How to File a South Carolina DBA (Doing Business As) – DBA SC Guide [2022]

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South Carolina Assumed Business Name, aka DBA, is a business name different from your birth or legal name. Follow our 3-step DBA guide for getting the perfect and unique name for your business that will set your company apart.

Important! Please keep in mind that DBA is not a business structure, so it won’t protect you from liabilities, lawsuits, or any other unforeseen situations. DBA stands for Doing Business As. – often precedes the name under which a business operates, which is not the legal name of the business.

Therefore, before starting, make sure you understand the difference between informal business structures such as sole proprietorship and formal ones like corporations and LLCs.

To register or renew the trademark, trade name, or service mark for your company in South Carolina you need to file the application to the Secretary of State. Here is what you need to do:

South Carolina Business Entity Search

Your company’s trade name should be unique and have not been acquired by any other entity in South Carolina. Moreover, this name must also meet the business name requirements of South Carolina.

First, you have to search the Business Entities Online Search portal of South Carolina secretary of state website for the DBA, Business, & Fictitious names.

Check thoroughly to know whether the name that you wish to have for your business has already been taken by someone or not. Make sure, this name isn’t already in use.

Note: You can also find a complete guide on business name search here.

Once you are done searching, the next step is to review the naming requirements of the state of South Carolina. In general, your DBA should not include:

  • Any word or term condusing your business with the state institutions such as FBI, State Department, Tressury, etc.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. 

Important Note: There is no option available for the registration of a South Carolina DBA (doing business as) or trade name. The state allows getting the assumed names to only foreign entities when their legal name is not available for use in South Carolina.

Domestic limited partnership however is the only entity for which the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office registers assumed names.

Register Your South Carolina DBA

Businesses operating in South Carolina are required to file an assumed business name application with the county clerk’s office(s) where the business is conducted or business orders are transacted.

Download the respective form depending on your business structure from the options given below:

After completing the form, send it to the following address along with the filing fee:

Mailing Address:
Secretary of State
Attn: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201

Top Tip:

Instead of doing it yourself, save some time by hiring a reliable formation service like ZenBusiness. You can see editors’ Review on ZenBusiness to decide if it’s the best choice for your company.

The following information must include in the South Carolina trade name form:

  • Legal Name of the business
  • Owners/partners name
  • The date to use the fictitious name
  • Trade name’s description
  • Owners’ signature

Renew, Change or Withdraw Your South Carolina DBA

Renew Your Fictitious Name With the State

Following the most recent date of registration, the South Carolina DBA expires by December 31 of the 5th full calendar year. To renew your South Carolina Assumed Business Name, you need to file the DBA once again as you did for the first time following the process explained in the above section.

Change Your Fictitious Name

To amend your South Carolina Assumed Business Name, you need to file a new DBA.

Editor’s Insight

Filing a South Carolina fictitious business name, aka a South Carolina DBA (doing business as), is an easy and straightforward process. If you want to save time and effort, LLC filing companies like LegalZoom and ZenBusiness can help you get that at a fraction of the cost.

However, if you are interested in DIY, you just need to follow the above-mentioned step-by-step guide or see how to Get a DBA in any of the 50 states.

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