Step 1) Verify & Secure your brand name

Choose a Business Name

To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name in NH, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a free Business Entity Search through the state, and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.

Keep in mind your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C’ are also acceptable. If needed, you can file a Reservation of LLC Name form that’s good for 120 days for $25.



Step 2) Appoint a Registered Agent

Choose a Registered Agent

Your SD Registered Agent is a sort of legal representative of your brand, but not in a lawyer or attorney-sense. It’s their job to officially receive important business documents like state filings, legal notices, tax forms, and so forth. This is why they have to be either a SD resident individual or a registered business entity and be reliable during all regular business days/hours.

That said, you can hire 3rd party professional and expect to pay up to $160/year, or get a registered agent free of charge when you Incorporate with IncFile. They handle this along with so much more depending on your startup package.



Step 3) File Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCTo be a legal business entity you must file Articles of Organization through postal mail with the Sec. of State. It’s a declarative document that discloses the basics of your brand for the public record including:

Filing Fee: $150



Step 4) get an EIn

Get an EIN for Your LLC

What’s an EIN, or Employer Identification Number? It’s almost exactly like a social security number but for businesses instead of flesh and blood individuals. You’ll need it to process taxes, set up business bank accounts, to legally hire employees and more. But don’t worry, it’s as easy as pie to get one these days.

To get your free EIN number, you can print out and mail in This IRS Form or apply online using the IRS Website.



Step 5) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank Account

First and foremost, make sure that your LLC’s bank accounts aren’t mingled with any others of any kind. It’s a huge mistake you can avoid with ease, okay? Secondly, don’t just assume where you bank personally is the best choice. Is it convenient? Sure, but there are tons of places to build your brand’s financial persona and many of them are likely offering much better deals and incentives – local, state, and national banks/credit unions.

To learn about some of these perks from the mainstream perspective browse this free Checking Account Guide.



step 6) draft an Operating Agreement

Create an Operating Agreement

An LLC Operating Agreement is an integral part of smooth operations. More than defining the financial and managerial relationships between owners of the LLC, it also helps to protect your LLC’s limited liability status and overrides state-default rules, which may not be applicable to your LLC at all.

You can create your LLC’s own document now with the help of this Operating Agreement Tool which can be easily customized to fit your specific needs.



step 7) handle business taxes & Licensing/Permits

Small Business Taxes

Real talk: this is where an attorney or working with an incorporation provider really comes in handy, especially if the nature of your business means a bit more in the red tape department. There may be a nice stack of paperwork, or just be a couple with corresponding fees. You get the idea.

If you’re doing this solo, bookmark the Sioux Falls district office of the Small Business Administration and the state’s Business Tax Division site because they’re likely going to be go-to sources.  Also, check out IncFile’s Business License Research package for a mere $99 that takes care of all the legwork.



2 steps to take After forming a new LLC

Amazing work, congratulations! At this point your LLC is pretty much official, declared, and can now legally conduct business in the great state of South Dakota. To be prudent, here are two other steps to take seriously to get the very most out of your business ideas as you continue growing and expanding.


start optimizing your Business Plan

Write a Business PlanApart from being an excellent guide to start your small-biz off on the right footing, a business plan also enables you to bag the right funding when the time comes. In the startup phase planning informally is 100% reasonable, to a degree, but once you become a serious operation in need of capital to facilitate growth, a presentation-ready plan is a necessity.

The process is an astounding teacher all by itself. You’ll see.

Quick Links to Business Planning


Build an initial Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteThese days, it is a must to have a branded and responsive website. With one you’re able to reach increasingly specific market populations regardless of where they are in the world and be able to freely develop strategies to relay your company branding and message across the digital airwaves 24/7.

Thankfully, building a business website is easier these days because there are tools like WordPress, Shopify, Wix, and SquareSpace. If you already have one but need a better host, check out Bluehost.  Enjoy the ride and here’s to a prosperous and exciting year ahead!



Note that this article on how to form an LLC in South Dakota isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in South Dakota or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom