Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the South Dakota Secretary of State, Incfile can help. We have all the information you need to know on how to conduct a South Dakota business search, plus LLC naming rules, assumed names and registering your business.

 

General Rules for LLC Names

These rules typically apply to all LLCs, no matter what state they are formed in.

1
Your LLC Name Must Be Unique

Your preferred business name cannot be used by any other LLC or formed entity in the State of South Dakota. This is why it's imperative to perform a South Dakota business entity search prior to beginning the filing process.

2
Your LLC Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name

Your LLC name should be original, but that’s not enough. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in South Dakota. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different and distinguishable from the name of another business:

  • Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
  • Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
  • The conjunction "And," or “&"
  • The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
  • Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
3
Your LLC Name Must Contain Certain Words

All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, normally at the end of the name.

4
Your LLC Name May Have Other General Restrictions

Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:

  • Are very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, South Dakota Comptroller, South Dakota Police, Treasury, etc.)
  • Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
  • Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
  • Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out

Specific Rules for South Dakota Business Names

As mentioned above, South Dakota requires LLCs to comply with the general naming rules. Unlike many other states, the state of South Dakota doesn't require further naming regulations to be met.

How to Come Up with a Business Name

Giving your business the perfect name can be difficult. We’ve put together a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:

Best represent your product or services

Be memorable enough to stand out

Appeal to your customers

Not be used by any other business

Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free Business Name Generator.

South Dakota Business Search

Once you have an idea of what you want as your business name, you’ll need to perform a South Dakota business entity search to make sure the name hasn’t been taken by another formed business.

Incfile offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The South Dakota Secretary of State also has a tool that lets you search the State of South Dakota business name registry to see whether your desired name is available or if another business is using your preferred name.

Find out whether your preferred business name is available in South Dakota with Incfile’s free tool

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your South Dakota LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t do that is to complete a trademark search through Incfile. If no one else is using it, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.

Make sure your business is starting off on the right foot when it comes to intellectual property.

Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.

 

South Dakota DBA or Fictitious Name

You may do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In several states, this is called a DBA (doing business as), trade name, fictitious name or assumed name. The state of South Dakota refers to this solely as a DBA. You may choose to use a South Dakota DBA name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your business might be called Little Valley Marketing Solutions, LLC, and under that company, you have an event planning business called Little Valley Events. You could file for a DBA just for that company. You'll need to file to Register a New DBA with the South Dakota Secretary of State, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA service.

Note: trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.

Register and manage a DBA or assumed name through our easy-to-use DBA Name service
 

Register Your Business Name with the South Dakota Secretary of State (SOS)

Once you’ve completed a South Dakota business entity search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious business name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.

1

If you don’t want to form your LLC right now, you can reserve the business name. You can file an Application for Reservation of Name with the South Dakota Secretary of State. Your name will be reserved for 120 days once the application is processed. If you’re forming your South Dakota LLC right away, you won’t need to reserve a name.

2

If you’re ready to start your LLC now, you can file your Articles of Organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State or have Incfile do it for you.

Incfile can handle all your formation paperwork with the State of South Dakota for you — and we’ll do it for free!

Incorporate in South Dakota for $0 + State Fee ($150)

FAQs about South Dakota Business Names

How Do I Search for My South Dakota Business Name?

Use our intuitive, free Business Name Search tool and enter your desired business name. You can also perform a South Dakota business name availability search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether there are any corporations or LLCs in the state with that name.

Are There Any Rules for Naming My Business in South Dakota?

Yes. Most LLCs are bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the State of South Dakota). You'll find more information above.

Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in South Dakota?

Yes. The state of South Dakota allows you to conduct business using a DBA or fictitious business name. Details are above.

Can I Reserve a Name for My South Dakota LLC?

Yes. The South Dakota Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name for 120 days if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you’re ready to start your business now, you don’t need to reserve a name.

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