Employment Services Industry Licensing Guide
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South Carolina Employment Agency

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Licensing requirements for South Carolina employment, staffing and talent agencies.

This page provides an overview of employment services licensing in South Carolina for individuals and agencies. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

Companies that provide employment services in South Carolina must apply for a license prior to doing business. Depending on the services offered, businesses may need to apply for more than one license type, and in some cases, an individual license will be required as well.

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Company Licenses

South Carolina Employment Services Company Licenses

Companies acting as employment agencies in South Carolina must obtain the following licenses before offering employment services. Applications usually require proof of incorporation or a certificate of authority.

South Carolina Employment Agency License

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Business Filings
Fact Checked:3/12/18

Initial Registration

This section applies to firms that are applying for a license in South Carolina for the first time.

Form:

http://www.sos.sc.gov/Employment_Agencies

Agency Fee:

$300

Fact Checked:12/7/16

Registration Renewal

This section applies to firms that are already licensed in South Carolina and need to renew their license.

Form:

http://www.sos.sc.gov/Employment_Agencies

Agency Fee:

$100

Due:

Biennially by December 31.

Fact Checked:12/7/16

South Carolina Professional Employer Organization License - Full

Agency:South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
Law:

SC Code § 40-68-30

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Financial Requirements:

Applicants must maintain a net worth of at least $50,000.

Bond Requirements:

Applicants that do not meet the net worth requirement may instead provide a bond that satisfies the requirement.

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes
Fact Checked:6/9/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PEO-01: Full License - Initial Application

Agency Fee:

$200 application fee + $1,000 license fee if applying during the second half of the license period and $2,000 if applying during the first half of the license period

 

PEO group applicant fees: $300 application fee + $3,500 license fee if applying during the second half of the license period and $4,000 if applying during the first half of the license period

Notarize:Required
Required Attachments:
  • Form PEO-07: Client Company List
  • Form PEO-08: Health Insurance Affidavit of Insurance
  • Form PEO-09: Worker's Comp Affidavit of Insurance
  • Form PEO-10: Insurance Certification
  • Form PEO-11: Insurance Schedule
  • A copy of the relevant certificate issued by the South Carolina Secretary of State demonstrating the applicant’s authority to conduct business in South Carolina
  • Copies of the most recent annual Audited Financial Statements for the 2 most recent accounting periods preceding the date of the application.
    • The most recent statement must be for the annual period ending no earlier than 180 days before the date of application attested to by an independent Certified Public Accountant.
    • If the most recent audited financial statement currently available is dated more than 180 days before the date of application, the applicant must certify to the Department that there have been no material adverse changes in the financial position of the company since the date of the last financial statements and shall provide a copy of the next financial statement as soon as it becomes available.
  • A copy of the Client services agreement per SC Code § 40-68-60 and § 40-68-70
  • A copy of the Employee letter per SC Code § 40-68-60 and § 40-68-70
  • A copy of the Worksite notice per SC Code § 40-68-60
  • A copy of your company’s current PEO license or registration from your state of residency.
  • An organizational chart of the applicant. Include ANY parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, etc.
  • If the applicant is a corporation, provide a copy of the company’s filed Articles of Incorporation. If other than a corporation, provide other
    appropriate documents to show when and by whom the business was organized.
  • Controlling Persons list
    • A list the names of all persons or entities who directly or indirectly own, control, hold with the power to vote, or hold proxies representing ten percent (10%) or more of the voting securities.
    • A list the names and titles/positions of all officers, directors and any person who is a controlling person based on their position.
    • Submit Form PEO-03 for all each controlling person, if not previously submitted to the state.
  • A list of list key management personnel in your company that will be required to meet the continuing professional education requirement.
    • If the licensee (PEO) is a sole proprietorship or partnership, key
      personnel means any controlling person.
    • If the licensee is a corporation, key personnel means any person who both directs or causes the direction of the management of a company operating in South Carolina and is directly responsible for the day-to-day management of the company's operations in South Carolina.
  • Demonstration of tax compliance
    • IRS account transcript, obtained by filing IRS Form 4506-T
    • A Certificate of Tax Compliance from the South Carolina Department of Revenue dated within 60 days, obtained by filing SC DOR form C-268
Fact Checked:6/9/21

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form PEO-02: Full License - Renewal Application

Agency Fee:

$1,500

Due:

By September 30 of odd-numbered years.

Notarize:Required
Required Attachments:
Fact Checked:6/9/21

Financial Reporting
Quarterly Report

Form:

Form PEO-13: Quarterly Report Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 75 days after the end of each quarter.

Notarize:Required
Penalties:

Quarterly financial reports that are submitted late without prior approval from the department will be assessed a late reporting fee of $150 for every 30 days or portion thereof they are late.

Fact Checked:6/9/21

South Carolina Professional Employer Organization License - Group

Agency:South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
Law:

SC Code § 40-68-30

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Financial Requirements:

Applicants must maintain a net worth of at least $50,000.

Bond Requirements:

Applicants that do not meet the net worth requirement may instead provide a bond that satisfies the requirement.

Notes:

PEO Group licenses may be issued for a group of at least 2 but no more than 5 companies that are majority-owned by the same entity.

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes
Fact Checked:6/29/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PEO-01: Full License - Initial Application

Agency Fee:

$300 application fee + $3,500 license fee if applying during the second half of the license period and $4,000 if applying during the first half of the license period

Notarize:Required
Required Attachments:
  • Form PEO-07: Client Company List
  • Form PEO-08: Health Insurance Affidavit of Insurance
  • Form PEO-09: Worker's Comp Affidavit of Insurance
  • Form PEO-10: Insurance Certification
  • Form PEO-11: Insurance Schedule
  • Form PEO-12: Cross Guarantee Form
  • A copy of the relevant certificate issued by the South Carolina Secretary of State demonstrating the applicant’s authority to conduct business in South Carolina
  • Copies of the most recent annual Audited Financial Statements for the 2 most recent accounting periods preceding the date of the application.
    • The most recent statement must be for the annual period ending no earlier than 180 days before the date of application attested to by an independent Certified Public Accountant.
    • If the most recent audited financial statement currently available is dated more than 180 days before the date of application, the applicant must certify to the Department that there have been no material adverse changes in the financial position of the company since the date of the last financial statements and shall provide a copy of the next financial statement as soon as it becomes available.
  • A copy of the Client services agreement per SC Code § 40-68-60 and § 40-68-70
  • A copy of the Employee letter per SC Code § 40-68-60 and § 40-68-70
  • A copy of the Worksite notice per SC Code § 40-68-60
  • A copy of your company’s current PEO license or registration from your state of residency.
  • An organizational chart of the applicant. Include ANY parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, etc.
  • If the applicant is a corporation, provide a copy of the company’s filed Articles of Incorporation. If other than a corporation, provide other
    appropriate documents to show when and by whom the business was organized.
  • Controlling Persons list
    • A list the names of all persons or entities who directly or indirectly own, control, hold with the power to vote, or hold proxies representing ten percent (10%) or more of the voting securities.
    • A list the names and titles/positions of all officers, directors and any person who is a controlling person based on their position.
    • Submit Form PEO-03 for all each controlling person, if not previously submitted to the state.
  • A list of list key management personnel in your company that will be required to meet the continuing professional education requirement.
    • If the licensee (PEO) is a sole proprietorship or partnership, key
      personnel means any controlling person.
    • If the licensee is a corporation, key personnel means any person who both directs or causes the direction of the management of a company operating in South Carolina and is directly responsible for the day-to-day management of the company's operations in South Carolina.
  • Demonstration of tax compliance
    • IRS account transcript, obtained by filing IRS Form 4506-T
    • A Certificate of Tax Compliance from the South Carolina Department of Revenue dated within 60 days, obtained by filing SC DOR form C-268
Fact Checked:6/29/21

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form PEO-02: Full License - Renewal Application

Agency Fee:

$3,000

Due:

By September 30 of odd-numbered years.

Notarize:Required
Required Attachments:
Fact Checked:6/29/21

Financial Reporting
Quarterly Report

Form:

Form PEO-13: Quarterly Report Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 75 days after the end of each quarter.

Notarize:Required
Penalties:

Quarterly financial reports that are submitted late without prior approval from the department will be assessed a late reporting fee of $150 for every 30 days or portion thereof they are late.

Fact Checked:6/29/21

South Carolina Professional Employer Organization License - Restricted

Agency:South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Notes:

Restricted licenses may be issued to a nonresident PEO or PEO Group for limited operation if:

  1. The applicant’s state of residence provides for licensing of PEOs, the applicant is licensed and in good standing in its state of residence, and the applicant’s state of residence grants a similar privilege for restricted licensing to PEOs or PEO Groups that are residents in South Carolina;
  2. The applicant does not maintain an office, sales force, or representatives in this State, and it does not solicit clients that are residents in this State; and
  3. The applicant does not have more than 40 leased employees working in this State
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes
Fact Checked:6/9/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PEO-04A: Restricted License - Application (Initial)

Agency Fee:

$200 application fee + $1,000 license fee if applying during the second half of the license period and $2,000 if applying during the first half of the license period

 

PEO group applicant fees: $300 application fee + $3,500 license fee if applying during the second half of the license period and $4,000 if applying during the first half of the license period

Notarize:Required
Required Attachments:
  • Form PEO-07: Client Company List
  • Form PEO-08: Health Insurance Affidavit of Insurance
  • Form PEO-09: Worker's Comp Affidavit of Insurance
  • Form PEO-10: Insurance Certification
  • Form PEO-11: Insurance Schedule
  • Form PEO-12: Cross Guarantee Form (if the applicant company is a part of a group of PEO companies of no more than 5 companies which are under common control)
  • Form PEO-16: Restricted License List of Leased Employees
  • A copy of the relevant certificate issued by the South Carolina Secretary of State demonstrating the applicant’s authority to conduct business in South Carolina
  • Copies of the most recent annual Audited Financial Statements for the 2 most recent accounting periods preceding the date of the application.
    • The most recent statement must be for the annual period ending no earlier than 180 days before the date of application attested to by an independent Certified Public Accountant.
    • If the most recent audited financial statement currently available is dated more than 180 days before the date of application, the applicant must certify to the Department that there have been no material adverse changes in the financial position of the company since the date of the last financial statements and shall provide a copy of the next financial statement as soon as it becomes available.
  • A copy of the Client services agreement per SC Code § 40-68-60 and § 40-68-70
  • A copy of the Employee letter per SC Code § 40-68-60 and § 40-68-70
  • A copy of the Worksite notice per SC Code § 40-68-60
  • A copy of your company’s current PEO license or registration from your state of residency.
  • An organizational chart of the applicant. Include ANY parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, etc.
  • Formation documentation
    • If the applicant is a corporation, provide a copy of the company’s filed Articles of Incorporation.
    • If other than a corporation, provide other appropriate documents to show when and by whom the business was organized.
  • Controlling Persons list
    • A list the names of all persons or entities who directly or indirectly own, control, hold with the power to vote, or hold proxies representing ten percent (10%) or more of the voting securities.
    • A list the names and titles/positions of all officers, directors and any person who is a controlling person based on their position.
    • Submit Form PEO-03 for all each controlling person, if not previously submitted to the state.
    • A list of list key management personnel in your company that will be required to meet the continuing professional education requirement.
    • If the licensee (PEO) is a sole proprietorship or partnership, key
      personnel means any controlling person.
    • If the licensee is a corporation, key personnel means any person who both directs or causes the direction of the management of a company operating in South Carolina and is directly responsible for the day-to-day management of the company's operations in South Carolina.
  • Demonstration of tax compliance
    • IRS account transcript, obtained by filing IRS Form 4506-T
    • A Certificate of Tax Compliance from the South Carolina Department of Revenue dated within 60 days, obtained by filing SC DOR form C-268
Fact Checked:6/9/21

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form PEO-04B: Restricted License - Application (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$1,500 for PEOs and $3,000 for PEO groups

Due:

By September 30 of odd-numbered years.

Notarize:Required
Required Attachments:
Fact Checked:6/9/21

Financial Reporting
Quarterly Report

Form:

Form PEO-13: Quarterly Report Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 75 days after the end of each quarter.

Notarize:Required
Penalties:

Quarterly financial reports that are submitted late without prior approval from the department will be assessed a late reporting fee of $150 for every 30 days or portion thereof they are late.

Fact Checked:6/9/21

South Carolina Talent Agency License

Agency:South Carolina Secretary of State - Division of Business Filings
Notes:

South Carolina does not have a separate talent agency license, but an employment agency license may be required.

Fact Checked:4/3/18

Initial Registration

Form:

http://www.sos.sc.gov/Employment_Agencies

Agency Fee:

$300

Fact Checked:12/7/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

http://www.sos.sc.gov/Employment_Agencies

Agency Fee:

$100

Due:

Biennially by December 31.

Fact Checked:12/7/16

Individual Licenses

South Carolina Individual Employment Services Licenses

South Carolina Controlling Person Registration

Agency:South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
Notes:

To be qualified to serve as a controlling person of a PEO licensee, a person must be at least 18 years of age, be of good moral character, and have educational, managerial, or business experience relevant to operation of a business entity offering PEO services, and at least two years of other related industry experience as approved by the department.

Fact Checked:5/18/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PEO-03: Controlling Person - Application

Agency Fee:

$100

Notarize:Required
Required Attachments:
  •  A credit report covering the last 7 years
Fact Checked:5/18/21

Renewal Not Required

Not required



  • Controlling person registrations do not need to be renewed, however, there are continuing education requirements that must be met every year in order to maintain a license.
  • Controlling persons who work on behalf of restricted PEO license holders are exempt from continuing education requirements.

Employee Leasing Company - Enter into leasing contracts with other businesses that require labor. The leasing company loans its workers to the lessee while still providing specified responsibilities, such as workers compensation insurance, to the employees. This includes long term (6 months or more) temporary arrangements but often excludes temporary help arrangements. Unlike professional employer organizations, employee leasing companies are contracted when an employer needs to hire staff and does not want to handle human resources responsibilities.

Employment Agency - An entity that, for compensation, procures or attempts to procure employment for a person.

Professional Employer Organization - PEOs take on the human resources role for businesses and act as a co-employer in the sense that the client company's workers are administratively employees of the PEO but functionally these employees are controlled by the client company. Unlike employee leasing companies, PEOs are contracted when an employer already has staff and does not want to handle human resources responsibilities.

Staffing Agency - An entity that procures temporary or part-time employment for a person who then works under the supervision of a worksite employer.

Talent Agency - An entity that, for compensation, procures or attempts to procure employment or placement for an artist. (Certain art forms are excluded)

American Staffing Association
Staffing, recruiting, and workforce solution industry advocacy group.

National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS)
Education and training oriented association for personnel services providers.

National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO)
Provides advocacy efforts, information, and other services to members of the employment industry.

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