South Dakota is a great state to set up your business. It’s one of the best business environments in the US. If you plan on setting up a business in the State of South Dakota, one of the foremost requirements of the state government is having a registered agent.
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent can be a business or an individual appointed to receive legal documents for your company. These legal documents include tax notices, subpoenas, lawsuits, and others.
All companies doing business in the state of South Dakota must have a registered agent to ensure tracking of all legal mail sent within the state. To become a registered agent in the state of South Dakota, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be able to receive mail during business hours at an office
- Be present to receive the legal mail intended for the business you represent
- Have a physical address within South Dakota. Note that making use of a P.O Box is not allowed.
Registered Agent in South Dakota, who can work as one?
A person must meet certain requirements before he/she can work as a registered agent in South Dakota. These requirements are made by the Secretary of the State of South Dakota.
- A registered agent can be an employee of the company or third parties such as lawyers and registered agent service companies that is a resident or an organization that is located in South Dakota and has a valid street address in South Dakota. Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) cannot be their registered agents. However, if you are a resident and of legal age (more than 18) in South Dakota, you are allowed to register as your business’s registered agent in a case whereby you have a start-up business or you are a small business entrepreneur.
- If you are a business owner based outside South Dakota, you must first have the authorization to do business.
Changing your Registered Agent in South Dakota
If you have decided to shift to another agency or entity to represent your company in South Dakota, maybe because your previous registered agent moved out of the state, no longer wants the responsibility, or he left your company for another. Changing registered agents is easy, all you need to do is to follow the following steps:
- Go to the Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent or Both section on the South Dakota State Online Services webpage. You can choose to either complete the process and submit it online, or you can download the form and print it on paper for you to complete.
- The document you’ll fill has step-by-step instructions on how to complete the form.
The form must be correctly filled, note that you’ll have to pay a fee of 10 dollars for online filing for the document to be processed. However, if you choose to file on paper, you’ll need to pay a fee of 15 dollars. The payment can be made through your Credit Card (if you’re submitting the documents online) or through a check that is made payable to the “South Dakota Secretary of State”. The document and the check will then be mailed to the address:
Secretary of State Office
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501.
You have to know that you cannot change your registered agent in the State of South Dakota by just making changes to your annual reports or your Articles of Organization. You can only follow the process explained above.
You’ll most likely need to visit the Secretary of State Business Services homepage to know about the processing updates.
Should I Get a Professional Registered Agent Service Company?
Getting a professional registered agent company can reduce a lot of effort and time for any business owner. There are numerous benefits to it whether you are an established company or a small business owner. Some of these benefits are:
- Making use of their address instead of your home address, especially if you don’t have an office yet. This detail will be included in public records.
- Registered Agent processes paperwork for you
- Notify you immediately if you receive any new legal mail
- Notify you of mandatory filing of South Dakota annual reports
- Help you to avoid penalties for delayed filings
- Assist you with forms and instructions needed to set up your business
- If you operate a small business out of state, they fill in as your local contact in the state.
Several agencies offer registered agent services in South Dakota. However, you have to be careful in finding a trustworthy agent to handle your business.
Advantages of Using a South Dakota Business Address vs. Personal Address
- A business address minimizes exposure of your home address as public information
- Some city municipalities may not allow using home addresses as business offices
- Using your personal address can probably link you to business liabilities
- Using a business address can help you separate business and personal transactions
Having a registered agent is your gateway to setting up a business in the state of South Dakota. Doing it yourself is possible, but it can eat up a lot of your time, money, and energy. It is better to get a registered agent service and use the resources to build your business instead. Let them help you do business hassle-free in South Dakota.