LLC Cost in South Dakota

Woman smiling and drinking coffee after forming an LLC.

South Dakota LLCs are relatively inexpensive — especially when you consider that an LLC can protect your personal assets and help grow your business. That’s why forming an LLC is the best choice for most small businesses. 

The cost to form an LLC in South Dakota starts at $155. This covers the primary cost of officially registering your LLC with the state.

Read our LLC Cost in South Dakota guide below to learn more about LLC costs and other fees associated with all South Dakota businesses.

Save Time With a Professional Service:

You can form an LLC yourself and save a little money or use a professional service and save a lot of time. 

Four point six out of five stars. Northwest ($39 plus state fees)

How Much Is an LLC in South Dakota?

South Dakota LLC Filing Fee: $150+

To form an LLC in South Dakota, you'll need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. The South Dakota Secretary of State charges a $150 fee to process and record this document online and $165 to submit the form by mail.

You can complete this process yourself with our How to Start an LLC guide or use an LLC formation service.

Registered Agent Fee

Every South Dakota LLC must appoint a registered agent. Your South Dakota registered agent must be a resident of South Dakota and must be available to receive service of process during normal business hours at a designated street address.

You can be your own registered agent in South Dakota, or you can use a registered agent service for a minimal cost.

Recommended: Get free registered agent services for one year when you form an LLC with Northwest ($39 plus state fees).

South Dakota Annual Report Fee: $50+

South Dakota requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State each year. The fee for this is $50 when filing online or $65 when filing by mail

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in South Dakota: $750+

LLCs registered in another state that want to expand into the state of South Dakota must register as a foreign LLC in South Dakota.

The cost for registering a South Dakota foreign LLC is $750 when filing online, and $765 when filing by mail. You can register a foreign LLC in South Dakota by filing an Application for Certificate of Authority with the Secretary of State.

Business Licenses and Permits

Your business might need federal, state, and local permits/licenses to legally operate in South Dakota, depending on your industry and geographical location. This is true whether you form an LLC or any other type of business structure.

Learn more about state and local licensing in our South Dakota business license guide.

Other South Dakota Business Filing Fees

There are fees associated with other, optional business filings in South Dakota.

LLC Name Reservation

You can reserve a business name for your LLC for up to 120 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Name with the South Dakota Secretary of State and paying the $25 filing fee. 

"Doing Business As" (DBA) Name

When an LLC is registered with the state, the LLC’s name is also officially registered. Some business owners choose to also file for a DBA name, known as a DBA - Business Name in South Dakota. 

You can register a DBA - Business Name online with the South Dakota Secretary of State and pay the $10 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

Learn more in our South Dakota DBA guide.

Certified Document Copies 

You can get certified copies of your South Dakota business documents by ordering through the Secretary of State and paying a $15 fee, plus an additional $2 per page.

Certificate of Good Standing 

You can obtain a South Dakota Certificate of Good Standing you can obtain this document by ordering through the Secretary of State and paying the $20 fee. 

A Certificate of Good Standing is often required by banks and lenders.

Recommended: Learn more about LLC formation services in our Best LLC Services review.

How to Start an LLC in South Dakota

Forming an LLC yourself is easy; just follow the five steps below.

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in South Dakota

Step 1: Name Your South Dakota LLC

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Step 3: File a Articles of Organization

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Step 5: Get an EIN 

Step 1: Name Your South Dakota LLC

When you name your South Dakota LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of South Dakota
  2. Meets South Dakota's naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Check web domain (URL) availability with GoDaddy:

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Not sure what to name your business? Check out our free LLC name generator.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

South Dakota LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent to receive service of process. Business owners can hire a registered agent service or appoint any South Dakota resident that is 18 years or older and is available during normal business hours at a specified address to receive service of process.

Recommended: Northwest offers one full year of registered agent services with their $39 (plus state fees) LLC formation package.

Step 3: File a South Dakota Articles of Organization 

To form an LLC in South Dakota, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This can be done online or by mail.

For a closer look at the filing process, check out our South Dakota Certificate of Formation guide.

Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are not required for South Dakota LLCs, but it’s a good practice to have one nonetheless.

An operating agreement outlines the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC, ensuring that all members are on the same page and reducing the risk of conflict down the line.

Learn more in our South Dakota LLC Operating Agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to identify businesses for tax purposes. Think of an EIN as a Social Security number for your LLC.

To learn how to get an EIN for free, visit our How to Get an EIN Number guide.

LLC Cost in South Dakota FAQ

What is the cheapest way to start an LLC in South Dakota?

The cheapest way to start an LLC in South Dakota is to handle the registration process individually. In order to do this, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Name your LLC
  2. Choose a registered agent: This can be a registered agent service or an individual.
  3. File the South Dakota Articles of Organization: The filing fee for this is $150 when filing online and $165 when filing by mail.
  4. Create an LLC operating agreement: This is usually not a legal requirement, but it is highly recommended.
  5. Get an EIN: This is basically your business’s Social Security number (SSN).

How much does an LLC cost per year in South Dakota?

All South Dakota LLCs are required to file an annual report in order to maintain their LLC status. The fee for this is $50 for online filings and $65 for mail filings.

For a more in-depth analysis, see our How Much Does an LLC Cost? article. 

How much does an LLC license cost in South Dakota?

An LLC is not a business license, but a business entity. Forming an LLC in South Dakota costs $150 when filing your Articles of Organization online and $165 by mail. There is also a $50 annual filing fee ($65 by mail) that all domestic LLCs are required to pay.

You may be required to pay additional fees if you choose to pay for a  registered agent service, an LLC formation service, or an LLC attorney.

See our How to Start an LLC in South Dakota for more information on registering your business as an LLC.

Do LLCs pay taxes in South Dakota?

Yes, LLCs are a “pass-through” tax entity. This means that the LLCs profits are “passed through” directly to its owner(s), who then pay income taxes independently. 

This is advantageous compared to a corporation’s tax structure because it means that LLC members are not taxed twice. 

Having said that, readers should keep in mind that LLCs are very flexible when it comes to how they can be taxed, and — depending on the specifics — they can choose to be taxed as a pass-through entity, a C corp, and an S corp. 

For more information, see our How Is an LLC Taxed guide. 

What are the tax benefits of an LLC?

The tax benefits of an LLC will depend on how you choose to be taxed, as well as on whether you are operating as a single or multi-member LLC. 

Generally speaking, LLCs can choose to be taxed in several different ways, including:

  • As a sole proprietorship or general partnership
  • As a C corporation
  • As an S corporation

See our Single-Member LLC Taxes guide for a detailed overview of the tax benefits of having an LLC as a small business. 

Do I need to open a business bank account for my LLC?

Even though you do not necessarily “need” to open a bank account for your LLC, this is generally highly recommended for several reasons. 

For one, having a separate bank account can allow you to maintain your LLC’s corporate veil — meaning that you will not risk losing your limited personal liability under the law. A business bank account also offers financial benefits, including the ability to build business credit more quickly and access to larger business loans. 

Interested in opening a business bank account? See our review of the best banks for startups in 2022.