Filing the Articles of Organization is Simple!
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
You can download and mail in your South Dakota Articles of Organization, OR you can file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.
Option 1: Access the South Dakota Secretary of State’s online services. Select “Start a New Business,” then choose “(Domestic) Limited Liability Company” from the dropdown.
- OR -
Option 2: Download the Articles of Organization PDF from the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website. This form will need to be mailed to the Secretary of State.
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization
In this step, we will help you complete the South Dakota Articles of Organization form.
You will need to know the following information to complete the form:
- Entity Name
- Business Purpose
- Designated Office
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Organizers’ Names and Addresses
- Governing Authority Type
- Owner Liability
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- meets South Dakota naming guidelines.
- is not already in use by another business in South Dakota.
Follow the South Dakota Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company” or one of their abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., LC, or L.C.). “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and “company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- In some states, certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual to be part of your LLC.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes South Dakota reserved names.
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in South Dakota? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the South Dakota Secretary of State website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in South Dakota guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
In South Dakota, it is optional for an LLC to state its business purpose on its Articles of Organization.
Keep in mind that a business purpose that involves licensing, tax-exemption, or tax-deductible status requires specific language from the IRS or a professional license.
Designated Office Address
You must include the address of the LLC’s designated office where it conducts business.
Registered Agent and Registered Office
A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC's behalf. When you register your South Dakota LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office.
Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in South Dakota. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours. Your registered office address cannot be a P.O. box alone.
To learn more about choosing a South Dakota registered agent, read our How to Choose a South Dakota Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
You must list the names and addresses of all the organizers of the LLC. They also all must sign the Articles of Organization.
If your LLC’s duration isn’t perpetual, meaning it has a planned dissolution date, you must list that dissolution date here.
When filing the Articles of Organization you will need to decide if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Before you file, read our Management by Members or Managers article to determine the best structure for your LLC.
If any members of the LLC will be liable for any of the company’s debts or obligations, list those here.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State.
There are two ways to file your Articles of Organization:
- Complete the form online.
- Submit a hard copy by mail.
Option 1: Access the South Dakota Secretary of State’s online services. Select “Start a New Business,” then choose “(Domestic) Limited Liability Company” from the dropdown. Fill in the required fields and submit.
- OR -
Option 2: Download and mail in the Articles of Organization to the South Dakota Secretary of State.
State Filing Cost: $150 online, $165 for paper filing
Secretary of State Office
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
Turnaround Time: On average, new paper filings are processed within 3-5 business days. Online filings are processed immediately.
Steps After Your South Dakota LLC Is Officially Formed
Once you’ve filed your Articles of Organization, you should take the following steps:
Create an Operating Agreement
A South Dakota LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.
In South Dakota, you aren't required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC's private business records; you do not file it with the state.
Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with South Dakota's Business website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Brand Your Business
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.