Under South Carolina law, a business may incorporate. If it chooses to do so, it is thereafter identified as its own legal entity. After incorporation, buying and selling property, agreeing to contracts and exercising legal rights are considered acts of the business itself and not its owners. To incorporate in South Carolina, a business must file with the Secretary of State in compliance with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in South Carolina
Certain advantages inure to a business in South Carolina that has incorporated over one that has not. First, a corporation's liabilities can never go beyond the amount invested in the business by the owners. With unincorporated businesses, personal property of owners can be liquidated in order to fulfill the liabilities of the business. Also, creditors in the Mount Pleasant area usually prefer to deal with corporations, since a loan is an investment more easily evaluated when the credit-worthiness of various owners is not an issue. Lastly, ownership of a corporation is divided into equal portions or "shares" of stock, which may be bought and sold much more easily than the ownership of an unincorporated business.
Costs of Incorporation
Incorporation comes at a price. First, South Carolina might charge a filing fee to process applications for incorporation. Also, the corporation will pay taxes as its own entity. In other words, the profits a corporation makes are now taxed separately, while any disbursements to shareholders are taxed as individual income. This is called double taxation. However, a business might avoid this disadvantage with proper planning and assistance from a local Mount Pleasant lawyer.