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

Start a South Dakota LLC

Forming an LLC in South Dakota

Forming a South Dakota LLC begins with submitting Articles of Organization to South Dakota’s Secretary of State. The specific needs of your company will determine the next few steps, but for many companies, the path to a business-ready LLC includes:

  1. Submitting South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization
  2. Writing an operating agreement
  3. Getting a federal tax ID
  4. Applying for state licenses and permits
  5. Opening a South Dakota LLC business bank account

At SD Registered Agents LLC, we make the formation process easy. We ask you a few simple questions about your business, file and form your Articles, and provide you with everything you need, from registered agent service to custom documents—all for just $299, including filing fees!


LLCs are often considered easier to manage than corporations. There’s flexibility in managing and operating an LLC. While a corporation requires a hierarchy of directors and officers, LLCs can opt to either manage themselves or have managers. Corporations have procedural requirements as well that LLCs can choose to adopt or ignore, like meeting minutes. With an LLC, you have more freedom to run your business your way.


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.

  • 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.
  • Purpose
    With paper submissions, there’s an option to include your business’s purpose. Purpose is the reason why your business exists. Many LLCs 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’s Secretary of State. Without these qualifications, an individual or a business is considered a noncommercial agent. 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 LLC:

– Privacy: When you use your own address on public documents (like your South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization), you can become a target for spam. With our address on your forms, you can avoid the junk mail and hassle.
– Availability: Registered agents must be regularly available in order to receive any potential service of process. We’ll make sure you never have to wait around—and that you never miss an important document.
– Speed: We scan documents daily to ensure you get critical notifications fast.

  • Organizer
    An organizer forms, signs and delivers your South Dakota LLC 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.
  • Duration
    Duration is how long your company will exist. Most companies choose to be perpetual, meaning they continue to exist unless dissolved. However, you can choose an end date for your LLC if you’d prefer.
  • Management
    Your South Dakota 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
    In an LLC, members aren’t typically liable for the debts and obligations of the business. However, South Dakota Statute §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.



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

You can download and mail your South Dakota Articles of Organization, but note that 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

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.

We provide formation and registered agent services to South Dakota businesses every day. We know the ins and outs of South Dakota LLCs, and we’re here to help you launch your new business.

We never sell your information. We list our address on public documents like your Articles of Organization so you don’t get the junk mail and hassle that come with a publicly-listed address.

We don’t hide fees. We don’t tack on mystery charges or pad our package with unnecessary and expensive services. We tell you exactly what we offer and how much we charge.

Our Services

  • A Full Year of Registered Agent Service
  • 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!

Our Fees



1 Year of Registered Agent Service


Our Business Formation Service Fee


South Dakota State Filing Fees





After Filing South Dakota Articles of Organization

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.


What is an 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.

Do I need an operating agreement for my South Dakota 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.


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?
You’ll need an EIN if your LLC:

  • 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.


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?
The licenses and permits you’ll need depend on your 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.


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, 2018, your first annual report is due February 1, 2019. 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.

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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. Sign up today!