South Carolina Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

Nonprofit articles of incorporation is the document filed to create a South Carolina nonprofit corporation.

Preparing and filing your articles of incorporation is the first step in starting your nonprofit corporation. Approval of this document secures your corporate name and creates the legal entity of the nonprofit. Only after this approval can you apply for 501c, apply for fundraising licenses, open a bank account, and otherwise conduct business.


Incorporating provides many important benefits:

  • Limits the liability of directors, officers, and shareholders
  • Fulfills statutory requirements to register your organization's name
  • Is a prerequisite for applying for 501(c) tax exemption
  • Provides governance and adds credibility to the business or organization

Fast Facts

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

Articles of Incorporation (§33-31-202)

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:



~7-10 business days by mail. ~1-2 business days online.


South Carolina Nonprofit Corporations Act

  • You must attach 501(c)(3) Attachment ($0 fee) if you will apply for 501(c)(3) tax exemption.
  • Submit the original and one copy.
  • Include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
  • Political associations must also submit CL-1 and an additional $25 fee.

Other Helpful South Carolina Facts

As you are preparing to incorporate, keep in mind the following requirements specific to South Carolina, keep in mind:

South Carolina Directors

  • Number: minimum 3
  • Qualifications: Natural person. No residency requirement. No membership requirement.
  • Term: default is 1 year, 5 year maximum
  • Quorum: majority
  • Committee: minimum 2 directors

South Carolina Officers

  • A president, a secretary, and a treasurer are required.
  • Two or more offices may be held by the same individual.

South Carolina Members

  • Members: optional
  • Regular meeting: required annually
  • Quorum: 1/10th votes

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