South Dakota Registered Agent
South Dakota LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent. Your South Dakota registered agent will be responsible for receiving legal documents like service of process.
Most business owners choose to hire a third-party service (rather than act as their own registered agent) because a service will:
- Protect your privacy
- Reduce risk
- Collect important legal documents securely, online
We’ll help you choose the best registered agent for your business.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC formation ($29 plus state fees).
Choosing a Registered Agent in South Dakota
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A South Dakota registered agent serves as your business’s primary point of contact with the state, as well as with anyone who might wish to service it with a lawsuit (i.e., deliver service of process).
Appointing a South Dakota registered agent is a legal requirement for LLCs and corporations. This can be a registered agent service, yourself, or another individual, so long as they:
- Are at least 18 years old.
- Have a physical address in South Dakota
- Are always available during normal business hours at their specified address
Registered Agent Services
- Convenience: Hiring a third-party service will allow you to be away from your South Dakota registered office during regular business hours.
- Privacy: Since your registered agent’s address and name will become publicly available, hiring a third-party service can be an affordable way (i.e., around $10 per month) of protecting your privacy.
- Legal Compliance and Storage: Most third-party services will scan all received documents and upload them online in PDF form. This will ensure that you do not lose any important documents in the long term.
- Annual Reports: Some third-party services additionally handle your annual report with the Secretary of State, meaning that you will not have to.
Let’s Find the Right Registered Agent for Your Business
We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can.
As of 2024, anyone can be a South Dakota registered agent so long as they’re at least 18 years old, have a physical street address in the state of South Dakota, and are available for contact during regular business hours.
Having said that, this approach is generally avoided by most small business hours due to the fact that it’s relatively time-inefficient. It also offers less privacy and day-to-day flexibility than a third-party service.
Acting as your own agent is generally only recommended for the small business owners that are operating on an exceptionally strict budget. This is because a premium third-party service can be as affordable as $10 per month.
Note: If you are planning to form a new LLC, it will make sense to hire an LLC formation service that includes a free year of registered agent services. These types of services charge as little as $29 per formation (excluding state fees).
If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in South Dakota guide.
Best South Dakota Registered Agent Service
If you're in South Dakota and either looking to form a new LLC or switch your existing registered agent, it's crucial to consider factors like cost, range of services, reputation, and customer support.
Many people seek registered agents offering features like mail forwarding, document scanning, and compliance monitoring.
To help you make an informed choice, we've compiled a table comparing the top 5 South Dakota registered agent services below.
Best Registered Agent Services
BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
TRUSTED AND WELL-KNOWN COMPANY
Whether you're starting a new business or considering a change, it's crucial to weigh factors like pricing, services, reputation, and customer support when choosing a registered agent in South Dakota. Compare quotes and read online reviews to find the best fit for your needs.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
Many businesses choose to use a third-party service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Legal compliance: A third-party service will ensure that you don’t miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error).
- Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the South Dakota Business Information Search. Using a third-party service will help keep your information private.
- Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees.
- Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about losing an important document.
A commercial registered agent service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in.
How to Elect a Registered Agent in South Dakota
This is the formation document that you will need to file with the South Dakota Secretary of State — in conjunction with a $150 filing fee — in order to officially form your LLC.
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can form your LLC online on the South Dakota Secretary of State website ($150 filing fee required). Your registered agent’s name and contact information will be requested when you file your LLC’s Articles of Organization online.
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail
To form your LLC by mail, download the Articles of Organization form ($165 filing fee required), fill out the required fields, and submit a physical copy to the South Dakota Secretary of State. You’ll be asked to provide your registered agent under Article III.
How to Change Your Registered Agent in South Dakota
In order to change your registered agent in South Dakota, you will need to file a Statement of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent or Both with the Secretary of State.
The filing fee for this is $25.
This can be done online, by mail, or in person:
Mail or In Person:
Secretary of State Office
500 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Check out our full guide on how to change registered agents in South Dakota.
South Dakota Registered Agent FAQs
Yes, you can, although this isn’t generally recommended.
This is because being your own agent is a relatively inefficient and time-consuming approach, and there are several inexpensive alternatives (e.g., $10 per month for a third-party service, etc.).
We recommend having a look at our South Dakota Registered Agent article for more information.
This will depend on how your business will be registered.
If you plan to operate as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, then you will not be required to appoint a registered agent.
On the other hand, both LLCs and corporations will need to elect an agent in order to be formed in South Dakota.
A noncommercial registered agent is an agent that you will not need to pay for. This can be yourself, a partner, or another individual (i.e., a friend that will not charge you, etc.).
Generally speaking, most commercial South Dakota registered agents are third-party services.
See our What is a Registered Agent Service article for more information.
You can change your registered agent in South Dakota by submitting a Statement of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent or Both.
This can be filed online or via mail and includes a $25 filing fee.
For more information, see our How Do I Change My Registered Agent in South Dakota article.
There are several pros of using a third-party service, including improved flexibility, privacy, and time efficiency.
The con of hiring a service — instead of acting as your own agent — is that it’s not as affordable (i.e., around $10 per month instead of $0).
See our How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost review for more information.