How Much Does an LLC Cost in South Dakota

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does an LLC Cost in South Dakota

The minimum South Dakota LLC Cost is $150, which covers the processing fee for filing your LLC formation document (known as the Articles of Organization). 

Having said that, the total cost of forming a South Dakota LLC will depend on several factors, including your personal preferences and business needs. 

In our How Much Does an LLC Cost in South Dakota article, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the different costs associated with launching and maintaining an LLC.

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LLC Cost in South Dakota

In the table below, you can find a summary of the main requirements of forming a South Dakota limited liability company (LLC) and their associated fees.

Articles of Organization$150-$765
Registered Agent Fee$0-$130+
LLC Name$0-$35
Operating Agreement$0+

South Dakota LLC Filing Fee ($150-$765)

If you’re looking to start an LLC in South Dakota, you’ll be required to file one of two distinct formation documents depending on the type of LLC you’re forming.

For domestic LLCs, this involves submitting your South Dakota Articles of Organization and a $150 filing fee to the South Carolina Secretary of State. However, if you’ll be forming a foreign LLC, you’ll instead be required to file an Application for Certificate of Authority, which costs $750.

It’s worth mentioning that if you decide to file either of these formation documents with the Secretary of State by mail, you’ll be required to pay an additional $15 fee.

However, if you choose to use an LLC formation service, the total cost will be a little higher as it will include a small service fee in addition to the state filing fees outlined above.

The typical cost of these LLC formation services can range significantly, but normally start from as low as $29, increasing if you decide to purchase any additional offerings.

Note: For more details on the formation process you can check out our South Dakota LLC Formation guide.

South Dakota Registered Agent ($0+)

As part of the process of filling out your South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization or Application for Certificate of Authority, you’ll be required to appoint a registered agent.

This needs to be a South Dakota resident or a business entity that’s authorized to conduct business in the state. Your registered agent will be responsible for accepting legal documents and service of process on behalf of your LLC.

While you can act as your own registered agent at no cost, it’s often recommended to hire a professional service so you avoid any potential penalties or legal issues caused by non-compliance with state regulations.

A registered agent service can also help you keep your personal information (e.g., home address, etc.) private.

While the exact South Dakota registered agent fee you’ll be required to pay will depend on the provider you choose, this is generally around $130 per year.

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Alternatively, you can find some of the top recommendations for professional RA services in our Best Registered Agent Services of 2024 article.

Naming Your South Dakota LLC ($0-$35)

When forming your South Dakota LLC, you’ll be required to pick a suitable name that’s available to use.

While registering a name in itself has no cost, there are two potential costs to be aware of when naming your LLC.

Reserving Name

Once you’ve settled on a name for your LLC, it’s a good idea to safeguard it for future use if you don’t plan on forming your business at the moment. You can do this by submitting an Application for Reservation of Name to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office and paying a $25 filing fee.

Once you’ve filed this form, your desired name will be kept safe for a period of 120 days. After this time, you’ll need to decide whether to renew this reservation (and repay the $25 filing fee) or proceed to create your LLC.

It’s worth mentioning that, after this name reservation expires, you’ll have to wait 60 days before you can resubmit a reservation for the same name.

Note: To confirm the name you’re looking for is available for you to adopt, we recommend performing Business Name Availability Search on the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website.

When choosing a name for your LLC, it’s important to select one that corresponds to an available domain. This is because a matching domain ensures consistency between your LLC’s name and its online presence, which helps to strengthen its brand recognition and credibility.

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Doing Business As (DBA) Name

If you want to operate your South Dakota business under a name other than the one it’s currently legally registered as, you’ll need to obtain a Doing Business As (DBA) name.

In order to register a new DBA name for your LLC, you must submit an online request through the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Business Services Online portal and pay a $10 filing fee.

DBAs in South Dakota last five years before they expire, though you’ll need to renew before this expiration date to avoid having to file a new DBA registration.

Note: You’ll be able to file a renewal for your South Dakota LLC’s DBA name within 90 days of the date it’s set to expire.

South Dakota LLC Operating Agreement ($0+)

While not mandatory, it’s good practice for South Dakota LLCs to have an operating agreement (or “company agreement” as it’s known in South Dakota).

This document defines the roles and responsibilities of the members or managers in your LLC and will help prevent and solve any business disputes that may arise later on.

While you can opt to hire an online service or business attorney to draft this document for you (which typically costs at least a few hundred dollars), it’s actually quite straightforward to do it yourself at no extra cost.

It’s also important to note that this doesn’t actually need to be filed with the South Dakota Secretary of State — it’s purely an internal document.

Additional South Dakota LLC Formation Costs

On top of the more common fees outlined above, there are a number of potential additional formation costs that LLCs in South Dakota may encounter depending on their circumstances.

We’ve summarized some of these additional costs below:

Expedited South Dakota LLC Filing

In South Dakota, the Secretary of State typically processes LLC filings within three to five business days of receipt if submitted by mail, or immediately if submitted online.

If you would like your documents to be processed quicker than this, you can pay an additional $50 fee for expedited filing.

In this case, the Secretary of State promises to complete it “sooner than a normal course of business request”.

Local Business Licenses

In order to comply with the local-level regulations of your city and county, your business may be required to obtain some local business licenses. While very few municipalities impose a general licensing requirement for businesses operating within their limits, your LLC might need a specific business license if it’s involved in certain activities.

For example, any business planning to sell goods or services from a temporary stand in the City of Brookings must obtain a Transient Merchant License that costs $200 per month.

On the other hand, if your business wants to lay pipe in the City of Watertown, it will need to obtain a license worth $250 per year.

Note: The South Dakota Association of County Officials website provides an interactive map with the relevant contact details for all counties within the state.

Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing is a document often required in order to open a business bank account and protect your personal assets; it can also be requested by lenders in order to check that your LLC is properly registered and legally authorized to conduct business with the state. 

You can request this certificate, which is also referred to as a Certificate of Existence, from the South Dakota Secretary of State through the Business Services Online system by paying a $20 filing fee.

It’s worth mentioning that you’ll also need to have your LLC’s Business ID on hand in order to be able to request a Certificate of Good Standing.

Note: If you don’t know your LLC’s Business ID, you can use the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Business Information Search tool to find it.

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Cost to Maintain an LLC in South Dakota

In addition to the cost of forming an LLC in South Dakota, there are also several ongoing costs you’ll be responsible for paying each year.

We’ve outlined these recurring costs associated with maintaining a South Dakota LLC below.

Annual Report

In order to remain in good standing, your South Dakota LLC will be required to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State along with a $50 filing fee.

While you’re able to submit this Annual Report electronically or by mail, it’s recommended to do so online as filing by mail incurs an extra $15 paper processing fee.

You must file this report by the first day of the anniversary month of the date your LLC was initially formed within South Dakota. For example, if your business was officially registered on March 19, 2024, you’d be required to file an Annual Report by March 1st each year.

Note: If you miss the deadline for your LLC’s Annual Report, your LLC will be labeled “delinquent” until it submits the report and pays an additional $50 late fee.

Registered Agent Maintenance

If you decide to take advantage of a professional registered agent in order to handle your legal documents, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee in return for their services. This fee commonly ranges between $35 and $300 depending on the provider and features you select.

While you’re not required to use a professional registered agent service, it’s highly recommended for most small LLC owners.


In addition to your LLC’s federal tax obligations, there are a variety of state-specific South Dakota business taxes you need to be aware of, including:

  • Sales tax
  • Employment taxes
  • Business privilege taxes
  • Property taxes

Additionally, there are various local taxes your LLC may need to pay depending on the municipality or county it’s based in, such as:

  • Sales and use taxes
  • Property tax

Note: You’ll need to check with the South Dakota Department of Revenue as well as the relevant authorities in your local municipality for more detailed information on your tax obligations.

South Dakota vs Other States

While its initial startup fee of only $50 may give you the impression that South Dakota is a cheap state in which to start your business, its ongoing startup fee of the same price makes it relatively expensive compared to popular alternatives.

For example, it would work out being cheaper in the long run to form your LLC in Texas even despite its large initial startup fee of $300 due to its lack of ongoing costs.

Ultimately, however, the best state to form your LLC will be one in which you plan to primarily operate your business from.

This makes it far easier to stay legally compliant on a number of levels, including taxation, licensing, and filing requirements, as you’ll only need to deal with one state’s set of rules.

LLC Cost in South Dakota FAQ

How long does it take to form an LLC in South Dakota?

Forming an LLC in South Dakota is a relatively quick process compared to other states. Once you submit your Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State’s Office, they are typically approved immediately if submitted online, or within three to five business days if submitted by mail. You can find out more about the formation process in our How to Start an LLC in South Dakota guide.

What is the cheapest state to start an LLC in?

States like Wyoming and New Mexico are often considered relatively inexpensive for LLC formation due to their low filing fees and minimal ongoing requirements. However, it’s essential to consider other factors such as taxes and regulatory environment when choosing where to form your LLC. For more information, see our article on How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC.

Do I need a registered agent for my LLC in South Dakota?

Yes, South Dakota law requires all LLCs to have a registered agent. This is an individual or entity designated to receive legal documents and official correspondence on behalf of the LLC. Your LLC’s registered agent must have a physical address in South Dakota and be available during regular business hours to accept legal notices and other important documents.

What is the most expensive state to form an LLC?

States like California and New York are often cited as having higher LLC formation costs due to their relatively high filing fees, ongoing maintenance expenses, and more stringent regulatory requirements regarding business insurance and taxation. To see how this compares to your total LLC cost, South Dakota business owners can take a look at our How Much Does an LLC Cost in South Dakota guide.

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