark, and share!

South Carolina charitable solicitation license, South Carolina fundraising license
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Company Licenses

South Carolina Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

South Carolina Bingo License

Game Type:

Bingo

Agency:South Carolina Department of Revenue - Bingo Licensing and Enforcement Unit
Organization Age Requirement:

2 years of continuous existence in South Carolina immediately preceeding licensure.

Initial Registration

Agency:South Carolina Department of Revenue - Bingo Licensing and Enforcement Unit
Form:

Form L-2058: Application for Bingo License Nonprofit Organization

Agency Fee:

$4,000 for Class AA license, $1,000 for Class B license, $0 for Class C license, $100 for no more than 10 days or $200 for more than 10 days for Class D license, $500 for Class E license, $100 for Class F license.

Renewal Not Required

Not required



Bingo licenses do not need to be renewed unless the submitted information changes.

More information: South Carolina Department of Revenue - Bingo Licensing and Enforcement Unit

South Carolina Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Not required



Charitable Gift Annuity licensure is not required on the State level in South Carolina.

No filing is required, but charities need to meet certain conditions before issuing charitable gift annuities. South Carolina exempts charitable, religious, benevolent, and educational organizations from insurance laws related to charitable gift annuities as long as they have been in existence for at least 5 years. For-profit entities, including nursing homes, are not exempt.

Law:

SC Code § 38-5-20

South Carolina Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities
Law:

South Carolina Code Annotated §33-56-10 and following

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Religious organizations
  • Political organizations
Notes:

Religious organizations and political candidates and groups are automatically exempt from registration.

Registration to Obtain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Organizations that do not use professional solicitors, professional fundraising counsels, or commercial coventurers to solicit and meet one of the following criteria:

  • An educational institution which solicits contributions from only its students and their families, alumni, faculty, friends, and other constituencies, trustees, corporations, foundations, and individuals who are interested in and supportive of the programs of the institution
  • A person requesting contributions for the relief of an individual specified by name at the time of the solicitation when all of the contributions collected, without deductions of any kind, are turned over to the named beneficiary for his use, as long as the person soliciting the contributions is not a named beneficiary
  • A charitable organization which (a) does not intend to solicit or receive contributions from the public in excess of $20,000 in a calendar year and (b) has received a letter of tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service, if all functions, including fundraising activities, of the organization exempted pursuant to this item are conducted by persons who are compensated no more than $500 in a year for their services and no part of their assets or income inures to the benefit of or is paid to an officer or a member
  • An organization which solicits exclusively from its membership, including a utility cooperative
  • A veterans' organization which has a congressional charter
  • The State, its political subdivisions, and an agency or a department of the State which are subject to the disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act

 

Also, organizations that meet one one of the following criteria regardless of whether or not they use professional solicitors, professional fundraising counsels, or commercial coventurers to solicit:

  • A public school district located in the State and any public school teaching pre-K through grade twelve located within the public school district. For purposes of this chapter, the term "public school" includes any student organization within the school that does not maintain separate financial accounts or a separate federal Employer's Identification Number (EIN) from the school and whose fundraising revenues are deposited in the school's student activity fund
  • A charitable organization that does not intend to solicit or receive contributions from the public in excess of $7,500 during a calendar year
Form:

Application for Registration Exemption

Agency Fee:

$0

Law:

SC Code § 33-56-50

Renewal to Maintain Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Organizations that do not use professional solicitors, professional fundraising counsels, or commercial coventurers to solicit and meet one of the following criteria:

  • An educational institution which solicits contributions from only its students and their families, alumni, faculty, friends, and other constituencies, trustees, corporations, foundations, and individuals who are interested in and supportive of the programs of the institution
  • A person requesting contributions for the relief of an individual specified by name at the time of the solicitation when all of the contributions collected, without deductions of any kind, are turned over to the named beneficiary for his use, as long as the person soliciting the contributions is not a named beneficiary
  • A charitable organization which (a) does not intend to solicit or receive contributions from the public in excess of $20,000 in a calendar year and (b) has received a letter of tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service, if all functions, including fundraising activities, of the organization exempted pursuant to this item are conducted by persons who are compensated no more than $500 in a year for their services and no part of their assets or income inures to the benefit of or is paid to an officer or a member
  • An organization which solicits exclusively from its membership, including a utility cooperative
  • A veterans' organization which has a congressional charter
  • The State, its political subdivisions, and an agency or a department of the State which are subject to the disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act
     

Also, organizations that meet one one of the following criteria regardless of whether or not they use professional solicitors, professional fundraising counsels, or commercial coventurers to solicit:

  • A public school district located in the State and any public school teaching pre-K through grade twelve located within the public school district. For purposes of this chapter, the term "public school" includes any student organization within the school that does not maintain separate financial accounts or a separate federal Employer's Identification Number (EIN) from the school and whose fundraising revenues are deposited in the school's student activity fund
  • A charitable organization that does not intend to solicit or receive contributions from the public in excess of $7,500 during a calendar year
Form:

Application for Registration Exemption (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 4.5 months after the organization's fiscal year end.

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization

Filing Method:

Online or mail.

Agency Fee:

$50 + $2 online filing fee.

Turnaround:

1 week

Notes:
  • The CEO and CFO must sign.
  • Late registration forms may result in a fine of up to $2,000 against the charitable organization.
  • Some South Carolina counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents in South Carolina.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents in South Carolina.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
  • If you will foreign qualify in South Carolina, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 30 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Business Filings.
  2. Submit a Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization and all required attachments to the South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in South Carolina. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Business Filings.
  3. Submit a Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization and all required attachments to the South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts

Registration Renewal
Annual Registration Statement

Form:

Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Online or mail.

Agency Fee:

$50 + $2 online filing fee.

Due:

Renewal must be filed annually within 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then file by May 15.

Due Date Extension:

The registration statement renewal must be submitted on time, but the due date for the annual financial statement can be extended for 6 months beyond the original due date by emailing the department at charities@sos.sc.gov with your request.

Penalties:

Late registration may result in a fine of up to $2,000 against the charitable organization.

Notes:
  • The CEO and CFO must sign.
  • You must file an annual financial report with the Secretary of State. If this has not yet been filed, file it with your renewal.
  • The exemption form must be resubmitted annually.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • IRS determination letter

Registration Renewal
Annual Financial Report

Form:

Annual Financial Report for a Charitable Organization 

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Due annually 4.5 months after fiscal year end. So if your organization's fiscal year ends December 31, the report is due May 15.

Required Attachments:

None

Contract Filing

Form:

Notice of Solicitation - CCV

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Due:

File a notice of solicitation at least 10 days prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Notes:

Contracts between charities and commercial coventurers must disclose the following, if applicable:

  1. Legal name and alias name, address, and registration number, if any, of the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer;
  2. Legal name, address, and registration number of the charitable organization;
  3. Name and residence address of each person directing or supervising the contract solicitation services;
  4. Description of the event or campaign;
  5. Date the solicitation or campaign will commence;
  6. Date the solicitation or campaign will terminate;
  7. Statement of the amount or guaranteed minimum percentage of gross receipts to be remitted or retained by the charitable organization, excluding the amount which the charitable organization must pay for fundraising costs;
  8. Statement of the amount or percentage of gross receipts with which the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer is compensated, including the amount the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer must be reimbursed as payment for fundraising costs; and
  9. If applicable, the maximum dollar amount that will benefit the charitable organization.

Change of Fiscal Year

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

Email charities@sos.sc.gov to update fiscal year.

Cancellation

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, submit on letterhead the date you wish to withdraw from soliciting in South Carolina or simply do not submit the next IRS form 990.

Commercial co-venturer means a person that regularly and primarily engages in trade or commerce for profit that, for the benefit of a charitable organization, may raise funds by advertising that the purchase or use of goods, services, entertainment, or other thing of value benefits the charitable organization, if it is offered at a price comparable to similar goods or services in the market.

South Carolina Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities
Law:

SC Code § 33-56-110

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Application for a Commercial Co-Venturer

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$50

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Bond Amount:

None

Registration Renewal

Form:

Registration Application for a Commercial Co-Venturer (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$50

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Due:

Annually

Bond Amount:

None

Contract Filing

Form:

Notice of Solicitation - CCV

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Due:

File a notice of solicitation at least 10 days prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Notes:

Contracts between charities and commercial coventurers must disclose the following, if applicable:

  1. Legal name and alias name, address, and registration number, if any, of the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer;
  2. Legal name, address, and registration number of the charitable organization;
  3. Name and residence address of each person directing or supervising the contract solicitation services;
  4. Description of the event or campaign;
  5. Date the solicitation or campaign will commence;
  6. Date the solicitation or campaign will terminate;
  7. Statement of the amount or guaranteed minimum percentage of gross receipts to be remitted or retained by the charitable organization, excluding the amount which the charitable organization must pay for fundraising costs;
  8. Statement of the amount or percentage of gross receipts with which the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer is compensated, including the amount the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer must be reimbursed as payment for fundraising costs; and
  9. If applicable, the maximum dollar amount that will benefit the charitable organization.
How to Apply:

The charity must be registered to solicit charitable contributions or otherwise exempt for the contract to be accepted.

Contract Amendment

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

An amendment filing should be made before the expiration date of a campaign in order to extend the campaign.

Notes:

To report an extension of a campaign or another change to a campaign agreement, submit a cover letter describing the change and include a copy of the amended agreement.

Financial Reporting

Form:

Joint Financial Report for Commercial Co-Venturer

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Due:

Within 90 days after a campaign has ended and within 90 days after the anniversary of commencement for campaigns lasting more than a year.

Penalties:

South Carolina enforces very strict fines on joint financial reports that are not filed within 90 days of the conclusion of the campaign.

Professional fundraising counsel means a person that for a fixed rate of compensation plans, conducts, manages, prepares materials for, advises, or acts as a consultant, directly or indirectly, in connection with soliciting contributions for or on behalf of a charitable organization, but that actually does not solicit, receive, or collect contributions as a part of these services. A person whose compensation is computed on the basis of funds actually raised or to be raised is not a professional fundraising counsel pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. A bona fide salaried officer or employee of a charitable organization maintaining a permanent establishment within this State, or the bona fide salaried officer or employee of a parent organization certified as tax exempt, is not a professional fundraising counsel.

South Carolina Professional Fundraising Counsel Registration

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities
Law:

SC Code § 33-56-110

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes

Contract Filing

Form:

Notice of Solicitation

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a notice of solicitation at least 10 days prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Notes:

Contracts between charities and commercial coventurers must disclose the following, if applicable:

  1. Legal name and alias name, address, and registration number, if any, of the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer;
  2. Legal name, address, and registration number of the charitable organization;
  3. Name and residence address of each person directing or supervising the contract solicitation services;
  4. Description of the event or campaign;
  5. Date the solicitation or campaign will commence;
  6. Date the solicitation or campaign will terminate;
  7. Statement of the amount or guaranteed minimum percentage of gross receipts to be remitted or retained by the charitable organization, excluding the amount which the charitable organization must pay for fundraising costs;
  8. Statement of the amount or percentage of gross receipts with which the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer is compensated, including the amount the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer must be reimbursed as payment for fundraising costs; and
  9. If applicable, the maximum dollar amount that will benefit the charitable organization.

Professional solicitor means a person that, for monetary or other consideration, solicits contributions for or on behalf of a charitable organization, either personally or through its agents, servants, or employees or through agents, servants, or employees who are specially employed by or for a charitable organization, who are engaged in the solicitation of contributions under the direction of that person. "Professional solicitor" also means a person that plans, conducts, manages, carries on, advises, or acts as a consultant to a charitable organization in connection with the solicitation of contributions but does not qualify as "professional fundraising counsel" within the meaning of this chapter. A bona fide salaried officer, unpaid director, a bona fide employee of a charitable organization, or a part-time student employee of an educational institution is not a professional solicitor. A paid director or employee of a charitable organization is not a professional solicitor unless his salary or other compensation is paid as a commission computed on the basis of funds actually raised or to be raised.

South Carolina Professional Fundraising Solicitor Registration

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities
Law:

SC Code § 33-56-110

Bond Requirements:

$15,000

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Application for a Professional Solicitor

Agency Fee:

$50

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Every individual solicitor working for a professional solicitor company must also register with the Secretary of State’s Office on an annual basis by filing a Registration Application for an Individual Professional Solicitor. 
  • Professional solicitors must file a surety bond for $15,000 before any solicitation activity occurs and must file either the Professional Solicitor’s Bond Form or the Professional Solicitor’s Cash Bond Form at the same time the registration form is filed.
  • Professional solicitors must file Notice of Solicitation Forms and all contracts they have with charitable organizations.
  • Professional solicitors must submit a Joint Financial Report for each solicitation campaign. 
  • Companies who have a principal place of business outside the state of South Carolina, who do not have a registered agent in South Carolina, may elect to use the Secretary of State for its registered agent.
Before you Apply:
  • This application must be signed by the CEO/President and CFO/Treasurer.
Required Attachments:
  • Please provide a list of all charitable organizations for which you have an active contract in South Carolina.
  • Please provide a list of all current officers and directors, along with their addresses and phone numbers.
  •  Please provide a list of all officers, directors, individual owners or partners for the preceding three years.
  • Please provide a list of all employees, their job titles, and whether full time, part-time, or contracted.
  • Please attach a list of all charitable organizations with which you have contracted in the State of South Carolina for  the previous three years.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Registration Application for a Professional Solicitor (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$50

Due:

Annually

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Contract Filing

Form:

Notice of Solicitation

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a notice of solicitation at least 10 days prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Notes:

Contracts between charities and commercial coventurers must disclose the following, if applicable:

  1. Legal name and alias name, address, and registration number, if any, of the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer;
  2. Legal name, address, and registration number of the charitable organization;
  3. Name and residence address of each person directing or supervising the contract solicitation services;
  4. Description of the event or campaign;
  5. Date the solicitation or campaign will commence;
  6. Date the solicitation or campaign will terminate;
  7. Statement of the amount or guaranteed minimum percentage of gross receipts to be remitted or retained by the charitable organization, excluding the amount which the charitable organization must pay for fundraising costs;
  8. Statement of the amount or percentage of gross receipts with which the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer is compensated, including the amount the professional solicitor, professional fundraising counsel, or commercial co-venturer must be reimbursed as payment for fundraising costs; and
  9. If applicable, the maximum dollar amount that will benefit the charitable organization.

Financial Reporting

Form:

Joint Financial Report

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 90 days after a campaign has ended and within 90 days after the anniversary of commencement for campaigns lasting more than a year.

Individual Licenses

South Carolina Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

South Carolina Individual Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Application for an Individual Professional Solicitor

Agency Fee:

$50

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Form:

Registration Application for an Individual Professional Solicitor (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$50

Due:

Annually

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
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