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Starting a Business in South Dakota

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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    Doing Business In South Dakota

    South Dakota Business Facts

    The economy of South Dakota is based mainly on agricultural production, but tourism, forestry, and mining have increased in importance. The state has also benefited from the presence of federal installations—notably from facilities built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along the Missouri basin, from national parks and monuments, and from the air force base at Rapid City.

    Small business and Startup environment

    South Dakota has 72,949 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. 

    Of those 72,949 small businesses in South Dakota, 22,958 have employees. The remaining 49,991 are South Dakota small businesses that have no employees.

    South Dakota has a business-friendly environment that encourages a secure economy, room to innovate and a reliable workforce – all from the geographic center of North America.

    South Dakota also boasts one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation, which is good for business owners both in terms of their own tax rate and the disposable income of the community at large.

    Major companies:

    South Dakota is home to large companies such as: Highmark, Sanford Health, The Good Samaritan Society, Rapid City Regional Hospital, Black Hills, Daktronics, First PREMIER Bank, State of South Dakota, University of South Dakota, Great Western Bank

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    STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN SOUTH DAKOTA

    Business Structure

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    Business Name

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    Business Registration

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    EIN Tax Number

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    Bank Account

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    Licenses & Permits

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    Branding & Marketing

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    Resources

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    Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

    The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

    The most common business structures are:

    Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

    Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

    1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
    2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
    3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
    4. Search and purchase a domain name.
    5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
    6. Conduct a trademark search.

    Step 3: Register Your Business

    Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

    Department of corporations 

    https://sosenterprise.sd.gov/businessservices/

    SBA Office 

    http://www.sba.gov/offices/district/sd/sioux-falls

    Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

    With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

    Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

    Get Inspired by these South Dakota Startups

    Step 5: Open A Bank Account

    – Open a business bank account:

    • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
    • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

    – Get a business credit card:

    • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
    • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

    Step 6: Licenses & Permits

    Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

    Here are some links for South Dakota Businesses:

    Selling products? Check South Dakota Resale Permit

    Business Licensing for the State of South Dakota

    Step 7: Branding & Marketing

    Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

    Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

    Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

    In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

    Join Local Networks

    South Dakota Small Business Development Centers  

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