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How To File A South Dakota DBA

How To File A South Dakota DBA

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How To File A South Dakota DBA

In South Dakota, a business operating under a fictitious name will need to register a DBA.  Learn more about what a DBA is, who needs one, and how to register.

Related: How to start a business in South Dakota

What is a DBA?

A DBA, also known as “Doing Business As,” Trade Name, Assumed Name, or Fictitious Name, is a name used by a business that is different from the business’s legal name.

When a business wants to operate under a name other than its legal name, the state of South Dakota, like most states, requires the business to register its South Dakota business name.  The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.

What is a DBA good for?

A fictitious name filing is required for all businesses using a name that is different from the legal name of the owners or business. One of the primary uses is to provide information on the people operating a business, in the event of an issue like the business taking a customer’s money without doing the work.  In addition to the legal requirement, a DBA offers other benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a business bank account under a business name, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.

Who needs to register?

The requirements and need to register an Assumed Business Name are organized under South Dakota Statutes SD Code § 37-11-1 and vary depending on the type of business entity.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA.

The legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering.  For example, if John Smith starts a business repairing computers operating under John Smith, he doesn’t need to register.  If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair, he will need to register.

Related: How to start a sole proprietorship in South Dakota

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a legal business name is created during the formation process.  Some will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without forming another entity.

Related: How to form a South Dakota LLC

How much is a DBA in South Dakota?

There is a $10 filing fee to file a South Dakota DBA.  This filing is good for 5 years and is renewable.

What are the steps to file a DBA in South Dakota?

It’s pretty easy to get a DBA in South Dakota. To start, visit the South Dakota’s Secretary of State’s website to fill out the DBA application.

  • Information requested on the form includes:
  • Assumed business name being registered
  • Principal address of the business
  • Name and address of the owners

Fill out the fields and submit with payment.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Swyft Filings, MyCompanyWorks, and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

How long does it take to process the South Dakota DBA application?

It normally takes 3-5 business days for the South Dakota Secretary of State to process a DBA application.

Can someone steal my business name after registering?

Registering a DBA in South Dakota will not stop anyone from using the same name of your DBA.

If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a federal trademark through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Learn more about trademarking a business name.

Does South Dakota require a business license?

It is sometimes thought that a DBA and business license is the same, but they are not.

There isn’t a state-issued business license, however, many cities require one. In addition, there are other registrations that a business may need to have in order to legally operate.

Learn more about what licenses and permits are needed in South Dakota

Are there any restricted words for a South Dakota DBA?

DBAs can’t be registered using words that are related to banking.

Additionally, a DBA can’t be registered using an entity designator such as LLC or corporation, unless the business is that type of entity.

Does a DBA need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number (sometimes called a tax ID number) is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.

Related: How to register for an EIN in South Dakota


  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

How To File A South Dakota DBA

How To File A South Dakota DBA

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