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South Carolina Registered Agent

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Your business must appoint a South Carolina registered agent to receive documents in legal matters, including notice of lawsuit. Our reliable registered agent service fulfills this requirement. You get:

  • Same-day documents from our local office in Charleston
  • Immediate online access to state forms with our address and, where required, our signature
  • Annual fees from $89Multi-Year Discount to $99 per state with no additional charges
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A Complete Guide to Registered Agents in South Carolina

If you’re thinking about forming an organization in South Carolina or expanding into the state from another jurisdiction, appointing a registered agent with the secretary of state is among the first requirements you need to meet. Your agent serves a simple but important purpose—accepting and forwarding service of process and other official correspondence.

In this guide, we’ll show you everything you should know about registered agents in South Carolina, most notably:

  • What an agent does
  • Who can be one
  • How to appoint your agent

You’ll also learn about Harbor Compliance and see how we make sure all your notices are delivered timely.

Duties of South Carolina Registered Agents

A registered agent receives legal or government notices on your behalf. For example, if your organization is involved in litigation, they’ll accept service of process and forward it to you so that you can take the necessary action.

If the agent fulfills their duties successfully, you can resolve legal matters without delays. If not, you might be unaware that someone took legal action against you and might miss the court hearing. As a result, the judge will likely rule in the plaintiff’s favor, which is known as default judgment.

Your registered agent must make sure it doesn’t come to this by being available at all times during business hours at the so-called registered office. This is a physical address in South Carolina to which your notices can be delivered, and all registered agents are required to have one.

South Carolina Registered Agent Requirements

According to Section 33-5-101 of the South Carolina Statutes, you have three options when choosing your registered agent:

  1. An individual who resides in South Carolina
  2. A domestic organization other than yours
  3. A foreign organization authorized to transact in South Carolina

If you opt for an individual, you have several choices, most notably:

  • Yourself
  • An attorney
  • A friend or family member
  • Someone from your organization

Still, you should think twice before appointing an individual agent as they may not offer the constant availability necessary for making sure your notices aren’t missed. An individual might be absent from the registered office due to various other obligations or emergencies, exposing you to the risk of default judgment.

To stay on the safe side, it’s better to appoint an organization acting as a registered agent, also known as a commercial agent. These organizations typically have an entire team dedicated to accepting your correspondence, so there’s little to no risk of missed notices.

How To Appoint/Change a Registered Agent in South Carolina

The process of appointing your registered agent depends on whether you’re forming a new organization in South Carolina or expanding into the state, though the main difference lies in the documents you’ll need to submit.

If you’re registering a new legal entity, you’ll appoint the agent in your formation documents. The following table shows the documents that correspond to the most common business structure:

Business Structure Formation Documents
Corporation Articles of Incorporation for profit organizations and nonprofit corporations
LLC Articles of Organization

To expand your organization into South Carolina and obtain a certificate of authority, you need to appoint a registered agent in your foreign qualification filings.

If your organization already operates in South Carolina and you have an agent but wish to work with another one, you need to submit the Notice of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent or Both. You can either file the notice online or download the paper form and mail it to the South Carolina secretary of state.

Note that failing to update the secretary of state on the agent change is grounds for administrative dissolution, which means your rights to operate in South Carolina are revoked.

The same can happen if you don’t notify the secretary of state of any changes related to your current agent.

If you partner with a commercial agent, such updates will be effortless because they can submit the relevant notices on behalf of all represented entities.

South Carolina Registered Agent Service by Harbor Compliance

If you want to focus on meaningful work without the looming threat of missing a time-sensitive legal notice, Harbor Compliance has a solution—a comprehensive Registered Agent Service. We provide a team of experts and a local office in Charleston to which your notices can be delivered at any time during business hours, ensuring your correspondence doesn’t pass us by.

After receiving a notice, we process and send it to you electronically on the same day. You’ll get an email with a link to the secure Client Portal in which you’ll find the notice alongside pre-filled state forms.

In case of legal action, we’ll also call the person associated with the account via phone to make sure you received and saw the notice.

Harbor Compliance offers a comprehensive set of services beyond the Registered Agent Service. The following table shows some of our most sought-after solutions:

Category Overview
Document filing and retrieval
Entity lifecycle management
Beneficial ownership information reporting
Business licensing support
Nonprofit formation
Tax registration and management

Individual South Carolina Registered Agent vs. Harbor Compliance

There are various disadvantages of appointing an individual registered agent besides the availability issues, most notably:

  • Risking being served at your place of work in front of team members or clients if you appoint someone from your organization
  • Having your information enter the public record if you appoint yourself and being obligated to stay at the registered office at all times during business hours

Partnering with Harbor Compliance is an excellent way to avoid these limitations. You can enjoy numerous benefits, such as:

  • Complete privacy and discretion—When you appoint us, our information is given to the secretary of state, leaving your privacy intact. You’ll also receive all notices through the Client Portal, so you can keep them on a need-to-know basis.
  • Advanced data security—Your information is protected by security measures like strong encryption and confidentiality agreements signed by all our team members.
  • Consistent availability—Our Charleston office is open during business hours without exceptions, so there’s no risk of missed or delayed notices.
  • Nationwide availability—We have local offices in all U.S. states and territories, so you can appoint us wherever your organization expands. You can receive all important notices in the centralized Client Portal and manage them conveniently, no matter where you are.

How To Appoint Harbor Compliance as Your South Carolina Registered Agent

You can sign up for our Registered Agent Service in the following three scenarios:

  1. Forming a new organization in South Carolina
  2. Expanding into the state
  3. Changing your current registered agent

For details on how to appoint us in each of these scenarios, refer to the following instructions:

Forming a New Legal Entity

If you’re registering a new organization, you can take advantage of our full-service entity formation services tailored to different business types:

When you choose your preferred service, we’ll complete the formation process on your behalf and appoint Harbor Compliance as your registered agent.

If you prefer a more involved approach to registration, you can order our Registered Agent Service as a standalone solution. In this case, you can appoint us by taking the following steps:

  1. Sign up for the service.
  2. Find our details alongside pre-filled registration documents in the Client Portal.
  3. Complete and submit your filings.

Expanding Into South Carolina

If your organization has outgrown its formation state and you wish to get a South Carolina certificate of authority, our Foreign Qualification Service package is an excellent solution.

All you need to do is complete the signup wizard, and we’ll take over the entire qualification process. Besides appointing ourselves as your registered agent, we’ll provide the service at no additional cost for a year.

Changing Your Agent

While changing a registered agent is straightforward enough, we can give you a completely hands-off approach to doing it if you opt for our Registered Agent Service.

Right before checkout, you’ll see the Add Change of Agent Service option. Select it and complete the purchase, and we’ll name Harbor Compliance your new agent and update the secretary of state on your behalf.

Located in nearby Charleston, SC!

How to Appoint Us as Your South Carolina Registered Agent


Appoint us as your South Carolina registered agent when you incorporate your business or form your LLC. Sign up for registered agent service and file using the state forms and instructions in your Client Portal. The forms are pre-filled and signed as required by the state.

Foreign Qualification

Appoint us as your agent when you apply for a certificate of authority to transact business in South Carolina. Sign up for South Carolina registered agent service and file using the forms and instructions in your Client Portal. The forms are pre-filled and signed as required by the state.

Change Agent

Changing your registered agent to us is easy. Sign up for South Carolina registered agent service and file using the forms and instructions in your Client Portal. The forms are pre-filled and signed as required by the state.

Book of Business

Harbor Compliance is a provider of nationwide registered agent service. We can help you consolidate your agent representation and achieve cost savings. Our specialists manage the process to change registered agents so that virtually no work is required on your part. We will complete the state filings to appoint us as your registered agent. Additionally, we can extend your subscription term so that you avoid double payment for any portion of your current contract. There’s no reason to wait. Simply contact us for consolidation and we’ll take care of the rest. If you have registered agent appointments spanning multiple states or entities, contact us today.

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South Carolina Registered Agent FAQs

Here, you’ll see some of the most commonly asked questions about South Carolina registered agents. If you need more guidance, visit our Information Center.

A registered agent is a person or organization that accepts and forwards service of process and other official notices on behalf of the represented entity.

Filing entities are legally obligated to appoint a registered agent before they can operate in South Carolina.

You can appoint yourself as a registered agent, but you’d need to be available at the registered office at all times during business hours.

The secretary of state offers a dedicated registered agent search portal you can use to browse agents in South Carolina.

Enjoy Peace of Mind With Our Registered Agent Service

Appointing Harbor Compliance as your registered agent brings you one step closer to meeting South Carolina’s regulations and ensures you don’t need to worry about missing a legal notice. Sign up for our Registered Agent Service, and your correspondence will be handled timely and efficiently.

If you want to make sure your organization meets its other obligations, get a free Harbor Compliance Score™. We’re here to help you stay on top of all the necessary regulations, so feel free to also do the following:

To learn more about our Registered Agent Service in other states, check out the following table:

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