Sister chromatids are held together, from the time they are made during S phase until they are pulled apart just before cell division, by a protein complex called cohesin. The mechanistic details by which sister chromatid cohesion is established and maintained have remained elusive, particularly in vertebrate systems. Sororin, a protein that interacts with the cohesin complex, is essential for cohesion in vertebrates, but how it participates in the process is unknown. Here we demonstrate that sororin recruitment depends on active DNA replication and that sororin loading onto chromosomes depends upon another essential cohesion factor, the acetyltransferase Eco2. We find that Eco2, like sororin, is a substrate of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), which ensures that protein levels remain low before S phase. These findings demonstrate that sororin and Eco2 work together to form a unique regulatory module that limits cohesion to cells with replicated chromatin and support a model in which cohesion in vertebrates is not fully established until the G2 phase of the cell cycle.