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Cost to Form an LLC in South Dakota: SD LLC Cost Guide

cost to form an llc in South Dakota
(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

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Embarking on the journey of forming an LLC in South Dakota unveils a landscape where costs extend beyond the mere filing of initial paperwork. However, rather than being an endeavor of exorbitant expenses, this process can be surprisingly affordable and financially prudent. 

In the following exploration, we not only delve into the various expenses entailed in establishing an LLC in South Dakota but also equip you with valuable insights into strategic cost-saving solutions. 

Our comprehensive guide is tailored to illuminate pathways for savvy entrepreneurs, steering them towards resourceful LLC services like ZenBusiness, ensuring that the voyage of LLC formation remains economically efficient without compromising on quality.

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What Is the Cost of Forming an LLC in South Dakota?

Starting an LLC in South Dakota primarily incurs a cost of $150, which covers the online filing fee for your LLC’s Articles of Organization through the South Dakota Secretary of State.

Here’s the LLC Cost Guide for all US States:

South Dakota Foreign LLC Formation Costs

Should you possess an existing LLC registered in a different state and aim to extend your business operations into South Dakota, it becomes essential to enroll your LLC as a foreign entity within the state.

The fee for the registration of a foreign LLC in South Dakota amounts to $750 if done online or $765 if conducted through mail. The process of registering a foreign LLC in South Dakota involves submitting an Application for a Certificate of Authority via online means.

Annual Cost for LLCs in South Dakota

When contemplating the establishment of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in South Dakota, it’s crucial to comprehend the continuous expenses linked to upholding your LLC’s adherence to regulations and its legal standing. This awareness enables adept budgeting for your LLC and guarantees its fiscal well-being. 

The main continuing charges for a South Dakota LLC encompass the following: firstly, the submission of an annual report, with a filing fee of $50 for online submissions and $65 for mail submissions; secondly, the renewal fee of $10 every five years for a DBA name registration; and finally, the registered agent fee, wherein assuming this responsibility personally incurs no cost, but employing a third-party service typically ranges from $100 to $300. 

Reflecting upon these ongoing expenditures is imperative when formulating your LLC’s financial plan in South Dakota, allowing for judicious decision-making and the sustained financial prosperity of your LLC.

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How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in South Dakota With the Best LLC Service? 

ZenBusiness LLC Formation Cost

The initial cost for establishing an LLC in South Dakota amounts to $150, with potential variations based on specific requirements. Regarding processing times, the standard duration is set at 2 – 3 weeks. Alternatively, there are options for expediting the process: a 4 – 6 day acceleration at an additional fee of $50 or a rush processing of 1 – 2 days for $100.

ZenBusiness presents three pricing alternatives for their business formation services: Starter, Pro, and Premium.

  • Starter package: This serves as an ideal choice for fundamental business formation requirements and comes at a cost of $0, exclusive of state fees.
  • Pro package: This encompasses supplementary attributes such as expedited filing and registered agent service and is priced at $199 plus state fees.
  • Premium package: This stands as the most comprehensive option, encompassing all features within the Pro package in addition to unlimited Worry-Free Compliance, a service designed to aid businesses in adhering to both state and federal regulations. The Premium package is available at an LLC cost of $349 plus state fees.

As a bonus, ZenBusiness extends a complimentary year of Worry-Free Compliance with the purchase of any of the aforementioned plans.

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Additional Costs When Starting an LLC in South Dakota3

South Dakota LLC Name Costs

Selecting a name for your Limited Liability Company (LLC) comes at no expense. Your chosen name for your South Dakota LLC is sanctioned (without additional charges) upon approval of your Articles of Organization submission by the state.

You might have come across information online suggesting that LLC Name Reservations are obligatory. However, this assertion is mostly inaccurate for the majority of states. The majority of states do not mandate a Name Reservation as a prerequisite for LLC formation.

To reserve your desired name for a span of up to 120 days before establishing the LLC, you can do so by submitting an Application for Reservation of Name and remitting the $25 filing fee.

In the event that the name of a foreign LLC is unavailable within the state, the LLC can establish a new name by submitting an Application for Registration of Name and covering the $25 filing fee.

South Dakota Registered Agent Costs

The South Dakota registered agent Fee (ranging from $0 to $125 per year) is a requirement in accordance with South Dakota regulations during the process of establishing your LLC.

A South Dakota registered agent, whether an individual or a company, is responsible for accepting legal documents and official communications on behalf of your LLC. A valid street address within the state is essential for the registered agent, who should ideally be available during regular business hours.

Should you choose to serve as your own registered agent or designate someone you know for this role, no additional charges apply.

Nevertheless, you have the alternative of enlisting the services of a registered agent service, incurring costs ranging from $100 to $300 per year. Such service providers also offer supplementary beneficial business services and can safeguard your confidentiality.

Opting for a registered agent service is advisable when:

  • You lack an address within the state (as South Dakota law mandates registered agents to possess a physical address within the state)
  • You aim to maintain the privacy of your address from the public record (depending on the chosen company, you might be able to utilize their address for privacy purposes)

South Dakota Operating Agreement Costs

There’s no cost associated with the LLC Operating Agreement in South Dakota, which is a written contract outlining the specifics of LLC ownership, management procedures, and profit distribution among its Members. 

Both Single-Member and Multi-Member LLCs should create an Operating Agreement, retain it in their business records, and provide each Member with a copy. Many online platforms typically charge $50 to $200 for LLC Operating Agreements.

South Dakota EIN Cost

Obtaining an EIN Number for your LLC, also referred to as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), comes with no associated fee. 

An EIN is crucial for income tax filing, opening an LLC bank account, and employing staff if needed. While numerous websites might impose a service charge for acquiring an EIN for your LLC, it’s worth noting that the process can be completed for free. 

You can secure an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) without any cost, and the online application can be finalized within a matter of minutes.

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South Dakota LLC Taxes

The annual expenses for various South Dakota LLC taxes vary significantly due to the multitude of tax types that owners are required to cover. Some of these taxes include:

Federal Income Taxes

When it comes to federal income taxes, the IRS provides different treatment options for your LLC. Depending on the ownership structure, an LLC can be categorized as a Single-Member LLC or a Multi-Member LLC.

Single-Member LLC Taxes (Default Status)

For Single-Member LLCs, the IRS treats them as Disregarded Entities for tax purposes. Essentially, the IRS doesn’t require the LLC to file a separate federal income tax return. Instead, the owner of the Single-Member LLC includes the LLC’s income on their personal tax return and pays the associated federal income taxes.

Multi-Member LLC Taxes (Default Status)

In the case of Multi-Member LLCs (those with two or more owners), the IRS treats them as Partnerships for tax purposes. These LLCs need to file a Partnership Return (Form 1065) and issue Schedule K-1 to each owner. The reported income on these K-1 forms is then allocated to each owner, who pays their share of income taxes on their individual tax return.

Husband and Wife LLC Taxes

Certain states allow a husband and wife LLC to choose between Single-Member LLC status (Qualified Joint Venture) and Multi-Member LLC status. However, this option is limited to community property states. Notably, this option isn’t available in South Dakota due to its non-community property state status.

Electing Corporate Taxation for Your LLC

Apart from the default statuses mentioned earlier, an LLC has the option to be taxed as a Corporation, providing potential tax advantages. This election should be made after consulting with an accountant. There are two types of corporate elections: S-Corporation and C-Corporation.

  • LLC Taxed as an S-Corporation (Elective Status): An LLC can choose to be taxed as an S-Corporation by submitting Form 2553 to the IRS. This status can be beneficial for established businesses with consistent profits, helping them save on self-employment taxes.
  • LLC Taxed as a C-Corporation (Elective Status): By filing Form 8832 with the IRS, an LLC can opt for C-Corporation taxation. This status can be advantageous for larger employers seeking to save on healthcare fringe benefits, although it’s less commonly chosen.

South Dakota State Income Tax

South Dakota is unique in that it doesn’t impose state-level income taxes. However, certain industries and business types might still be subject to other South Dakota business taxes. Consulting an accountant for tax preparation is recommended.

Local Income Tax for South Dakota LLCs

Local municipalities may require you or your LLC to file and pay income taxes. Engaging an accountant to handle these local income taxes is advisable, and you can also reach out to your municipality for specific requirements.

South Dakota Sales Tax

If your business sells products to South Dakota consumers, you may need to collect sales tax and obtain a Seller’s Permit. This permit authorizes the collection of sales tax on retail sales and is available through the South Dakota Department of Revenue.

South Dakota LLC Payroll Taxes

For LLCs in South Dakota with employees, payroll taxes must be submitted. This encompasses various taxes and filings such as federal and state income tax withholding, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and unemployment taxes. 

Establishing payroll, managing these deductions, and submitting the necessary taxes often involve complex calculations, prompting many to seek assistance from payroll companies or accountants.

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South Dakota LLC Cost FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Open an LLC in South Dakota?

Establishing a South Dakota LLC entails a one-time $150 fee for filing the LLC Articles of Organization. Depending on your LLC’s industry and location, you might also need to acquire a business license, the costs of which can vary. Additionally, the nature of your LLC’s operations might necessitate obtaining business insurance, like business liability coverage.

How Much Does an LLC in South Dakota Cost Per Year?

Every South Dakota LLC is obligated to remit a $50 annual fee for the Annual Report, payable to the Secretary of State, in order to maintain the LLC’s active status; this constitutes the sole mandatory annual fee for South Dakota LLCs. In the case of employing a registered agent service, an annual subscription fee, typically around $125, will apply. 

Depending on the industry and geographical location of your LLC, you might be required to obtain a business license, and associated annual renewal fees for the business permit should be verified with your local municipality.

Should I Hire an LLC Formation Service?

Hiring a professional service firm (commonly known as LLC formation services) for establishing your South Dakota LLC isn’t obligatory; you have the option to independently complete the formation procedure while only covering the state filing fees without incurring additional service charges. Nevertheless, if you prefer efficiency and accuracy in the filing process, we suggest considering ZenBusiness

With exceptional customer support, they provide complimentary registered agent services for the first year, alongside other offerings like assistance with an Operating Agreement and Annual Report filing.


To conclude, the process of establishing an LLC in South Dakota involves more than just the upfront fee. It entails navigating through various financial aspects, including documentation acquisition, registered agent services, operational agreements, and obtaining an EIN. Skillful financial management within these realms is of utmost importance, and this is where the proficiency of LLC service providers such as ZenBusiness comes into play.

By comprehending the intricacies of these diverse expenses and leveraging the expertise of ZenBusiness, prospective entrepreneurs can initiate their South Dakota LLC journey with assurance. 

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About the author

Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. O'Neill guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.