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25 First Avenue SW, STE A, Watertown, SD 57201 | (605) 221-2779

Create a Corporation in South Dakota

Forming a South Dakota Corporation

Considering starting a corporation in South Dakota? Most corporations begin with the following steps:

  1. Form and file South Dakota Articles of Incorporation
  2. Hold an organizational meeting and create bylaws
  3. Obtain an EIN from the IRS
  4. Apply for South Dakota licenses and permits
  5. Open a South Dakota corporate bank account

At SD Registered Agents LLC, our formation services package makes incorporation easy. We’ll create and submit your formation documents. We’ll also provide you with a year of registered agent service, and custom bylaws and initial resolutions—documents commonly requested by banks for opening corporate accounts. Plus, we provide South Dakota Business Presence, which gives you a website, email and phone service immediately upon signup. We give you everything you need to start your South Dakota corporation today!

Registering a foreign corporation? Check out our guide on how to incorporate a foreign business in South Dakota instead!


Few Taxes
No corporate income tax. No personal income tax. No personal property or business inventory tax. And with the exception of financial institutions, no franchise tax either. South Dakota is one of the most tax-friendly states in the country. In South Dakota, you can get all the benefits of a corporation without their biggest drawback—extra taxes.

Investor Appeal
Many people find that investing in corporations is easier than investing in other business types. In part, this is because we associate investing with buying and selling stocks. Some kinds of stock also have perks that can’t be found in entities like LLCs, such as guaranteed dividends. With guaranteed dividends, shareholders get paid even if no profit is made—whereas LLC members would walk away empty-handed.

South Dakota Articles of Incorporation

South Dakota Articles of Incorporation are submitted to legally form your corporation. In this document, you’ll include essential information about your business, from your corporation’s name to how many shares you’d like authorize. You’ll be asked to provide the information below:

  • Name
    One of the following words or abbreviations must be in your South Dakota corporation’s name: Incorporated (Inc.), Corporation (Corp.), Limited (Ltd.), or Company (Co.). You can check availability with a South Dakota Business Information Search.
  • Purpose
    This optional section appears on the paper form. Your corporation’s purpose is its reason for existence. An example of a general purpose is “to engage in lawful business in South Dakota.”
  • Authorized Shares
    Authorizing shares means creating shares. You can distribute some or all of these shares later on at your organizational meeting. You’re only required to list the number of shares you’re authorizing, and you must authorize at least one share.
  • Duration and Effective Date
    For online submissions, you can choose start and end dates for your corporation. Duration is the lifespan of your corporation. Most corporations are perpetual, meaning they continue indefinitely, but you can choose an end date if you like. Also, if you don’t want your corporation to be created upon your filing’s approval, you can choose a future effective date within 90 days.
  • Principal Office
    Your corporation’s main office is its principal office. The office must be a street address. The address doesn’t have to be in South Dakota. If you submit online, you’ll also need to provide an email address, which is used for annual report reminders.
  • Registered Agent
    A South Dakota registered agent accepts service of process and legal notifications on behalf of your corporation. You can appoint a “commercial” or “noncommercial” registered agent. A commercial agent specializes in registered agent service and is registered with South Dakota’s Secretary of State. Without these qualifications, an individual or a business is considered a noncommercial agent.We are a commercial registered agent, and we can service your South Dakota corporation for just $49 a year—with renewals always at the same low price!
  • Incorporators
    Incorporators execute your South Dakota Articles of Incorporation. They are required to provide their names, addresses, and signatures. Incorporators aren’t required to have ownership interest in the corporation. If you hire us, we can be your incorporators.



To file online, visit South Dakota Secretary of State’s Business Services and select “Start a New Business.” Choose “(Domestic) Business Corporation” and complete the South Dakota Articles of Incorporation.

  • Fee: $150
  • Payment type: Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover cards
  • Processing time: immediate

By Mail

Alternatively, you can download and mail your South Dakota Articles of Incorporation. Paper filings are charged an additional $15 processing fee.

  • Fee: $165 ($150 + $15 paper processing fee)
  • Payment type: check or money order
  • Processing time: 3-5 days

Our Formation Package

With our formation services package, not only do we provide you with everything you need for a fully functional corporation, but we do it all with our expert, quality service.

At SD Registered Agents LLC, we are:


Our same-day formation processing gets your corporation started fast! Our registered agent service also scans documents daily, ensuring you get key notices ASAP.


We know South Dakota business. We provide formation and registered agent services to South Dakota corporations daily, and we’re happy to do the same for your new business!


No hidden fees. No mystery charges. We value transparency, and we always tell you exactly what we offer and how much we charge.

Our Services

  • One Year of Registered Agent Service
  • South Dakota Business Presence: domain name (one year FREE), plus website, SSL, email, and phone service (all FREE for the first 90 days)
  • Instant Access to Services Through Our Secure Online Portal
  • Electronic Delivery of Your Documents
  • Expert Customer Service Support
  • Annual Report Reminders and Compliance Notifications
  • Custom Documents: Bylaws, Initial Resolutions and More!
  • Option to register a DBA for $125 plus state fees using our Trade Name Service after purchasing our business formation service.

Our Fees



1 Year of Registered Agent Service


Our Business Formation Service Fee


South Dakota State Filing Fees




FAQ for South Dakota Corporations

Common questions about registered agents, organizational meetings, EINs, licenses, and reports are included below.


Why do I need a registered agent?
South Dakota Statute §47-1A-202 requires corporations to appoint a registered agent in their Articles of Incorporation. Hiring a commercial registered agent (like us!) also means our address is listed on your Articles instead of yours—so you don’t get all the junk mail and hassle that come with a publicly-listed address. We happily sort through the spam and scan documents daily so you never miss an important notice! We can service your South Dakota corporation for only $49 a year.


What is an organizational meeting?
An organizational meeting is typically a corporation’s first official meeting. At this meeting, your corporation can elect directors if needed, appoint officers, issue stock and adopt bylaws.

As part of our formation services package, we can make your organizational meeting easier by providing your corporation with free, custom bylaws.

Can I hold the organizational meeting out of state?
Yes, your corporation’s organizational meeting can be held within or outside of South Dakota.


What is an EIN?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a federal tax ID that the IRS issues to your corporation. Your EIN is used to identify your business on tax filings.

Do I have to get an EIN for my South Dakota corporation?
Yes. Corporations are required to obtain an EIN.

How do I get an EIN?
You can apply for an EIN at no charge directly from the IRS. If you’d prefer we apply on your behalf, you can add EIN service to our formation package for $50.


What licenses does my South Dakota corporation need?
While South Dakota doesn’t have a general business license, some corporations will need licenses and permits for different business activities. The South Dakota Department of Revenue has a list of tax licenses (such as sales tax and motor fuel tax licenses) your corporation may need. The South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation lists professions that require licensing, such as real estate agents and pharmacists.


What is a South Dakota annual report?
This yearly report updates the South Dakota Secretary of State with your corporation’s ownership and contact information.

How do I submit my annual report?
On the Business Services page of the Secretary of State website, you can select “File an Annual Report” for online filings or “Print a Paper Business Form” to download a form you can mail.

What is the annual report’s filing fee?
The fee is $50 for online submissions and $65 for paper submissions.

When is my South Dakota annual report due?
This report is due on the first day of the anniversary month of your corporation. So, if your South Dakota corporation formed on July 18, 2017, your first annual report is due July 1, 2018. Your report can be submitted up to two months before the due date.

What happens if I file my annual report late?
First, your corporation will incur a late fee of $50, and your business will be considered delinquent. If your corporation remains delinquent, it may be dissolved.

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We provide everything you need for your new South Dakota corporation—Articles of Incorporation, registered agent service, custom documents, and more! Incorporate today with SD Registered Agents LLC for only $299!