South Dakota Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Last updated: March 18th, 2024
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If you’re a prospective business owner looking to view the availability of a preferred entity name, then you’ll need to conduct a business entity search.

The search tool on the Secretary of State’s online database contains multiple search options to execute the entire process quickly and easily. Some of the options available include searching by business name and business ID.

Additionally, the business summary page allows you to view additional information on any entity, such as annual reports filed, stock information, and registered or service of process agent’s details.

The following step-by-step guide will show you how to perform a South Dakota business entity search.

South Dakota search tips

Make use of the following guidelines when conducting your South Dakota business entity search:

  • The search is not case-sensitive, so feel free to use both upper and lowercase letters while searching entities.
  • Punctuation marks and special characters also do not affect the search results, so if a business name contains them, feel free to include them in the search.
  • For the broadest results, use just one or two words of the business name, even if the name contains multiple words.

The South Dakota business information search allows you to search by:

  • Name
  • Business ID

Additionally, you also have the option to refine your search by using:

  • Starts with
  • Contains
  • Active entities only

The “Show entries” drop-down box displays between 10 to 500 entries at a time, depending on what you’ve selected.

Business search by name

To begin your business search, refer to the South Dakota Business Entity Search page.

1
Enter the entity name

Enter the name of the business into the applicable search bar.

You may choose to refine your search by selecting either:

  • Starts with
  • Contains
  • Active entities only

Click “Search” or hit Enter on your keyboard.

2
Review the results

If matching entries are available, whether they are exact matches or partial matches, they will be displayed in a table format. Information you’ll have access to includes:

  • Business ID
  • Type
  • Name
  • Name type
  • Filing date
  • Status

3
Review additional business information

To access additional information on any specific entity, simply click on the business ID highlighted in blue. This will take you to the business summary page, where you’ll be able to view business entity details such as status, term of duration, the state formed in, etc.

Business search by business ID number

While on the South Dakota online services search page, you’ll also have the option to search entities via business ID.

1
Enter the business ID number

Start by navigating to the search bar that says “Business ID.” Thereafter, enter the business ID number and click on “Search.”

The Business ID number begins with two letters followed by 6 digits.

2
Review the results

If you entered the correct business ID number, then there should be only one result showing up. Here, you’ll have access to the same information you did when searching entities by name.

3
Review additional business information

To access further details, click on the business ID number as you did in the search by business name option. You’ll then have access to various pieces of information pertaining to the entity.

South Dakota search results

Irrespective of your search criteria or search type used, you will be able to view the following information:

  • Business ID
  • Business type
  • Name
  • Name type
  • Filing date
  • Status
  • Term of duration
  • Formed in
  • Initial filing date
  • Inactive date
  • Filing history

Copies of documents and certificates

There are various reasons and situations when an individual may need to request certified copies of business documents. For example, banks usually require certified copies of Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization to open a business account.

Likewise, some states require certified copies of documents as well as online filings prior to allowing a business to transact as a foreign entity. 

Additionally, companies that plan on expanding their reach abroad need to obtain certified copies of documents so that they can be certified for use, Apostille or Embassy Certification.

The good news is that any company registered with the state of South Dakota may obtain certified copies of official formation documents from the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division

Certified copies may include copies of business filings and are usually issued with a stamp, endorsement, or certificate. The most commonly requested certified documents include:

  • Articles of formation and amendment
  • Certificate of Authority
  • Mergers
  • Withdrawals and Dissolution
  • Annual reports and other annual filings
  • DBA registration of fictitious name registration

To access and obtain certified copies of business documents, use the following information:

The South Dakota Secretary of State is the only government department that can issue South Dakota-certified copies. Anyone may request copies by using the details below.

South Dakota Secretary of State

Physical address:
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-5070

Phone: 605-773-4845
Fax: 605-773-4550

When requesting a Certificate of Existence or Certificate of Good Standing, you need to follow the instructions below:

  • Enter the business ID of the company. If you don’t know the business ID, then simply use the search tool to find it.
  • Check that the correct company has come up on the search results.
  • Certificates of Good Standing may only be filed electronically, and payment must be made by Mastercard, Visa, or American Express debit or credit cards, and Discover.

Anyone is entitled to request a Certificate of Good Standing except for general partnerships, registered names, reserved names, and doing business as names [DBA].

Business name availability

Even if your desired name does not come up in the search results, it’s no guarantee that it will be available at the time of filing. Therefore, it’s advisable to make use of the name availability search tool on the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website.

This page allows you to search the business entities database and determine if the name you are considering has already been taken or is available for business registration in the state.

However, you should note even if the name is available at the time of the search; there’s still no guarantee that it will be available at the time of filing and is, of course, subject to further review by the Department of State when processing the formation documents. Therefore it is advisable that if the name is indeed available, you submit the filing as soon as possible.

If, for some reason, you cannot initiate the business registration process immediately, then it is a good idea to reserve the South Dakota business name. You’ll need to submit the Application for Reservation of Name Form to the state’s office. The form needs to contain the following information:

  • Applicant’s name
  • Business’s principal office address
  • The name you want to be reserved
  • Signature of the authorized person
  • Confirmation of how the reserved name is to be used
  • Date of reservation filing

After completing the form, you may have it mailed to the following address:

Secretary of State Office
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501

Name reservation will cost you $25 in South Dakota.

South Dakota company names are reserved for a period of 120 days. If you need extra time, you can file a new application once the previous one has expired. Each time you reserve your name, you’ll need to submit the paperwork again and pay the $25 filing fee. There is no option to reserve the name online in the state.

Additionally, it’s equally important to consider the state’s naming rules when deciding on a name for your company.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Your company name must contain the words company, corporation, limited, Inc., or at least an abbreviation of any of these times.
  • The name must be significantly different from any other existing business entity on file with the state. This also applies to reserved names in the state.
  • The name cannot imply that your corporation is organized for any purposes that are not legal or any other purpose not outlined in the company’s Articles of Incorporation.

For complete naming rules and guidelines, refer to the South Dakota Legislature website.

Domain name availability

After deciding on the ideal name for your company, you should also look into domain name availability. This is because domain names are becoming increasingly important in the age of the Internet. Therefore, you’ll need to come up with a catchy domain name or URL that people will remember.

When it comes to considering or deciding on domain names, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Try to make the name as different or distinguishable from other domain names as possible.
  • Try to ensure that the name is easy to pronounce as well.
  • Try not to make the name too long and complicated, as a shorter and simpler one is better.
  • Do not use numbers; hyphens were even doubled letters in the name as it will make it complicated and hard to remember.
  • Try doing a trademark search in the state of South Dakota or on the USPTO website to ensure that another business entity does not trademark the name.
  • The most common extensions include .com and .org. While these extensions are quite common, they are also the most popular ones, and therefore it’s highly recommended that you use them if possible.

If you’re still at a loss for unique domain names or you’re finding it hard to decide on one, make use of a professional service called Namechk.com.

This professional site helps to filter domain names and provides suggestions in the event that your desired domain name is already taken. Namechk.com checks your domain name against hundreds of different platforms, including 100 social media networks.

Fictitious business name search

When it comes to organization names, there may come a point in time when you want to conduct business under a different name from your legal entity name business entity name. In this case, you’ll need to register a fictitious name in the state.

Fictitious names go by trade, assumed, DBA, or “doing business as” names. However, once registered with the state, it will allow you to transact legally under these names. When considering fictitious names, it’s recommended that you choose names that are short and easy to remember.

Once you’ve come up with a name that is indeed available for business registration, you can go ahead and file it online with the Secretary of State.

When filing the DBA Registration Form, you’ll need to include some necessary information such as the business’s Secretary of State ID as well as the names and addresses of the business owners (no PO boxes).

Once you have completed these details, go ahead and file it online with the South Dakota SOS and include a $10 filing fee.

FAQs

Do limited liability Partnerships and limited liability companies share any similarities?

Partnerships, as well as limited liability companies, have a few things in common. One of them is that the structures have similar income distribution and tax reporting formats. Additionally, when compared to nonprofit organizations or other types of corporations, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships are much easier to form and operate.

What is the purpose of a registered agent?

A registered agent is responsible for accepting additional paperwork, legal documentation, and correspondence from the state on the company’s behalf. They are often referred to as statutory or service of process agents and serve a crucial role in the business.

Do for-profit corporations and nonprofits have anything in common?

While there are many differences between corporations and nonprofit organizations, they also have some similarities. For instance, they both generate income that is then cycled back into the organization or company to continue running the specific operations and support their causes.

How do I register a Fictitious name in South Dakota?

In order to be able to operate under a fictitious name in the state of South Dakota, you’ll need to register it with the state’s office. You can do so by completing the DBA registration online on the South Dakota’s Secretary of State’s Business Services Division. There’s also an applicable $10 filing fee.

What is the Uniform Commercial Code?

The Uniform Commercial Code, also known as the UCC, is a comprehensive set of laws that dictate how commercial transactions based in the US should be carried out. It is a uniformly adopted state law; however, it’s not federal law. However, it certainly does play an essential role in regulating interstate transactions of a business.

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