facebook linkedin-square google-plus menu-arrow angle-left angle-right envelope angle-double-right level-up envelope phone map-marker
Back To Top

South Carolina

Legal Counsel for Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

Information and resources on nonprofit law & regulation

South Carolina Registration and Compliance

Welcome to the registration and compliance page for South Carolina nonprofit organizations. Below you will find information on initial filings required to form a new nonprofit organization in South Carolina, annual filing requirements for existing organizations, and employment filings for nonprofits with employees. This page also contains a link to the relevant nonprofit statute for the State of South Carolina. To navigate to one of these sections, click on the appropriate link on the left of this page.

Please feel free to call or email us if you have any registration, compliance or other legal needs or questions regarding your nonprofit organization. If you are forming a new organization, you may also be interested in the following additional resources:

Starting a Nonprofit Organization in South Carolina: Initial 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: www.scsos.com
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) Tax-Exempt Status

a. Submit Form 1023 (501(c)(3) organizations) or 1024 (other 501(c) organizations), 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: www.irs.gov/charities
Form 1023 Filing Fee: $850 ($275 for IRS Form 1023-EZ)
Form 1024 Filing Fee: $850 ($400 if annual receipts will average not more than $10,000 in the first 4 years)

Note: Certain 501(c)(3) organizations, including those with gross revenues at or below $50,000 annually, may qualify to file the online Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption. For more information and to determine if you are eligible for this form, refer to our Form 1023-EZ FAQ.

b. 501(c)(4) organizations formed after July 8, 2016 must file Form 8976, Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4), electronically within 60 days of formation:

Web Site: services.irs.gov/datamart/login.do
Filing Fee: $50 (This fee must be paid through the pay.gov website)

Notes: This filing must be completed by all 501(c)(4) organizations - including "self-declaring" organizations that do not file IRS Form 1024.
For more information about this filing, refer to 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: www.sctax.org/default.htm
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: www.sctax.org/default.htm
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: www.scsos.com
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: www.multistatefiling.org


Annual Filings for South Carolina Nonprofit Organizations

1. Internal Revenue Service

Form: Annual Return Form 990
Due Date: 4 ½ months after end of fiscal year

Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0027

Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms: (800) 829-3676
Web Site: www.irs.gov/charities
Filing Fee: $0

Public Charities: Refer to the IRS website to determine which form to file (Form 990, Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N).

Private Foundations: Submit Form 990PF, regardless of revenues.

2. South Carolina Secretary of State

Form: Annual Financial Report for Charitable Organizations
Due Date: 4 ½ months after end of fiscal year

South Carolina Secretary of State
ATTN: Division of Public Charities
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201

Information: (803) 734-1790
Forms: (803) 734-1604
Web Site: www.scsos.com
Filing Fee: $0

Notes: The annual financial report may also be filed online at: www.scsos.com/BeforeYouFile

A copy of IRS Form 990 or Form 990-EZ may be submitted in lieu of this form.

3. South Carolina Secretary of State

Form: Annual Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization
Due Date: 4 ½ months after end of fiscal year

South Carolina Secretary of State
ATTN: Public Charities Division
1205 Pendleton Street
Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201

Information: (803) 734-1790
Web Site: www.scsos.com
Filing Fee: $50

Notes: The annual registration statement may also be filed online at: www.scsos.com/BeforeYouFile

4. South Carolina Department of Revenue

Form: SC 990-T
Due Date: 4 ½ months after end of fiscal year

Department of Revenue
Corporation Return
Columbia, SC 29214-0100

Information: (803) 896-1730
Web Site: www.sctax.org
Filing Fee: $0

Note: This filing is required only if the organization has income that is unrelated to its exempt purposes and is therefore not tax-exempt. This income is taxed at a rate of 5%.


South Carolina Employment Filings

If the organization will have employees, the following filing is required:

To Register with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Department of Employment and Workforce

Complete the online application (SCBOS) for employer withholding and unemployment insurance taxes.

South Carolina Department of Revenue
Registration Unit
Columbia, SC 29214-0140

South Carolina Department of Employment & Workforce
Employer Status Unit
PO Box 995
Columbia, SC 29202

Website Assistance: (803) 898-5690
Withholding Tax Web Site: https://dor.sc.gov/tax/withholding
Unemployment Insurance Tax Web Site: https://dew.sc.gov/employers/tax

Notes: These registrations may also be completed in paper form using Form SCDOR-111 for withholding taxes and Form UCE-151 for unemployment insurance taxes.

For answers to frequently asked questions about South Carolina withholding taxes, refer to the Department of Revenue's frequently asked questions.

For more information on unemployment insurance taxes and related matters, contact the Department of Employment & Workforce.

Important note about unemployment insurance: Many states allow nonprofit organizations to fund unemployment insurance benefits on a reimbursable basis. This method of funding unemployment insurance may require additional filings not listed here. Furthermore, electing this method may require the organization to register and file in paper format. Organizations contemplating this method of funding their unemployment insurance obligations should check with the appropriate state office administering the unemployment insurance in that state.

Print this page
Back To Top