Start a South Dakota LLC

To start a South Dakota LLC, you just need to designate a registered agent, file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State, and pay the state filing fee. But actually launching a business takes a lot of groundwork.

– Suzanne B., Yelp Review

How to Form an LLC in South Dakota

To form an LLC in South Dakota, you’ll need to appoint a South Dakota registered agent, submit your company’s Articles of Organization to the South Dakota Secretary of State (SOS), and pay the $150 filing fee (plus $15 for paper filings). The specific needs of your company will determine the next few steps, but for many companies, the path to a business-ready LLC looks like this:

  1. Fill out LLC Articles of Organization
  2. Submit Articles for South Dakota LLC Registration
  3. Report Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI)
  4. Launch Your online business presence
  5. Next Steps for Your LLC

Like we said, those are the broad brushstrokes. Let’s dive right into the nitty gritty.

South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization

To file South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization, you’ll need to provide key information about your business, such as what you’re going to name your company and who you want as your registered agent. Not ready to launch your business right now? You can always start your filing with our free online tool below.

Filing on your own? Here’s what you’ll list on your Articles of Organization:

  • Name
    Your South Dakota LLC’s name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or an abbreviation for one of these designations. To make sure your name is available, you can perform a South Dakota Business Information Search. If you have a name in mind but aren’t quite ready to file your LLC paperwork, you can reserve an LLC name for up to 120 days .
  • Purpose (optional)
    With paper submissions, there’s an option to include your business’s purpose. Purpose is the reason why your business exists. Many LLCs in South Dakota either skip this section or enter a general purpose, such as “to engage in lawful business in South Dakota.”
  • Initial Designated Office
    The initial designated office is your main office. The office doesn’t have to be in South Dakota, but it does need to be a street address. Online submissions also require an email address, which the state uses to send annual report reminders.
  • Registered Agent
    Your South Dakota registered agent accepts legal notifications and service of process for your LLC. You can have either a “commercial” or “noncommercial” registered agent. A commercial agent specializes in registered agent service and is registered with South Dakota SOS. Without these qualifications, an individual or a business is considered a noncommercial agent. You can serve as your own registered agent—keep in mind, though, that registered agents list their name, South Dakota street and mailing address, email address (optional), and Commercial Registered Agent # (if applicable) as per South Dakota Statute § SDCL 59-11-6. At SD Registered Agents LLC, we are a commercial registered agent, providing expert service for just $49 a year. Our commercial registered agent service gives your company:

  • Name & Address of Each Organizer
    An organizer forms, signs and delivers your Articles of Organization. Organizers must include their names and addresses in the filing. Organizers don’t have to be members or managers of the LLC. If you hire us, we’ll be your organizer and list our address instead of yours. It’s part of how we help keep your personal information off the public record.
  • Duration (optional)
    Duration is how long your company will exist. Most business owners choose to be perpetual when they start a South Dakota LLC, meaning they continue to exist unless dissolved. However, you can choose an end date for your LLC if you’d prefer.
  • Management Structure
    Your LLC can be member-managed or manager-managed. “Member-managed” means that the members themselves make all the decisions for the company. “Manager-managed” means the decision-making power is given to managers. If your LLC is manager-managed, you’ll need to include the names and addresses of the managers.
  • Member Liability (optional extra provisions)
    In an LLC, members aren’t typically liable for the debts and obligations of the business. However, South Dakota Statute § SDCL 47-34A-303 states that a provision can be made in the Articles of Organization for members to be held liable for specific obligations or debts. This is not common practice, however. Most people enter “no” in this section on member liability.
  • Organizer signature
    The form must be signed and dated by each person completing and submitting the form.

DIY LLC Formation

  • Unbeatable price for local registered agent service—only $49/year
  • Secure online account for managing your LLC and receiving compliance reminders
  • Free use of our commercial business address in Watertown, SD

Our LLC Formation Service

  • Same-day online filing for your LLC formation
  • We list our information to keep your personal info privacy
  • You get a unique web domain, corresponding email address, and SSL-secured website for your business at no additional upfront cost
  • State fees INCLUDED
  • First year of registered agent service INCLUDED
  • Attorney-drafted business documents, including LLC operating agreement, membership certificates, and more INCLUDED

Submit Articles for South Dakota LLC Registration

You can complete your South Dakota LLC registration online, by mail, or in person:


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

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

By Mail or In Person

You can download and mail your South Dakota Articles of Organization to the address below. Please note that paper filings are charged an additional $15 processing fee.

  • Fee: $165 ($150 + $15 paper processing fee)
  • Payment type: check or money order made payable to “Secretary of State”
  • Processing time: 3-5 days

Where Do I Send My Articles of Organization?

Secretary of State Office
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501

How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC in South Dakota?

The cost to start a South Dakota LLC on your own is $150 if you submit your Articles online. For paper filings, you will be charged an additional $15 (bringing the total to $165).

File Beneficial Ownership Information Report

To help combat financial crimes in the US, the majority of LLCs and corporations formed or registered to do business in the US must file a no-cost Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Information reported is not available to the public.

Company information required on the report includes the full legal name, any trade or DBA names, current address, formation jurisdiction, and tax ID.

Beneficial owners and company applicants include their full name, date of birth, residential address, and copy of an identifying document with a unique ID number (e.g. driver’s license).

  • Beneficial owner: anyone who controls the company directly or indirectly. This includes those who own at least 25% of the company and people in powerful positions like CEOs or board members.
  • Company applicant: the person who filed to form or register the company, and if different, the person who directed the filing to be made.

This report is due within 30 days of formation. For companies formed in the calendar year 2024, FinCEN will accept reports up to 90 days after formation. The deadline resumes to the original 30 days for companies formed in 2025 or later.

If your business was formed before January 1, 2024 you’re still required to file a BOI report, but you do not need to include information about your company applicants. You have until January 1, 2025 to file.

Form a South Dakota LLC with SD Registered Agents

Hiring a formation service to set up your LLC in South Dakota can save you from mistakes that jeopardize your asset protection and personal information. But don’t let so-called “$0” formation services pull a fast one on you: they’re only free until checkout, where they’ll charge you hundreds for add-ons and upsells on business-critical services—not to mention footing you a bill for hundreds of dollars in yearly fees for ongoing registered agent service.

When you hire someone to form an LLC in South Dakota, you should never have to worry about what you’ll pay or what services you’ll get. At SD Registered Agents LLC, our formation services provide you with all the services you need, along with the experience, privacy, and transparency you deserve.

If you’re going to hire a company to form your LLC, go with the one that actually gives you everything upfront. Our LLC registration package includes the entire infrastructure for a modern company:

  • A Full Year of Registered Agent Service
  • Free use of our business address on your public filings (instead of yours)
  • 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: Operating Agreement, Membership Certificates, Initial Resolutions and More!
  • Option to add our Trade Name Service for $125 plus state fees after purchasing our LLC formation service.

Pricing Breakdown:

Service Fees
1 Year of Registered Agent Service $49
Our Business Formation Service Fee $100
South Dakota State Filing Fees $150
Total $299

-Forest K., Google Review

Launch Your South Dakota Business Presence

Once you form a South Dakota LLC, it’s time to launch your professional business presence in South Dakota. Whether you’re a small business owner or an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll want to secure a domain name and website at minimum. In fact, you probably want to think about your domain name at the same time as your business name. It’s also a good idea to have a business email address linked to that domain name, along with a private phone number with a South Dakota area code for business inquiries.

Basically, setting up a South Dakota business presence is about maintaining a distinct business identity separate from your personal one. It helps you professionally but also further safeguards your personal information. And the more you can link your LLC name to your domain and email address, the more streamlined your business will be in appearance and function.

That’s why we give all of our clients a domain name FREE for one year, along with 90 days free use of a business email, website, and phone service when you hire us for service. It’s part of our South Dakota Business Presence package, and it comes at no additional upfront cost, with the option to cancel at anytime. It’s everything you need to get to business instantly.

Next Steps for Your South Dakota LLC

After your South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization are processed and approved, you officially have a South Dakota LLC! However, there’s still more to do. Many LLCs will want an operating agreement. You may need tax IDs or state licenses. Later on, you’ll also need to submit your first annual report.

South Dakota Operating Agreement

Your South Dakota LLC’s operating agreement explains how your business operates. For example, your operating agreement might list your initial member contributions, responsibilities of members and managers, voting rights, and allocations of profits and losses.

Does South Dakota require an operating agreement for an LLC?

Operating agreements are internal documents; there’s no law requiring you to have an operating agreement or to submit one to the state. There are clear benefits, however, to putting your LLC’s policies and procedures into a written document. When members and managers know exactly what to do and what to expect, operations are easier, and the odds of member disputes diminish.

We provide a free, custom operating agreement for your South Dakota LLC as part of our formation services package.

Get An EIN (Federal Tax ID)

What is a federal tax ID?

A federal tax ID, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), is a unique number issued to your company by the IRS. This number is used to identify your company on tax filings.

Do I need an EIN for my South Dakota LLC?

When you start a South Dakota LLC, you’ll need an EIN if your company:

  • has employees
  • files Employment, Excise, or Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns
  • withholds taxes on income (other than wages) paid to a non-resident alien
  • has a Keogh plan
  • is involved in a trust, estate, real estate mortgage investment conduit, non-profit organization, farmer co-op, or is a plan administrator

How do I get an EIN?

Applying for an EIN is free from the IRS. If you’d rather we complete the application for you, however, you can add EIN service on to our formation package for $50.

South Dakota Licenses and Permits

Does South Dakota require a general business license?

No, South Dakota doesn’t have a general business license.

What kinds of permits and licenses does my LLC need?

While there are no general state business license requirements, it’s important to check with county or city governments. The licenses and permits you’ll need in can depend on your jurisdiction and/or business activities. For example, the South Dakota Department of Revenue requires retailers to have a Sales Tax License and contractors to have an Excise Tax License. The South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation lists professions that require licensing, such as accountants, barbers, and veterinarians.

LLC Business Bank Account

When you form a South Dakota LLC, it’s crucial that you open a business bank account. Why? Because the main reason business owners choose to set up an LLC is to protect their personal assets. To ensure you maintain limited liability status in the eyes of the law, you’ll keep your business finances and personal money separate.

What Do I Need to Open a Business Bank Account?

To open a business bank account, you should bring the following documents:

  • A copy of your Articles of Organization
  • Your LLC’s operating agreement
  • Your LLC’s EIN

And if your LLC has more than one member (owner), you’ll need a Resolution to Open a Bank Account.

South Dakota Annual Report

What is a South Dakota annual report?

This a report that South Dakota businesses submit each year to the Secretary of State. The report includes current contact and ownership information to ensure that the state has a reliable channel of communication with your LLC.

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 fee?

$50 for online filings and $65 for paper filings.

When is my South Dakota annual report due?

Your annual report is due on first day of the anniversary month of your LLC. For example, if your LLC formed on February 16, 2023, your first annual report is due February 1, 2024. You can submit your report any time in the two months prior to the due date.

What happens if I file my annual report late?

There is a late fee of $50. Your business will be considered delinquent until the report is filed and the fees are paid. Companies that remain delinquent may be dissolved.

Starting a business is an impressive endeavor, and we’re here to help! At SD Registered Agents LLC, we can form your South Dakota LLC, provide a full year of registered agent service, and give you all the documents you need to organize your company and open a business bank account—all for only $299.