Entities that file with the Secretary of State's Office must provide registered agent and registered office information for service of process upon the entity. Through the Secretary of State’s Business Entities Online system, the public may search for and obtain registered agent and registered office information for any entity on file with this Office.
In limited circumstances, when there is not a current registered agent and registered office information on file for an entity, the Secretary of State may serve as the agent for service of process. To determine if the Secretary of State may accept service on behalf of a particular entity, please refer to S.C. Code of Laws Title 15, Chapter 9 as well as S.C. Code of Laws Title 33 for applicable provisions governing the entity. If South Carolina law does not specifically provide that the Secretary of State may serve as the agent for service of process, the Secretary of State will not accept service. Please review the appropriate sections of S.C. Code of Laws and any other applicable rules, such as Rule 4 of S.C. Rules of Civil Procedure, before sending your documents to the Secretary of State.
The following items are required for service upon the Secretary of State:
- A cover letter including the following information:
- Name of the entity being served;
- statutory authority for service upon the Secretary of State; and
- If the entity is not on file with the Secretary of State's Office, an address to the Secretary of State for the forwarding of the documents to the entity. For entities on file with the Secretary of State's Office, the Secretary of State will forward the documents to the address of record as directed by statute.
- Two copies of the documents for service to the Secretary of State's Office. In most cases, these documents should be filed with the appropriate court (as evidenced by the Clerk of Court's stamp) before service of process.
- The appropriate filing fee for each service of process request.
- In most cases, the filing fee is $10.00. Please note that a separate $10.00 filing fee must be included for each address and/or case for which service of process is sought.
- If the request is submitted for a nonprofit corporation pursuant to S.C. Cod of Laws § 33-31-1707(b), then the filing fee is $20.00. Under this section, the Secretary of State will forward copies to up to three locations as directed by statute.
Service of process upon the Secretary of State not authorized by statute or that does not meet each of these requirements will not be accepted and will be returned to the requesting party.
SC Secretary of State's Office
Attn: Service of Process
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201