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Start a Business in South Dakota

Starting a business in South Dakota is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the South Dakota Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.

One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."

Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your South Dakota business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.

All You Need

Hire us to start your South Dakota LLC or corporation and get all the tools you need to start fast:

  • SD registered agent service

  • South Dakota business forms

  • Online client account

  • Easy access to all our business services & answers to your business questions

Start Your Business the Right Way

As your registered agent, when we start your business, we give you what other filing services can’t:

  • Privacy by Default®
  • Business address
  • Free mail forwarding
  • Lifetime support from local Corporate Guides®

Start Your South Dakota Business

$225 + State Fees
Rated 4.6 / 5 stars by 427 clients on Google

How to Start a Business in South Dakota

File Your Articles

You file articles of incorporation for a South Dakota corporation or articles of organization for a South Dakota LLC with the SD Secretary of State.

Obtain a Federal Tax ID

You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of South Dakota showing your approved South Dakota business.

Open a Bank Account

Opening a business banking account under your new South Dakota business name should be easy with these two items.

Register with the Dept of Revenue

If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the SD department of revenue. We provide all these links in your online account.

Apply for Licenses

If your business trade requires a license, you’ll have to apply for a license with the South Dakota licensing board.  (Most businesses don’t.)  But if you do, these quick links and contact details are in your online account. Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t. You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.

Get Proper Zoning

If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.

Get Up and Running

If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.

Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer? You Can Save Some Money:

If you want to start a business in South Dakota yourself, you can just hire us as your South Dakota registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the South Dakota LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a South Dakota corporation or form a South Dakota LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional South Dakota registered agent service.


South Dakota LLC vs Corporation

Small business owners often like the great tax options and flexible management structure of an LLC. LLCs have fewer annual requirements and are easier to maintain. Large business owners like the well-established, defined management structure of a corporation. Plus, having the option to sell stock helps attract strong investors.

But, what about South Dakota? Any pros and cons for a South Dakota LLC vs an SD corporation?

In terms of initial filing and maintenance fees, there aren’t any advantages to starting a South Dakota LLC versus a South Dakota corporation. The Articles of Incorporation or Organization will cost $150 to file online. In addition, both entities are required to file annual reports ($50). While corporations and manager-managed LLCs have to list director/officer/manager names and addresses, member-managed LLCs don’t have to list member info—allowing them to maintain a greater degree of privacy.

During tax season, South Dakota LLCs and corporations will have it fairly easy. Unlike most states, South Dakota doesn’t impose a corporate or personal income tax. However, some financial institutions will need to pay a Bank Franchise Tax ($200 minimum).

South Dakota also offers strong protection against creditors for LLCs. Although claimants can obtain a charging order—putting a lien on the debtor’s interest—they can’t force the LLC to make distributions. Definitely something to consider when starting a South Dakota business.

If you want a corporation, you file South Dakota Articles of Incorporation:

The South Dakota articles of incorporation cost $150 with the South Dakota Secretary of State.
We custom draft your South Dakota articles of incorporation when you hire Northwest to start your South Dakota business. The basic requirements of South Dakota corporations are:

  • An incorporating South Dakota ending such as Inc, corporation, or incorporated
  • A corporation purpose is optional
  • The amount of South Dakota corporation shares you would like to authorize
  • The par value of the shares is optional
  • The principal address of the South Dakota corporation
  • The name and address of the South Dakota incorporator(s)
  • The registered agent and address of the South Dakota corporation

South Dakota does not require original signatures on new SD corporation filings. The certificate will be mailed to the address of the person who filed the documents.

Start Your South Dakota Business!

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If you want a LLC, you file South Dakota Articles of Organization:

To form a SD limited liability company, file articles of organization and pay the $150 fee. The basic requirements of South Dakota LLC filings are:

  • The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it.
  • New South Dakota LLCs name must be different than already registered South Dakota companies.
  • Duration of the South Dakota LLC, if not perpetual.
  • The South Dakota registered agent and the physical address.
  • The names and signature of the organizer(s).
  • If the limited liability company is to be managed by one or more managers, you will list their names and addresses.

South Dakota does not require original signatures on new LLC filings. You’ll get a certificate of formation mailed back to you after the state approves your filing.

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