South Dakota Business

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Welcome to our start a business in South Dakota guide committed to providing you with all the information needed in order to successfully register your entity in South Dakota. Be sure to carefully read through the guides we have provided and to explore all information found throughout this main page. Registration documents in this state must be submitted in the mail as there is no online method of the application currently available. There are a few stipulations depending on what type of entity you a filing for but for the most part the entire filing process should be relatively simple and painless.

Start an Entity in South Dakota

Search for Business Name

Each business in South Dakota must operate under a unique business name. To view the Secretary of State’s database and see what names are available for use, you may perform a Business Entity Search. This search is important because registering an entity with the same or deceptively similar name of another will result in your application being rejected. A business search will also provide you with a number of important details required to file your annual report. The link found within this paragraph will provide you with more information about what can be accomplished when performing the search.

How to Register in South Dakota

Step 1- Begin by ensuring the availability of your desired entity name by performing the aforementioned Business Entity Search to check the Secretary of State’s database and see what names are available for use. This step is not mandatory but shouldn’t be overlooked. You may also find the use of a Name Reservation application beneficial, allowing you to reserve a name for 120 days.

Step 2- With your name chosen, the next step is to download the requisite forms corresponding with your entity type. To learn more, click the link below that is associated with the entity type you plan to register.

Step 3- With your application completed and printed in duplicate, all additional certificates must be attached before your registration can be filed. All foreign entities seeking formation in the state will need to supply a certificate of good standing from their state/country of initial formation.

Step 4- Now that you have all your documents gathered and completed correctly, a filing fee must then be attached in the correct amount (fees listed below). Each fee must be paid in the form of a check or money order made out to the Secretary of State.

South Dakota Filing Fees


  • Domestic Profit Corporation – $150
  • Domestic Non-Profit Corporation – $30
  • Foreign Profit Corporation – $750
  • Foreign Non-Profit Corporation – $125

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  • Domestic LLC – $150
  • Foreign LLC  – $750


  • Domestic Limited Partnership – $125
  • Domestic Limited Liability Partnership – $125
  • Foreign Limited Partnership – $125
  • Foreign Limited Liability Partnership – $125

South Dakota Business Reservation

Filers may wish to employ the use of a Name Reservation application to ensure the desired entity name remains in their possession. For those who have chosen a name and are worried that their chosen name might be taken by another entity, or if the preparatory steps for registration are taking a bit longer than expected, a name reservation could be extremely beneficial. First and foremost, the name you are choosing needs to be available for use. To check the availability of your desired entity name, click here to learn how to perform a business search and see what names are already on file.

South Dakota Certificate of Good Standing

A certificate of good standing is a document proving your entity’s legitimacy to foreign government officials and financial institutions. It simply states your business status, whether or not you have any debts owing, or any delinquent accounts active. Acquiring this certificate can be accomplished both through the mail and online. Regardless of the method of acquisition, a filing fee of $20 will be needed in order for your application to be accepted.

South Dakota Agreements

Drafting an agreement between members of any entity can be extremely beneficial to the organization of your entity’s internal affairs. These binding contracts will clearly state the rules and regulations you wish for your company to abide by. Each member’s role and responsibilities may be stated and agreed upon by each individual involved in the organization of the business. If future disputes arise, referencing this document can resolve a number of discrepancies that any and all entities may be subject to. Though not legally required in this state, we still recommend that you take a moment to consider the benefits of implementing this into your business structure. Click the link below which corresponds with your entity type to view our free agreement template.

  • South Dakota Corporate Bylaw
  • South Dakota Operating Agreement
  • South Dakota Partnership Agreement

Employer Identification Number

All businesses will be required to obtain an Employer Identification Number upon acceptance of formation. This unique number is similar in many ways to an SSN as it allows your entity to be recognized by the federal government for tax reporting purposes. Once obtained, an EIN will provide you with the ability to register for bank accounts, hire employees, apply for loans, and perform a number of other business transactions. The filing system may seem difficult at first glance, an EIN can be acquired in a manner of minutes. You may also wish to apply directly online or through the mail with the PDF Form SS-4.

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