2021 Laws That Could Impact Your South Carolina Business

Every year, our state legislature passes new laws that affect individuals and companies. A South Carolina corporate law attorney can evaluate whether you need to make modifications to your company’s practices to comply with the legislation. Here are a few examples of 2021 laws that could impact your South Carolina business:

Workforce and Senior Affordable Housing Act

This legislation provides a substantial incentive for companies to build affordable housing projects. Qualified low-income housing projects can claim a state tax credit if they qualify for a federal low-income housing tax credit. 

The credit can apply to income taxes, insurance premium taxes, corporate license fees, and bank taxes, to the extent that federal law allows those credits. The Workforce and Senior Affordable Housing Act is available for eligible low-income housing projects that launched between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2030.

Paid Family Leave

The second federal coronavirus relief bill extended to March 31, 2021 the tax credits for private companies who voluntarily choose to continue paid family leave to employees as provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA offers several options for businesses in South Carolina and across the nation to try to stay in business and protect their workers. 

For private companies who do business with South Carolina state agencies, you need to be aware that public employers are not allowed to exercise the option to extend paid family leave beyond December 31, 2020. The Director of the Division of State Human Resources issued a memorandum on January 11, 2021, that insists that state agencies can only continue paid family leave if the federal law requires state agencies to take that action or if state law gets changed.

Medical Marijuana

Legalized cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. Legislators filed several proposed bills to consider for passage in 2021. If approved, these new laws would make it possible for patients with significant medical conditions to get compassionate marijuana treatment legally. Right now, South Carolina is one of only six states in which marijuana is fully illegal for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

If South Carolina enacts legislation that legalizes the use of medical marijuana, there could be immense business opportunities for South Carolina companies.

Hate Crimes

As of December of 2020, South Carolina was one of only three states that do not have legislation outlawing hate crimes. After pressure from dozens of companies, South Carolina legislators plan to introduce a proposal to make it illegal to commit a crime against a person or the person’s property because of the individual’s race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or disability.

Lawmakers who oppose enacting a South Carolina hate crimes law argue that there is no need for such regulations because there is a federal hate crimes law. Also, the Governor said that there are laws that address the underlying criminal acts, like assault and murder. He questioned whether there is a need to enhance the penalties for those crimes when the attack on the person or property is a hate crime.

If South Carolina passes hate crime legislation, large corporations that support this issue will be more likely to engage in business with South Carolina corporations. Since there are so few states that do not have state hate crimes laws, it would be easy for economic opportunities to go to companies in other states if South Carolina continues to be an outlier on this subject.

A South Carolina business attorney can help you develop a business strategy that keeps you in compliance with current South Carolina laws and helps you anticipate possible future developments. Get in touch with our office today.