Why Create a South Dakota LLC?
The state of South Dakota offers a variety of business incentives made available by the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development, provided your LLC meets the specific criteria. For example, the REDI Fund is a low-interest loan available to start-up firms, businesses that are expanding or relocating in South Dakota, as well as local economic development corporations.
For entrepreneurs wanting to start a business in South Dakota, creating a South Dakota limited liability company (LLC) is generally the fastest and easiest way. With more simplified rules and regulations, an LLC is an ideal business entity for startups and small to medium-sized businesses, granting you the advantages and protections that larger South Dakota corporations benefit from.
Benefits of starting a South Dakota LLC:
Easily file your taxes and discover potential advantages for tax treatment
Create, manage, regulate, administer and stay in compliance easily
Protect your personal assets from your business liability and debts
Low cost to file ($150)
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure.
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your LLC, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, South Dakota business taxes and much more. We also cover your registration needs, filing your South Dakota LLC and how you'll correspond with the South Dakota Secretary of State (SOS).
How to Form an LLC in South Dakota Yourself in 6 Steps
Step 1 - Complete a South Dakota LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name
Step 2 - Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Step 3 - Assign a Registered Agent
Step 4 - File Your Articles of Organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State (SOS)
Step 5 - Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
Step 6 - Create an Operating Agreement
Complete a South Dakota LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name
To start the process, you’ll need a name for your LLC that’s unique and stands out, but you'll want to make sure that it's not being used by any other business or formed entity in the state. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try using Incfile’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas. You'll also need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the South Dakota Business Names page.
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in South Dakota. To find out whether another company in the state is already using your preferred business name, use our tool to do a business name search. You can also carry out a name search within the South Dakota Secretary of State's website via their business name availability search.
Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Regardless of whether your business is in an office building, a home (if the company is run from a residence) or any other physical location, every South Dakota LLC must have a designated street address. It can be located outside the state of South Dakota, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.
Assign a Registered Agent
A Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the South Dakota Secretary of State (SOS). Every LLC in South Dakota is required to have a Registered Agent.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in your business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. If your South Dakota Registered Agent is a person, they must have a physical street address in South Dakota and must be present during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your business. In South Dakota, you appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Organization and formally create your business.
All of Incfile’s packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. We also provide you with access to our dashboard where you can easily view any document we've received on your behalf.
File Your Articles of Organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State (SOS)
Once you've gathered all the information for your South Dakota LLC, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State.
Your Articles of Organization can be filed online, by mail, or in person with the South Dakota Secretary of State. The South Dakota LLC filing fee is $150, with an additional cost of $15 if you choose to file via a paper form.
File by Mail or In Person
Secretary of State Office
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
You only need to file your Articles of Organization once, however all LLCs in South Dakota must file an annual report once a year to remain compliant with the Secretary of State. The filing fee set by the SD Secretary of State is $50 and an additional $15 will be charged for filing a paper form.
What are the fees and requirements to form a business in South Dakota?
Before 1st day of 2nd month following anniversary month.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You’ll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. An EIN is also required to open a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or you can have Incfile obtain one for you as part of the South Dakota LLC formation process.
Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a kind of "instruction manual" that explains how you'll run your business. An LLC Operating Agreement will outline key components of your business - how decisions will be made, how the business is divided among members and what will happen if a member leaves the company.
Although some states require businesses to have this document in place, you're not legally required to have an LLC Operating Agreement in place to conduct business in South Dakota. We do recommend having one for your business nonetheless.
Other South Dakota LLC Types
Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs) are different from professional corporations in that they typically have licensing requirements applicable to certain fields, such as law and medicine. In order to form a PLLC, you may need a state license to practice.
Learn more about PLLC vs. LLC and which one is right for your business.
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to South Dakota—or vice versa—you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.
Learn more about South Dakota Foreign LLC registration.
Helpful Resources from the State of South Dakota
More Information in This Guide
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the South Dakota business registry and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a South Dakota LLC name and more.
How to appoint, change and search for Registered Agents. Also includes the rules they’re required to follow.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the state and federal requirements you’ll need to meet. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details of state taxes such as sales and income, and federal taxes such as income and self-employment.