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Frequently Asked
Questions About
Starting a South Dakota

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Home to the iconic Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park, we think it's fantastic that you're forming an LLC in the great state of South Dakota, however, there's no doubt that you'll have a lot of questions. We've gathered many of the most frequently asked questions to help you hit the ground running with your South Dakota LLC. From registering your company with the state of South Dakota, to business licenses and business taxes, we’ve got you covered. We’ve answered these questions below and linked extensively to our guides, tools and other services, which makes everything streamlined and simple.

How Do I Decide What the Best Legal Structure Is for My Business?

There are a few different options when it comes to starting a business in South Dakota. From a legal perspective, there are three main types of South Dakota for-profit business entities: LLCs, S Corporations or C Corporations. For most entrepreneurs, we believe an LLC provides the right mix of liability protection and ease of administration.

What Do I Need to Start a Business in South Dakota?

In order to start an LLC in the state of South Dakota, there are some minimum requirements you must meet. These are a completed set of Articles of Organization, a business name and a fee you pay to the South Dakota Secretary of State. We recommend taking some other steps before formally starting your LLC:

After you’ve formed your South Dakota LLC, you will also need to review your business license requirements, understand ongoing filing needs, set up a separate business bank account and get an accountant.

How Do I Register a Company in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, you register a business by completing and filing your Articles of Organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State. You will need to gather information about your business, fill out the form and send it to the Secretary of State with your filing fee. This will formally create your LLC in South Dakota.

You can file your Articles of Organization on the Secretary of State website or mail it in. Alternatively, Bizee can guide you through every step of the process by getting details from you and filing the form on your behalf — for free! There’s no additional charge for our basic LLC filing service, so all you need to do is pay the South Dakota state filing fee.

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Business Formation

How Much Does It Cost to Form a South Dakota LLC?

At the time of writing the fee charged by the South Dakota Secretary of State is $150 if you file online, or $165 if you file a paper form. You can always check the latest South Dakota filing fees here. You can also pay an additional $50 for expedited filing through Bizee, which will create your LLC faster. Some LLC filing services do charge you extra to prepare and submit your filing documents, but at Bizee, we do this for free — so you only pay the state fee.

How Long Does It Take to Form an LLC in South Dakota?

Once you’ve gathered all of your information together and filed your Articles of Organization (or had Bizee do it for you), it can take up to 14 business days for the South Dakota Secretary of State to legally create your LLC. If you pay an additional $50 expedited fee, your LLC can be formed in as little as 2 days.

How Do I Perform a South Dakota Business Search?

The name you give your South Dakota LLC needs to be unique, so you’ll need to ensure that it's not already being used by another business. You can do that via the South Dakota Secretary of State website, or by using Bizee's fast and simple Business Name Search tool.

Is Your Business Name Available in Your State?

Find out using Bizee’s Business Name Search Tool.

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Trying to Come Up With a Creative Business Name?

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How Do I Register a Business Name in South Dakota?

There are a few ways to register your South Dakota LLC name.

  • If you’re starting a new business and your business name is unique in South Dakota and meets state naming rules, you simply include it in your Certificate of Formation.
  • If you want to change the legal name of your business, you'll need to file Amended Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
  • If you just want to do business under a different name, file a form for a "Doing Business As" (DBA) Name with the South Dakota Secretary of State, or we can do that on your behalf.

If you want to prevent people from using your business name across the U.S., you can file a trademark for the name. We can help.

What Are South Dakota Articles of Incorporation?

In several other states, the formal documents that you file to form a corporation or LLC might be known as Articles of Incorporation. In South Dakota, this document is called your Articles of Organization, and it performs the same functions as the Articles of Incorporation.

Does South Dakota Have Series LLCs?

Yes, the formation of a Series LLC within the state of South Dakota is permitted. A Series LLC is a special type of LLC where you create one “overall” business and then have individual, series LLCs within it, each counted as separate legal entities.

To form a Series LLC, simply fill out the Series LLC Articles of Organization form and file it with the Secretary of State. The fee for a Series LLC formation is $200 plus $50 for each series established. Check the registration details provided by the Secretary of State to ensure you have met all the requirements.

Do I Need a Registered Agent for My South Dakota LLC?

Yes, all legal business entities in South Dakota, including LLCs, must have a Registered Agent at all times. Here at Incfile, we provide a free South Dakota Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us.

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Registered Agent

How Do I Change a Registered Agent in South Dakota?

If you wish to change your South Dakota Registered Agent you can do so by filing a Statement of Change with the SD Secretary of State. Here at Bizee, we provide a free South Dakota Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us. If you’ve been using a different Registered Agent and want to switch to us, we’ll file the Statement of Change on your behalf.

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Registered Agent

How Do I Perform a South Dakota Registered Agent Search?

If you need to know the Registered Agent of a specific South Dakota business, you can reference a list of registered commercial agents provided by the South Dakota Secretary of State.

What South Dakota Business Taxes Do I Need to Pay?

As an LLC, any business profits you earn will be reported on your personal 1040 filing and reported and taxed as “pass-through” income. You will typically need to pay:

  • Self-employment or payroll tax on all business profits
  • Federal income tax on profits after you meet your tax-free allowance
  • Sales tax for selling taxable products and services

What Businesses Need to Pay South Dakota Sales Tax?

South Dakota charges a 4.5% state sales and use tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods. You will also need to pay sales tax if you provide a taxable service. You can find a full list of taxable services here.

For more information on sales and use tax details, refer to these resources provided by the SD Department of Revenue.

How Do I Get a South Dakota Sales Tax ID?

You will need to register as a sales tax vendor with the South Dakota Department of Revenue. You can complete this process online.

How Do I Calculate South Dakota Sales Tax?

The base rate for South Dakota sales tax is 4.5%, and there may be additional municipal sales taxes depending on your region, county or city. Once you know your overall sales tax amount, calculate the value of all your taxable products and services. Then, multiply that by your sales tax rate to understand how much you will need to pay.

When Is South Dakota Sales Tax Due?

Once your LLC’s sales tax application is approved, you will receive a letter with instructions on how often you must file a sales tax return and pay sales taxes. Returns and payments may be due monthly, quarterly or annually.

Does South Dakota Have a Franchise Tax?

No. In numerous states across the country, businesses are expected to pay a tax for the privilege of doing business in that state. Fortunately, this is not the case in South Dakota, making it one of the more business-friendly states.

Do I Need a License to Do Business in South Dakota?

If you are starting a business within any state in America, it's likely that you'll need some type of business license in order to operate. The types of business licenses you need will vary depending on your type of business, industry, location and various other factors. We can research the types of business licenses you might need for you.

We hope you’ve found this South Dakota LLC FAQ useful. If you’ve used our services and have a question that isn’t answered here, let us know and we’d be happy to help.

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