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South Dakota entrepreneurs need to pick a registered agent when they set up a business in the state. All states require a registered agent to be on file with the state.

What’s a registered agent? A registered agent is a person or company that accepts official documents on behalf of your company. These documents are often sensitive in nature and could include things like tax notices or papers served during a lawsuit.

Selecting a registered agent is part of setting up a South Dakota LLC. Part of the LLC formation paperwork requires the company owner to list the name and address of the registered agent.

To help understand who can serve as a registered agent and how to select the best agent for your company, this guide will provide useful information. Since selecting a registered agent is closely tied to setting up an LLC in South Dakota, we’ll walk entrepreneurs through the whole process of establishing a company in the state.

What is a South Dakota registered agent?

A South Dakota registered agent is a person or company that receives official business documents for a company. Usually, a registered agent is the company owner or another employee, but a professional registered agent company can also be hired to fill the role.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

How does an owner select a registered agent in South Dakota?

A registered agent is selected by registering the person’s name and address with the South Dakota Secretary of State.

Who can be a registered agent in South Dakota? 

In South Dakota, a registered agent can be any adult or company in the state with a physical street address. The person or people at the company must be available during regular business hours to accept documents.

Can I be my own registered agent in South Dakota?

Yes. The owner of a company can serve as a registered agent. However, the owner may select a different person, like another employee, to serve as the company’s registered agent too. In some cases, the owner hires a registered agent service as opposed to selecting a company employee.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

An owner may decide to pay for a registered agent service. A service will accept documents for the company and notify the owner when they arrive. Many of the services have same-day document scans, mail forwarding, and online portals that notify the owner when something has arrived. To understand the benefits of using a registered agent service, here’s a look at some of the perks:

  • Convenience. A registered agent service is easy to find and easy to set up. Once in place, an owner doesn’t have to worry about being “on call” to accept documents.
  • Peace of mind. Even if an owner selects a trusted employee to serve as the company’s registered agent, something can go wrong. An employee could be absent or misplace documents, for example. For peace of mind, some owners opt for a registered agent service.
  • Privacy. Some owners prefer that sensitive papers be delivered offsite. Having important tax notices or lawsuit documents being served at the office isn’t ideal. For privacy’s sake, a registered agent service is ideal.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a registered agent service cost in South Dakota?

The cost of a registered agent service can vary. For basic services, where a company receives documents, notifies the owner, and forwards the mail, expect to pay about $50 a year. For more advanced features, like assistance filing additional reports with the state, for example, the cost can go up to $200+ a year.

List of South Dakota registered agent services 

There are many qualified registered agent services in the state of South Dakota. To give entrepreneurs an idea of what’s available, here are three options:

  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but it’s grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company also offers worry-free compliance to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.
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South Dakota registered agent FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in South Dakota?

Yes. The State of South Dakota requires all LLCs to list a registered agent on its LLC formation paperwork and keep the contact updated through the secretary of state’s office.

Can a company change its registered agent?

Yes. Any company can change its registered agent by filing a change form with the state. A change form may be needed if the employee holding the role of registered agent leaves the company, for example, or if the owner wants to hire a registered agent service instead of serving as the company’s registered agent.

No matter what the reason, the form can be found and filed on the secretary of state’s website. Expect to pay $25 to file the change form.

What’s a statutory agent?

A statutory agent is the same as a registered agent. Different states use different titles. Resident agent or service of process agents are also titles used.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

At some point, an owner may be asked if the company has a commercial registered agent or a non-commercial registered agent. If the company has hired a registered agent service, the company has a commercial agent. If a person, like the owner, is the company’s registered agent, the company has a non-commercial registered agent.

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