How to Register an LLC in South Dakota: A Step-by-Step Guide

South Dakota is a business-friendly state perfect for forming a limited liability company (LLC). If you’re ready to register an LLC in South Dakota but aren’t sure how to get started, we’re here to help. These are the six steps you need to complete to form your LLC today. 

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South Dakota LLC Quick Facts

  • To register an LLC in South Dakota, you will need to file Articles of Organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State.
  • The filing fee to start an LLC in South Dakota is $150-$165. 
  • All LLCs in South Dakota are required to have a registered agent with a physical address in the state.
  • You will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes.

6 Steps to Register an LLC in South Dakota

Fortunately, forming an LLC in South Dakota is as simple as a few steps. 

Ready to get started? Just follow these six steps to register an LLC in South Dakota:

  1. Choose a Name for Your LLC
  2. Appoint a Registered Agent
  3. File Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your South Dakota LLC

To start, you need to decide on a name for your South Dakota LLC. 

South Dakota business names must meet the following requirements:

  • Include “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or a similar designation
  • Be unique and distinguishable from any other business entity in the state
  • Avoid terms that imply government affiliation or misrepresent your business’s purpose

For a complete list of naming requirements for South Dakota LLCs, please refer to the state’s official guidelines.

Additionally, to ensure that your chosen business name is available, it is recommended to conduct a name search on the South Dakota Secretary of State website.

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Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent 

In South Dakota, a registered agent or commercial agent is required to be appointed when registering an LLC. 

The registered agent is responsible for receiving important documents and communication on behalf of the LLC, such as legal notices, tax forms, and other official correspondence.

The registered agent in South Dakota must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a business entity or an individual with a physical address in South Dakota
  • Must be available during regular business hours to receive important documents
  • Cannot be the LLC itself, but can be an LLC owner or employee

Who can act as a registered agent in South Dakota?

A registered agent can be the LLC owner, an employee of the company, or a friend or family member. You also have the option to hire a registered agent service for this role. It is crucial that the registered agent has a physical address in South Dakota where they can be reached during normal business hours to accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC. 

Step 3: File Articles of Organization for Your LLC

To register an LLC in South Dakota, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. 

This official filing establishes your LLC as a legal entity in the state. You can complete this filing online through the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website or by submitting this form by mail or in person.

The filing fee is $150 online or $165 for by mail or in person. 

When preparing to file, make sure to have the necessary details ready, such as: 

  • Your LLC’s name and mailing address
  • Names and addresses of each organizer 
  • Commercial agent number (CRA#) or registered agent information, if using an individual
  • Your LLC management structure (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • The purpose for which your LLC is being formed 
  • The duration of your LLC if its not perpetual 

Quick Note: If you are registering an LLC that was previously formed in another state, you may need to register as a foreign LLC in South Dakota. This process can also be done online or by submitting an Application for Certificate of Authority by mail or in person. 

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement for Your LLC

Creating an operating agreement for your LLC in South Dakota is an important step in ensuring the smooth operations and governance of your business. 

An operating agreement outlines the internal procedures and ownership details of the company, helping to prevent future conflicts among LLC members. While this document is not required to be filed with the state, it is essential for your LLC to keep an updated operating agreement on file. 

Step 5: Obtain an EIN and Fulfill Tax Obligations

The next step is to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This unique number allows the IRS to track your business for tax reporting purposes and is necessary for a variety of business activities, such as hiring employees and opening a business bank account. 

You can easily get an EIN for free by visiting the IRS website.

In addition to obtaining your EIN, it is important to fulfill your tax obligations as an LLC in South Dakota. This includes identifying any additional requirements for your business to pay taxes. You can find more information on tax obligations for your LLC by visiting the South Dakota Department of Revenue website

Step 6: File a Report on Beneficial Ownership Information

All LLCs in South Dakota are required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Newly formed LLCs are required to file the BOI report within 90 days of their formation. Existing LLCs must complete the filing annually between January 1st and January 1st of the following year. 

Failure to file the report on time may result in a fine of $500 per day.

The filing can be done online for free on the FinCEN website.

Next Steps 

After registering your LLC in South Dakota, it’s important to:

  • Open a business bank account to separate and protect your personal assets. Consider options like Lili’s business checking accounts to manage your finances effectively. Sign up takes only a few minutes to access a suite of financial tools for your new LLC. 
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  • Identify and obtain any necessary licenses and permits that may be required federally or by the state. Check with the South Dakota Department of Revenue for specific requirements.
  • File your annual report with the South Dakota Secretary of State by November 15th each year along with a $50 filing if submitted online and $65 fee is submitted by mail. 
  • Obtain business insurance for your LLC, such as general liability, workers’ compensation, and personal liability insurance, to protect your business from potential risks. We recommend Next Insurance for fast, affordable coverage.
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Additional Tips for Success

  • Research the name availability: Before registering your LLC, make sure to check the availability of your desired business name with the South Dakota Secretary of State.
  • Comply with regulatory requirements: Ensure that you comply with all federal, state, and local regulations and obtain any necessary licenses or permits for your LLC.
  • Maintain good recordkeeping: Keep detailed financial records and documents related to your LLC to track business activities and ensure compliance.

Conclusion

Starting an LLC in South Dakota is a straightforward process that can be completed in a few simple steps. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your business is properly registered and ready to operate in the state. Be sure to closely follow requirements and regulations to start your business on the right foot.