South Dakota LLC Name Search

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

South Dakota LLC Name Search

One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your South Dakota LLC.

Checking the LLC name availability in South Dakota is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other South Dakota businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.

Our South Dakota LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in South Dakota, and how to reserve and register your business name.

Interested in forming an LLC? We recommend using an LLC formation service in order to ensure that you do not accidentally file your business name incorrectly and have your application denied.

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How to Search for a South Dakota LLC Name

Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in South Dakota.

Step 1: Follow the South Dakota LLC Naming Guidelines

When starting an LLC in South Dakota, you’ll first want to ensure that the name you’ve chosen complies with the requirements of South Dakota’s LLC naming guidelines, which may include:

  • The name you choose for your South Dakota LLC must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of the abbreviations that represent this phrase: “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  • Your South Dakota LLC name cannot include any words that could confuse your LLC with any government agency such as the FBI, State Department, Treasury, etc.
  • You also may not use any restricted words (e.g., “Bank,” “University,” “Attorney,” which may require any additional paperwork or even a licensed individual, like a lawyer or doctor, to be part of your LLC.

Selecting a name is just one of the several requirements when forming an LLC. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.

Have a Professional Handle your Filing

More than 72% our readers form their LLC using a professional filing service. Our recommended service provider is:

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Step 2: Look Up South Dakota LLC Name Search Availability

The next step is to conduct a South Dakota LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in South Dakota. 

  • LLC Name Search: Search the South Dakota Name Availability Search to check if your chosen business name is available. You may also try typing your business or trademark on any search engine to check businesses with similar names. This will also ensure your trademark is unique, meets the state’s requirements, and frees you from any legal hassles in the future.
  • Domain Name Search: If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name. Having a URL that matches your business name is important since this is how your potential and existing clients can find your business.

To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.

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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.

Step 3: Reserve Your South Dakota LLC Name

South Dakota’s Secretary of State Division of Corporations handles all questions related to LLC naming. You can reserve a business name for 120 days. It’s important to note that if you still need to form your business entity with the reserved name and your reservation expires, you will not be able to reserve the name again until 60 days after it has originally expired.

In order to reserve a business name, you must file an application by mail as South Dakota currently does not have an online option for name reservations. You will need to pay a $25 filing fee and checks must be made out to the “Secretary of State.”

Using a South Dakota DBA for Your LLC

In South Dakota you can use a “doing business as” (DBA) name to conduct business activities. A DBA is also sometimes referred to as a fictitious business name, trade name, or assumed name. To register a DBA in South Dakota, you must register your DBA name with the South Dakota Secretary of State.

LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.

Step 4: Register a South Dakota LLC Trade or Service Mark

If you need to first determine whether another business or person has already “marked” your name, you can carry out a name search on the South Dakota Secretary of State site.

After you have verified the availability of your LLC name and secured it, you can choose to apply for a trade or service mark for your business.

Registering your LLC business “mark” with the South Dakota Secretary of State not only distinguishes the services or goods your business provides, but also ensures that no entity or person can use your marks. This includes brand names, slogans, and logos, and applies statewide.

The filing fee for a new trademark registration, a renewal or an assignment is $125. Your application must be fully completed and include the required filing fee, or the application will be returned to you. A trade or service mark registration is valid for four years and can be renewed up to sjx months prior to the expiration date.

Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in South Dakota, check out the steps on how to form a South Dakota LLC.

South Dakota Secretary of State Contact Information

Mailing Address

Business & Commercial Section
South Dakota Secretary of State
215 E. Prospect Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501

Physical Address

Business & Commercial Section
South Dakota Secretary of State
215 E. Prospect Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 

Phone: (605) 773-4845

South Dakota LLC Name Search FAQ

Why do I need to do a South Dakota LLC name search?

When forming a South Dakota LLC, you will be required to choose a name. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the South Dakota Secretary of State. 
To search for available LLC names, you can use the South Dakota Name Search tool on the Secretary of State website.

How do I check if an LLC name is taken in South Dakota?

You can use the South Dakota  Name Availability Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the South Dakota Secretary of State – Business & Commercial Division via phone at (605) 773-4845 or email at for assistance on how to perform a South Dakota LLC name search.

Can I renew a South Dakota LLC name reservation?

Yes. You can renew a name reservation by filing a new application after the 60-day period has passed since the expiration of your last name reservation. You can apply by mail.

Is the South Dakota Secretary of State LLC name search tool free to use?

Yes. You can use the South Dakota Name Availability tool to find a name for your LLC. Simply enter the desired name for your LLC. If the name is available, you can then file to reserve it for 120 days.

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