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State-By-State Initial Compliance - South Carolina

Initial Filings for South Carolina Nonprofit Organizations

For a general discussion on starting a nonprofit organization, please refer to our article, Starting a Nonprofit Organization.

To view annual filing requirements for South Carolina nonprofit organizations, refer to our annual filings

  1. To Incorporate in South Carolina

    Submit 2 sets of Articles of Incorporation (original plus a copy) to:

    Secretary of State
    Attn: Corporate Filings
    1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
    Columbia, SC 29201
    Information: (803) 734-2158
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $25
    Note: Political associations must include an additional fee of $25 and the first Annual Report of the organization.
  2. To Obtain 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

    Submit Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption to:

    Note new address:
    Internal Revenue Service
    P.O. Box 12192
    Covington, KY 41012-0192
    Information: (800) 829-1040
    Forms: (800) 829-3676
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $850 ($400 if revenues less than $10,000/year)

    For more information on filing fees, see the IRS website.
  3. To Obtain South Carolina Income Tax Exemption

    Submit a letter requesting exemption along with a copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter to:

    SC Department of Revenue
    Corporation Return
    Columbia, SC 29214-0100
    Information: (803) 896-1730
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $0
  4. To Obtain South Carolina Sales and Use Tax Exemption

    Submit Form ST-387 along with IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter, Bylaws, and the most recent income statement and balance sheet to:

    SC Department of Revenue
    License and Registration
    Columbia, SC 29214-0140
    Information: (803) 896-1420
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $0
    Note: Exemption applies only to sales or purchases for resale by eligible nonprofit organizations. The purchase of items for use by the nonprofit organization (such as furniture, equipment, supplies etc.) are not tax-exempt.
  5. To Register with the South Carolina Secretary of State

    If planning to solicit funds in South Carolina, submit the application to register as a charitable organization along with IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter and a listing of board members and their addresses to:

    Office of the Secretary of State
    Public Charities Division
    1205 Pendleton St.
    Suite 525
    Columbia, SC 29201
    Information: (803) 734-1790
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $50
    Notes: Registration may also be completed online.

    Educational institutions, organizations that raise less than $7,500 (and, in some instances, up to $20,000) in a calendar year, and a limited number of other organizations may be exempt from this filing, but must submit an application for exemption to the above address.

    The Unified Registration Statement (URS) form may be filed in place of this application. This can be found at the following website:

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