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.

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 legal name of the business.   

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

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

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 then he will need to register. 

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity 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 having to form another entity.

South Dakota DBA Registration Form

Registration is available online only – https://sosenterprise.sd.gov/businessservices/fictitious/fictitioushome.aspx

How much does it cost to register?

The cost to file a DBA in South Dakota is $10.  This filing is good for 5 years and is renewable.

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

Step 1 – Fill out the Form
Information requested on the form includes:

  • Name being registered – There are no restrictions on multiple businesses using the same name, but when filling out the form, you can see if there are other businesses using the same name…..
  • Principal business address
  • Name and address of the owners

Step 2 – Submit the FormSub
mit the filing fee and form to the Secretary of State.

Name Restrictions

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

Protecting your business name

Registering a DBA won’t stop anyone else from registering the exact same name in South Dakota.  If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark.

Learn more about trademarks.  

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