Structural maintenance of chromosomes protein 1A (SMC1A) has been implicated in the development of a variety of cancer types. However, its role in hepatocellular carcinoma remains unknown. In this study, we found that phosphorylated SMC1A was highly expressed in HepG2 and Bel7402 cells when compared with other cancer cell lines. Furthermore, SMC1A knockdown dramatically reduced HepG2 and Bel7402 cell proliferation and migration. Re-expressing phosphomimetic mutants S957DS966D significantly enhanced the proliferation and migration of SMC1A knockdown HepG2 and Bel7402 cells. In addition, phosphorylated SMC1A promotes hepatocellular carcinoma cells growth in vivo. Importantly, the expression of phosphorylated SMC1A was significantly higher in human hepatocellular carcinomacells when compared to peri-tumor benign hepatocytes, and its overexpression was significantly associated with worse prognostic outcomes. These observations suggest that phosphorylation of SMC1A is a vital event in tumorigenesis and disease progression in hepatocellular carcinoma thus necessitating further investigation.