How to Start an LLC in South Dakota

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Starting an LLC in South Dakota is a great decision considering the state's various incentives, funds, and assistance programs. The low filing cost, ease of filing taxes, and protection against liabilities also add to the benefits of starting an LLC in South Dakota.

So without further ado, let’s find out how to do it:

Name Your Business

You may already have a name, or maybe you have a few, and you are facing difficulty deciding on one. The most efficient way to complete this step is by carrying out an LLC name search. This will allow you to eliminate the unavailable business name ideas or encourage you to think of a new name. Click here to search the South Dakota LLC business name. If you cannot come up with a new name or want more ideas, utilize a business name generator.

Reserve Your Chosen Business Name

Once you find an available name you love, reserve it by filing the application of reservation of business name. The application is submitted to the Secretary of State through the mail. It only costs $25 and reserves the business name for 120 days, so you don’t have to complete the remaining steps in a hurry. 

Submit a Business Address

Providing a business address is essential to starting an LLC in South Dakota. Your South Dakota LLC can have a residential, commercial, or out-of-state address. However, the address must be a physical street address, not a P.O. Box address.

If you are starting your small business from home, consider getting a virtual business address to protect your privacy. It can also be handy if you travel a lot or plan to move within the state soon.

Appoint a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an LLC representative responsible for correspondence with the Secretary of State on behalf of the LLC. All South Dakotas LLCs must appoint a registered agent. While the position can be occupied by either a person or an entity, they must be eligible according to the following criteria:

  • Must have a physical street address in the state

  • Must be authorized to conduct business in the state

  • Must be available at the Secretary of State's office as required

You can appoint yourself, a business member, or a professional service as your business’s registered agent to start an LLC in South Dakota.

File Articles of Organization

After registering an agent, you can move on to the step of filing articles of organization. It sounds difficult, but the step is very simple to execute. You only need to enter your business information on a form and mail it to the Secretary of State of South Dakota for processing. The filing fee for the form is $165, and it asks for the following information:

  • Business name

  • Business address

  • Names and addresses of business members

  • Name, phone number, and address of the registered agent

  • Business duration (can be perpetual)

  • LLC management mode, i.e., whether it will be manager-managed or member-managed

  • Names and signatures of persons filing the form

Click here to download the South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization. You can complete the form by hand or on a laptop/PC.

Submit Annual Report

To start an LLC in South Dakota and successfully maintain it, you must file an annual report. The annual report is also required during the first year of business and can be filed at any time after filing the articles of organization. It costs $50.

Prepare an LLC Operating Agreement

Though an operating agreement isn’t a requirement to start an LLC in South Dakota, you can greatly benefit by preparing one. It is a document containing the outline of a business’s structure and framework and details of its operations.

An LLC operating agreement contains members’ details, contributions, and roles in the business, profit sharing between members, voting rights, members’ elimination, addition processes, employee recruitment process, etc. These details in the shape of a document can prove significantly useful during lawsuits and unwarranted claims.

Click here to find the template for South Dakota LLC operating agreement.

Obtain an EIN

Once the South Dakota Secretary of State processes the articles of organization, you will receive a certificate of establishment of an LLC. This certificate will allow you to obtain an EIN or Employer Identification Number. This number is like a social security number for businesses and allows them to open a business bank account, hire employees, and file taxes.

Getting an EIN is fairly quick and simple and only requires registering the business with Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In return, IRS gives the business a unique nine-digit number as its EIN. The step does not cost anything.

Click this link to get an EIN for your LLC.

Get a Website and Market Your Business

Lastly, starting an LLC in South Dakota or anywhere else requires making the business accessible to its audience. To successfully execute this step, you must get a website and market your business.

While you can DIY the process, building a website requires multiple steps, including securing a host, buying a domain, building an interface, choosing a layout, writing copy, and adding graphics, images, and videos. Websites also require constant managing, frequent updating, and optimizing with the latest keywords to increase their access to an audience. Marketing the business is also a multi-step process comprising creating social media business profiles, making business accounts on digital platforms like Yelp, Nextdoor, etc., and running ads on local websites, newspapers, and magazines. Brainstorming marketing campaigns and content creation for all platforms is a constant process.

If you don’t have prior experience with this or don’t have the budget to hire two separate teams, consider getting help from is a website-building service for trades and home service companies. Building a website with only takes a few minutes. It is affordable and allows you to manage and update your business website with only a few taps on your smartphone. The platform also provides exclusive features like booking appointments, making payments, generating invoices, and following up with clients online.’s end-to-end marketing services can also make finding an audience easier and converting them into customers. The platform provides complete digital, social media, and traditional marketing services that you can manage easily through your smartphone.

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