South Dakota Business Facts
South Dakota is widely recognized for non-taxable personal income. It does not also tax corporate income and capital gains. Moreover, the crime rate and energy costs in South Dakota are relatively low.
Major Companies Headquartered in South Dakota
South Dakota is the headquarters of many major companies including The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Highmark, Avera Health, Sanford Health, and Regional Health.
South Dakota is an attractive place to start a new venture because of its low cost of living, high per capita personal income, as well as low taxes.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation, or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the fewer changes you make, the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in South Dakota, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching South Dakota state databases:
NOTE: Familiarize yourself with the South Dakota naming guidelines. LLC entity names need to contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation LLC, and certain words are restricted or prohibited.
Restrictions on South Dakota Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in South Dakota.
How to form an LLC in South Dakota
How to Incorporate in South Dakota
NOTE: When registering a new company the Secretary of State can take several weeks to file the paperwork. You can expedite the process by hand delivering the documents directly to them or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long South Dakota is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in South Dakota
Optional Considerations when registering a South Dakota business
Ready to register a business in South Dakota?
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
To obtain an EIN you can apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire about the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN, and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Top 5 Major Banks in South Dakota
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments, or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Review our list of Accountants, Accounting Software, and Bookkeepers in our Vendor Network.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. You’ll want to establish methods to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years, with an option for renewal.
LLC: South Dakota corporations are required to file a Periodic Report with the South Dakota Secretary of State each year on or before the first day of their anniversary month, in addition to general taxation. Information on your business’ taxes can be found here.
Corporation: Businesses in South Dakota should file an annual report on or before the first day of their anniversary month to the Division of Corporate and Consumer Services. LLCs and Corporations will pay a filing cost of $50.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most or your ongoing compliance tasks.
South Dakota Secretary of State
Business Services (for Corporation and LLC filings)
500 East Capitol Avenue Ste 204
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
South Dakota Taxation Departments
South Dakota Labor and Employment Departments
South Dakota Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA) South Dakota District Offices
2. SCORE South Dakota
3. South Dakota Legal Statutes
4. South Dakota Chambers of Commerce
6. South Dakota Angel Investors
7. South Dakota Business News
9. South Dakota Small Business Development Center
10. South Dakota DENR
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