Step 1) Create a Name for Your South Dakota Corporation

Choose a Business NameThe state of South Dakota requires that you attach one of the following words or abbreviations after your corporation name: corporation, incorporated, company, limited, club, foundation, union, co.,corp., ltd. Before deciding to use a business name, make sure that its distinct from those used by existing businesses.

To check for availability, you can use the South Dakota Secretary of State’s business name search tool. Reserve your business name within 120 days by filing Application for Reservation of Name before the South Dakota Secretary of State. This is sent through postal mail along with a $25 filing fee.


Step 2) File Your Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCYour South Dakota Corporation is legally created by filing your  Articles of Incorporation before the Secretary of State. There are some information that you may need to prepare, they are as follows:

You can file your form through postal mail with a $150 filing fee.


Step 3) Designate a South Dakota Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentAll South Dakota Corporations are required to have a registered agent for their business. This to have someone who will be able to receive service of process notices and other important documents in behalf of your business.

Your agent can be a resident individual or a legal business authorized by the state to conduct business in the state. Here’s a list of available registered agents in South Dakota.


Step 4) Set-up a Corporate Records Binder

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Binder or a Corporate Records Books is important because this is where you’ll keep all documents and minutes of the meeting.

Some of the documents for record keeping include your business registration documents to your state taxes, business licenses and permits and minutes of all board meetings. Purchase your Corporate Records Book at the local office supply store. You can also order from Amazon and have it shipped directly to you.


Step 5) Appoint the Initial Directors of Your South Dakota Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsAs the incorporator of your South Dakota Corporation, you are responsible in appointing the initial directors of your South Dakota small business. The initial directors will represent the board in the first annual meeting.

After appointing the initial directors of your corporation, you need to make an Incorporator’s Statement having all the names and addresses of your board of directors. The Incorporator’s Statement should be placed in your Corporate Record Book for safekeeping.


Step 6) Conduct Your First Board of Directors Meeting

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe first board of directors meeting is schedule after you’ve appointed your initial board of directors. Some of the main points of discussion during this meeting include the following:

If you’re thinking of starting an S-Corporation, you must include this during the meeting. Also, don’t forget to document every discussion of the meeting. The minutes should be signed by the board of directors and kept in the Corporate Records Binder.


Step 7) Comply with South Dakota Business Tax and License Requirements

Business LicensesTo legally operate a business in South Dakota, you must comply with state licenses and taxes. Completing these requirements will help you avoid problems with the South Dakota government in the future. Some of the requirements that you need to fulfil include the following.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountOpening a business bank account should be your top priority before launching your business because it is vital that you avoid mix-ups with business and personal finances. Choose a trusted bank and open an account there to help you with keeping track of your expenses and recording all transactions.

Recommended Resource: Check out this roundup to help you understand and choose the best type of business bank account for your South Dakota Corporation.


To-do After Starting a

South Dakota Corporation

Congratulations! You’re now finally considered a South Dakota Corporation. But before anything else, you must complete these additional requirements to make sure that your business runs smoothly.

1) Write a Funding-ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanApart from being a great tool to assist you in starting your South Dakota small business, writing a solid and professional business plan will allow you to gain better funding opportunities. Starting a business with the right capital is essential if you want to increase your chances of success.

Writing a Business Plan Quick-Links


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteThe business industry is a highly competitive place; if you want to thrive and grow, you must create a business website that will allow you to reach a wider market population.

You have to be available and accessible even when you’re not on your office. These days, building a business website is no longer that difficult or expensive because there are tools like WordPress that helps you start and customize a business website in just minutes.

Bluehost is also a great tool that has a one-click WordPress installation service and customer support service.

Resource for Getting Started: Get started by checking out this step-by-step guide to assist you.  


3) Create Your Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsCorporate Bylaws can be liked as your South Dakota startup’s internal rulebook. Your bylaws outlines your daily operations and corporate rules so that you will be able to run your business operate smoothly.

It’s not a mandatory requirement in the state of South Dakota, but it is highly recommended that you make one.

Please note that this article is informational and instructional in nature and should not be considered a replacement of legal advice. This guide is also not a legal document. For inquiries on the specifics of forming a corporation, you can seek the advice of an attorney in South Dakota.

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