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.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

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.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

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
Fact Checked:4/10/20

Automatic Exemption

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

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

Fact Checked:8/15/18

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

Fact Checked:1/16/20

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.

Fact Checked:1/16/20

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
Fact Checked:4/14/20

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
Fact Checked:2/4/20

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

Fact Checked:2/4/20

Change of Fiscal Year

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

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

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Cancellation

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

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

Fact Checked:7/14/20

South Carolina Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

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

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Application for a Commercial Co-Venturer

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$50

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

Registration Application for a Commercial Co-Venturer (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$50

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Due:

Annually

Fact Checked:12/15/16

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.

How to Apply:

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

Fact Checked:8/5/19

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.

Fact Checked:8/12/20

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.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

South Carolina Professional Fundraising Counsel Registration

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Public Charities
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes
Fact Checked:7/5/18

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Application for a Professional Fundraising Counsel

Agency Fee:

$50

Fact Checked:7/5/18

Registration Renewal

Form:

Registration Application for a Professional Fundraising Counsel (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$50

Due:

Annually

Fact Checked:7/5/18

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.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

South Carolina Professional Fundraising Solicitor Registration

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

$15,000

Initial Registration

Form:

Registration Application for a Professional Solicitor

Agency Fee:

$50

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:12/15/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

Registration Application for a Professional Solicitor (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$50

Due:

Annually

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:12/15/16

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.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

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.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

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
Fact Checked:12/15/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

Registration Application for an Individual Professional Solicitor (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$50

Due:

Annually

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:12/15/16

Learn about fundraising in other states:

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