South Dakota Filing Fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in South Dakota?

Starting a business in South Dakota means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.


Both experienced and prospective South Dakota business owners are probably already aware of the fees involved in running a business. These include both one-time and ongoing South Dakota filing fees. Creating statutory structures, like limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations often require you to pay South Dakota formation fees. Other business types, like sole proprietorships or other common law business structures, don’t require paying formation fees. However, as a sole proprietor, you find you’ll need permit after permit and will need to pay the fees to go with it. 

Whichever path you choose, starting or maintaining a business in South Dakota means paying a variety of government filing fees. To help South Dakota business owners like you, we’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect. If you need to form your company, use our LLC formation or corporation formation service.

Step 1: Pay your South Dakota business’s initial filing fees

To form a new statutory entity, South Dakota filing fees vary by business type. Typically, you’ll pay a one-time initial filing fee to form your business. The South Dakota Secretary of State maintains a list of filing fees and required documents. Some documents that require an initial filing fee include:

  • Forming an LLC 
  • Forming a corporation
  • Registering a general partnership 
  • Registering foreign corporations and LLCs

Once you’ve decided on your business idea, you’ll want to register your business as soon as possible. The average filling time for normal processing of your South Dakota formation documents is three weeks. Expedited filing costs extra, but typically your business can be formed within one business day. 

Make sure to check with the Secretary of State before filing your documents as there are additional costs for filing by mail instead of filing online. And if you want to register quickly but don’t know where to start, we can help! We can get your South Dakota business registered fast with our Expedited Filing Service. 

Step 2: Reserve your South Dakota business’s name 

Most states allow you to reserve a name for your statutory business for a set period of time for a fee. The Secretary of State allows you to reserve a business name for up to 120 days for a small South Dakota business filing fee. We can also do this for you using our easy Business Name Reservation Service.

We’ll check the availability of a name for you and help you reserve it so you can keep your focus on your work.

Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in South Dakota

A “doing business as” (DBA) name is used when a company operates under a name that’s not your legal name or the business’s registered name. South Dakota charges a small fee for obtaining your DBA name, and you can file online through the Secretary of State’s office. You’ll also need to renew your DBA every five years. Take advantage of our DBA Service for hassle-free reservation.

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is like a social security number for your business. Just like your personal social security number, the EIN lets your business identify itself to open bank accounts and perform certain commercial transactions. An EIN is issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can obtain an EIN free online from the IRS. However, we have an EIN Service that can do it for you so you can avoid the hassle of dealing with the IRS. 

Step 5: Draft an Operating Agreement, Corporate Bylaws, or Partnership Agreement for your South Dakota business

An Operating Agreement is one of the foundational documents of your business. Your South Dakota  business isn’t required to file an Operating Agreement with the state. However, things like Operating Agreements, Corporate Bylaws, and other agreements form the bedrock of a well-run business. Using a template like our online LLC Operating Agreement template to draft an Operating Agreement that you customize to your business’s needs is a great way to rest easy at night. 

Step 6: Apply for your South Dakota business’s necessary licenses and permits

As a South Dakota business owner, you’ll find yourself paying license and permit fees throughout the life of your business. South Dakota doesn’t require a general business license. However you might need to obtain a variety of different federal, state, and local licenses for your business, all of which may require paying ongoing fees. Figuring out which licenses and permits you need from whom and when is one of the most challenging parts of being a business owner. Our Business License Report Service can help you find what licensing you need. 

Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses

While a “foreign” business sounds exotic, it just means that the business was formed outside of South Dakota. It may only be from as far away as North Dakota. When a foreign business wants to do business in South Dakota, typically they need to register their business in the state, including filing the correct forms and paying the correct South Dakota filing fees.

When a South Dakota business wants to expand into new states, you’ll need to get a Certificate of Good Standing to do so. This is called both a Certificate of Good Standing and a Certificate of Existence in South Dakota. It lets people know that your business has complied with legal, financial, and regulatory requirements. Our Certificate of Good Standing Service can help you get one easily.

Step 8: Check South Dakota’s annual report requirements and fees

South Dakota businesses need to file an annual report each year with the Secretary of State. Managing the information and keeping up with filing deadlines can be difficult, especially when you’re a new business owner. Our Annual Report Service can help South Dakota business owners keep track of their reporting obligations. 

Step 9: Keep your South Dakota business legally compliant

Changing your South Dakota business information may mean you need to file paperwork with the state. Changes that may require amendments can include:

  • Changing registered agent
  • Making material changes to your ownership structure
  • Changing certain material facts in your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation
  • Changing the business name
  • Making certain other changes to public information

Making changes like these typically require paying South Dakota filing fees. The fee amounts vary depending on the business type and filing speed selected. We offer an Amendment Service and our Worry-Free Compliance Service to help you stay on top of your amendment and compliance obligations. Our Worry-Free Compliance Service includes two amendments every year (you pay the filing fees and we do the work). 

Let us help keep your South Dakota Business on track

Owning your own South Dakota business should be a dream come true, not a paperwork nightmare. We want to help you stay focused on your business. Our business formation and compliance services can make staying on top of your obligations easy. Our goal is to help keep you on track to stay compliant and grow your company.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.


  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in South Dakota?

    It depends. Some agencies will charge you late fees, and others may penalize you in other ways. In other cases, your licenses, permits, and registrations will simply lapse.

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the South Dakota government?

    If you’re unable to pay your fees, the government may stop recognizing your business as a legal South Dakota business. You may be subject to late fees, penalties, and losing your licenses and permits.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my South Dakota business?

    The Secretary of State receives your South Dakota formation fees.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my South Dakota business?

    Fees will vary depending upon your business entity type and the type of work that you do.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the South Dakota government?

    You can pay by credit card or check. Make sure to check with the agency you’re filing with, however, most South Dakota agencies prefer credit cards.

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