South Dakota Business Entity Search

Selecting the right name is an essential first step for your South Dakota LLC, requiring you to ensure the name’s availability. This process is vital to avoid infringing on existing business names and intellectual property rights within the state.

Our South Dakota LLC name search guide offers essential tips on checking LLC name availability in South Dakota, reservation, and registration, helping you secure a unique and compliant business identity efficiently.

To perform a business name search in the state of South Dakota, you can follow the steps below:

SD Secretary of State LLC Name Search

  1. Visit the South Dakota Secretary of State website: Go to the official website of the South Dakota Secretary of State. The website provides a variety of services, including business name search.
  2. Access the Business Services section: Look for the “Business Services” or “Business Division” section on the website. This section typically contains information and resources related to business filings and searches.
  3. Navigate to the Business Search page: Within the Business Services section, find the option for conducting a business name search. It may be labeled as “Business Name Search” or “Entity Search.” Search the¬†South Dakota¬†Name Availability Search¬†to check if your chosen business name is available.
  4. Enter the business name: On the business name search page, you will typically find a search box where you can input the name you want to search. Enter the desired business name or keywords related to the name you are looking for.
  5. Perform the search: Click on the “Search” button or similar option to initiate the search. The system will then retrieve any matching results based on the provided name or keywords.
  6. Review the search results: Once the search is complete, you will be presented with a list of businesses that match the name or keywords you entered. The search results may include information such as the entity name, entity type, status, and registered agent.
  7. Obtain additional details: Click on the name of the specific business from the search results to access more detailed information about the entity. This information may include the business’s address, registration number, filing history, and other relevant data.

It’s important to note that while this process provides information about registered business entities in South Dakota, it may not cover all types of businesses, such as sole proprietorships or partnerships that are not required to register with the state.

Additionally, conducting a business name search does not guarantee that the chosen name is available for use, as further steps, such as trademark searches, may be necessary for full legal clearance.


South Dakota Secretary of State

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.

Email: corpinfo@state.sd.us

Phone: (605) 773-4845


Additional Steps for South Dakota Business Entity Search

1. Trademark Search

When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.

To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.

3. Check if the Domain Name is Available

To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
  2. In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
  3. Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
  4. If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.

It’s a good idea to check the availability of multiple domain name options as your first choice may already be taken.

Additionally, if you are considering registering a domain name for your business, make sure to also check for any existing trademarks that may conflict with your chosen domain name.

4. Check if Social Media Name is Available

To check if a social media name is available for a new business, you can follow these steps:

  1. Start by choosing a social media platform where you would like to create an account for your business. Some of the popular options include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
  2. Once you have selected the platform, go to the sign-up page and try to create an account using your desired social media name.
  3. If the name is already taken, the platform will display an error message indicating that the name is not available. In this case, you may need to consider alternative names for your social media account.
  4. If the name is available, the platform will allow you to create an account using that name.
  5. It’s important to note that just because a social media name is available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s free to use. You should still do your due diligence to ensure that the name is not already a registered trademark or being used by another business in your industry.

5. Register South DakotaBusiness Entity

When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of South Dakota will either approve your business name or reject it.

If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness, or Incfile, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search. I recommend using any of these 3 services to assist you with forming a new business. They can save you time and provide you with guidance through the formation process.

6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.

Here’s how you can get an EIN:

  1. Determine if you need an EIN: You’ll need an EIN if you have employees, operate your business as a corporation or partnership, file employment tax returns, have a Keogh plan, or are required to file any of the following tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
  2. Apply for an EIN: You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, by mail, or by phone. The quickest and easiest way is to apply online through the IRS website.
  3. Provide the necessary information: When applying for an EIN, you’ll need to provide your legal name, trade name (if applicable), business address, and the type of legal structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC).
  4. Wait for your EIN: If you apply online, you can receive your EIN immediately after completing the application. If you apply by fax or mail, it can take up to four weeks to receive your EIN.

Note that there is no fee to apply for an EIN. Once you receive your EIN, be sure to keep it safe and use it on all tax documents and forms.

7. Create a Brand Logo

Creating a business logo involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.
  2. Determine the design style: Decide on the design style you want for your logo. Do you want it to be modern or classic, minimalistic or intricate, colorful or monochromatic? Consider your brand personality and target audience when making this decision.
  3. Choose the colors: Pick a color palette that reflects your brand personality and complements your design style. Colors have psychological meanings and can affect how people perceive your brand.
  4. Brainstorm ideas: Brainstorm several logo design concepts based on your brand personality, values, and mission. You can use online resources for inspiration or hire a professional logo designer to create a custom logo for you.
  5. Sketch your ideas: Once you have some logo design concepts, sketch them out on paper to visualize how they might look. This can help you narrow down your options and refine your ideas.
  6. Design the logo: Use a graphic design software program like Adobe Illustrator or Canva to create your logo design. Make sure it is scalable and can be used across different mediums.
  7. Get feedback: Share your logo design with colleagues, friends, or family to get feedback. This can help you refine your design further.
  8. Finalize the logo: Once you have incorporated feedback, finalize your logo design. Be sure to use high-quality images and files for your logo.
  9. Protect your logo: If you want to protect your logo, consider trademarking it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This will prevent others from using a similar logo and protect your brand’s identity.

8. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more. Here are some steps to guide you in writing a business plan and links to resources that can help you:

  1. Executive summary: This section provides a summary of your business plan, highlighting key information about your business, target market, products or services, and financial projections. It should be brief but comprehensive.
  2. Company description: This section describes your company’s mission, vision, values, and legal structure. It also includes information about the management team, business location, and history.
  3. Market analysis: This section provides a detailed analysis of your industry, target market, competition, and customer demographics. It also includes information about market trends and growth projections.
  4. Marketing and sales strategies: This section outlines your marketing and sales strategies, including branding, advertising, pricing, and distribution channels.
  5. Products and services: This section describes your products or services, their features and benefits, and how they will meet the needs of your target market.
  6. Financial projections: This section provides a detailed financial forecast for your business, including projected revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. It also includes a break-even analysis and funding requirements.

Here are some links to resources that can help you in writing a business plan:

  1. Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan, including templates and sample plans.
  2. SCORE: SCORE provides free business plan templates and guides, as well as mentoring and counseling services.
  3. Bplans: Bplans offers a wide variety of business plan templates, tools, and resources, including sample plans for different industries.
  4. LivePlan: LivePlan is a cloud-based software that provides business planning tools and templates, financial forecasting, and collaboration features.
  5. Canva: Canva offers a range of customizable business plan templates and design tools to help you create a professional-looking plan.

9. Open a Business Bank Account in South Dakota

A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.

Having a separate bank account for your LLC will help you keep track of your business’s income and expenses, which will be useful for tax purposes, accounting, and financial management. It will also make it easier to accept payments from customers and pay bills, suppliers, and employees.

To open a bank account for your LLC, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

  1. Certificate of Formation: This is a legal document that shows that your LLC has been registered with the state.
  2. Operating Agreement: This document outlines the rules and procedures for running your LLC and is required by some banks.
  3. EIN (Employer Identification Number) Confirmation Letter: This is a letter from the IRS confirming your LLC’s tax identification number.
  4. Identification documents: You will need to provide personal identification documents, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID, and proof of address, such as a utility bill.

Note that the specific requirements for opening a bank account for an LLC may vary depending on the bank and state where you are located. It’s best to contact the bank you plan to use to inquire about their specific requirements.


South Dakota LLC Name Search FAQs

Here are three frequently asked questions and their answers related to forming an LLC in the state of South Dakota:

  1. What are the steps to form an LLC in South Dakota?

To form an LLC in South Dakota, you need to follow these steps:

  • Choose a name for your LLC that is unique and not already in use.
  • Appoint a registered agent who will receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State and pay the filing fee.
  • Create an operating agreement that outlines how your LLC will be run.
  • Obtain any necessary licenses and permits to operate your business in South Dakota.
  • Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS for tax purposes.
  1. How much does it cost to form an LLC in South Dakota?

The filing fee for Articles of Organization in South Dakota is $95. However, if you file online, the fee is reduced to $85. Additionally, if you choose to use a registered agent service, there may be additional fees.

It’s also worth noting that there may be other costs associated with forming and operating an LLC, such as obtaining licenses or hiring an attorney to help with the process.

  1. What are the advantages of forming an LLC in South Dakota?

There are several advantages to forming an LLC in South Dakota, including:

  • Limited liability protection: LLC owners are generally not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business.
  • Flexible taxation: LLCs can choose to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, or C corporation, depending on their needs.
  • Simplified management structure: LLCs do not have the same formal management requirements as corporations, which can make them easier to operate.
  • Professional credibility: Forming an LLC can help establish your business as a professional entity and may make it easier to obtain financing or enter into contracts with other businesses.
author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email:   info@llcradar.com Phone: 972-776-4050

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  Information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to offer legal advice specific to your business needs. If you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Rankings and reviews are the personal opinions of the authors and/or editors. For questions, while starting a business, we recommend consulting with an attorney or accountant.  

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