South Dakota Articles of Organization

South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization is the foundational document required to formally create a limited liability company (LLC) in the state, providing legal recognition and outlining key business details – learn how to start your LLC today.

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Forming an LLC in South Dakota is just one of several excellent ways to get your business journey started. However, you need to observe some formalities to complete the LLC business registration process in South Dakota. 

The key document you need to file to form a new LLC is called “Articles of Organization” in South Dakota. You must fill this form out properly before you file it with the South Dakota Secretary of State. Otherwise, you risk delaying or upending your business plans.

Read on to learn how to correctly complete and file the State of South Dakota’s Articles of Organization form. 

Don’t love to spend your time preparing and filing paperwork? We didn’t think so. We’ll prepare and file your LLC’s formation documents in a flash with our South Dakota LLC Formation Service.

How to File Your South Dakota Articles of Organization

You can find the Articles of Organization template for an LLC in South Dakota online. Although you can technically make your own Articles of Organization in South Dakota, we recommend using the state’s template for simplicity’s sake. 

Step 1: List Your LLC’s Official Name

For obvious reasons, the State of South Dakota requires Articles of Organization to list the business’s official name. When deciding on your company’s official name, you have to follow South Dakota’s naming guidelines. South Dakota law requires LLC names to include the phrases “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company.” You can also use one of the following abbreviations:

  • “LC”
  • “L.C.”
  • “L.L.C.”
  • “LLC”

In addition, you have to use a name that is distinguishable from any other business currently registered in the state. 

Step 2: Reserve Your Business Name

Once you’ve found a name, if you’re not quite ready to file, you can reserve it using the state’s Application for Reservation of Limited Liability Company Name. List your name, your business’s street address, and the name you want to reserve. Indicate how you want to use the reserved name in the future, and then be sure to date and sign the application. Finally, include the filing fee for the form and file it in person or online. 

Step 3: List the Purpose of Your LLC

Although it’s not required, you can include your LLC’s purpose(s) in your South Dakota Articles of Organization. This can help clarify your and your business partners’ intentions for future reference.

Step 4: Include Your LLC’s Mailing Address

The next piece of information for your Articles of Organization is your LLC’s street address in South Dakota. If they are different, make sure you include both the actual street address and mailing address. The state uses the listed address to send important financial and legal documents like annual reports and business licenses.

Step 5: Provide the Name and Address of Your Registered Agent

Every LLC in South Dakota needs to list a registered agent in its Articles of Organization.

A registered agent is a person or business responsible for accepting essential legal documents and official business correspondence. For example, your business’s registered agent will serve as the point of contact for service of process documents. If you intend to use a Commercial Registered Agent, be sure to include their Commercial Registered Agent (CRA) number.

Don’t have the time to find a registered agent? Don’t sweat it. We can quickly connect you with a qualified registered agent with our Registered Agent Service.

Step 6: List the Name and Address of Your LLC’s Organizer

An LLC organizer is a person or business entity that prepares and files the LLC’s formation documents. Generally, an LLC organizer doesn’t have to have any special kind of background or qualifications. An LLC organizer can be:

  • You
  • A trusted friend or family member
  • Your business partner
  • The LLC’s registered agent

ZenBusiness can also serve as your LLC’s organizer if you use our LLC Formation Service.

Step 7: Indicate How Long You Want Your LLC to Last

LLCs in South Dakota are presumed to be perpetual. That means that you have to file Articles of Termination before you can dissolve the business. If you decide that you don’t want your LLC to be perpetual, then you can have it dissolve automatically on the date of your choice. 

Step 8: Confirm Your LLC’s Management Structure

Some LLCs are run by their members (owners), while others are run by managers. Indicate whether you want your LLC to be member-managed or manager-managed. If you want managers to operate your LLC, include their names and street addresses. 

Step 9: State Whether Your Business Has a Beneficial Owner

A beneficial owner is someone who has a special equity interest in your LLC. If you like, you can include their names and street addresses in this section. 

Step 10: List Any Additional Provisions

Finish your SD LLC Articles of Organization by listing any additional rules or provisions that you think are important. Once that’s done, have the LLC organizers that you listed in Step 6 sign the document. 

Where to File Your South Dakota Articles of Organization

Well done! You’ve successfully prepared your LLC Articles of Organization in SD. The next step is to get them filed with the state. The South Dakota Secretary of State is the government agency responsible for processing Articles of Organization.

You can file your Articles of Organization online or mail in a paper copy. Both require a filing fee. If you decide to file a paper copy of the Articles of Organization, you’ll have to pay an extra fee.  

Filing online has several benefits, including shorter processing times, fewer fees, and more payment methods. 

What are the next steps? 

Don’t get too comfortable after you submit your Articles of Organization in SD. There are still a few things you need to take care of before you can open up for business. 

Create an Operating Agreement

South Dakota doesn’t require LLCs to have Operating Agreements. That said, it’s essential to have an Operating Agreement because it controls how your business operates on a day-to-day basis. By clearly defining the rules of your company, your Operating Agreement will help things run more smoothly. Furthermore, it’ll help prevent business disputes down the road. 

Operating Agreements are a solid way to ensure your business runs the way you want it to. There’s no limit to the kinds of topics you can cover in your Operating Agreement. Here are just a few examples of what you can include::

  • Who manages your LLC
  • How your business adds or removes managers
  • How to distribute the business’s profits
  • What kinds of rights the LLC’s managers and members possess 
  • How your members (or managers) are to make changes to the business

Don’t know where to get started with your Operating Agreement? Don’t worry. We can get you started with our Operating Agreement Template. 

Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Most companies can expect to register for at least one business license. Depending on your LLC’s industry and location, you may need more than one license. Make sure you have all the required business licenses and permits before opening your LLC’s doors. Look to our South Dakota Business Licenses and Permits page for further information.

Apply for an EIN

Think of an Employer Identification Number (EIN) as your business’s social security number. Having an EIN streamlines the process of paying business taxes because it easily identifies your company. You’ll also need an EIN before you can open a business bank account or hire employees.

To get an EIN, you have to apply for one with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If time is short, we can give you a helping hand. With our Employer ID Number Service, we can get an EIN for your LLC in no time. Let us take this off your plate so you can focus on the tasks that matter. 

We can help!

Starting a business can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We can handle a lot of the tedious administrative paperwork for you so you can focus on your customers, clients, and partners. 

Here at ZenBusiness, we’re committed to saving business owners from being buried by mountains of paperwork. Regardless of your business needs, we probably have a tool or product that can help. For example, we can help you track your LLC’s income and expenses with our Money Service. If you already have a business, we can help you keep it legally compliant with our Worry-Free Compliance Service. Whatever you need, we’re standing by to assist. Let us help you achieve your business dreams!

South Dakota Articles of Organization FAQs

  • You can change your Articles of Organization by preparing and filing a copy of South Dakota’s Amended Articles of Organization form. You can file a digital copy of the form online or mail in a paper copy. However, as with Articles of Organization, you’ll have to pay an additional paper filing fee if you don’t file online.

    Don’t have time to amend your Articles of Organization? We get it. Let us take that off your plate with our Articles of Amendment Service.

  • You can file Articles of Termination online, in person, or by email with the South Dakota Secretary of State. Make sure you include your LLC’s name, business, and the effective date of its dissolution. Besides that, you’ll need to include the correct filing fee. Once you’ve filed Articles of Termination, make sure you pay all of your business’s debts and close all business bank accounts.

  • To form a corporation in South Dakota, you’ll need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. Technically, you only need to file Articles of Incorporation to start a South Dakota corporation. That said, it’s a good idea to draft a shareholder agreement and corporate bylaws as well. To learn more, take a moment to review our guide on starting up a South Dakota corporation.

  • No. However, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if you create one when forming your business. Operating Agreements help you clearly define company operational rules, as well as the rights and responsibilities of owners and managers.

  • No, you don’t need a lawyer to form an LLC in South Dakota. But it’s always a good idea to run your business ideas by a qualified attorney who can help you avoid potential legal minefields.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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