Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you. You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in South Dakota. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
No, you aren’t. In some states, name reservation is a mandatory first step to forming your LLC, but not in South Dakota. If you would rather skip this step and file your Articles of Organization right away, you’re welcome to do so.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your South Dakota LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $25 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a South Dakota business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Long Does a South Dakota Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of South Dakota can reserve an entity name.
Filing your name registration prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the state of South Dakota lasts 120 days from the filing date and gives you sole ownership of that name. However, when your 120-day window closes, if you haven’t formed your LLC yet, your name is released back to the public and anyone can use it. The state will allow you to re-reserve it, but only after waiting 60 days. To avoid the risk of losing your name, it’s wise to file your Articles of Organization within the 120-day reservation period.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in South Dakota?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability. The South Dakota Secretary of State website has a specific name availability search function where you can input your name to see if someone’s already using it. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of South Dakota (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.
When you’re ready to submit your name reservation request, download the “Application for Reservation of Name,” which you can find on the Limited Liability Companies forms page. Fill out the required information and then submit your form and $25 fee (a check made out to “Secretary of State”) to:
Secretary of State Office
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
If you happen to live near Pierre, you can include this in your daily errands by dropping it off in person at the same address.
That’s all there is to it! A hold will be placed on your name soon. The S.O.S. Business Services homepage contains a regularly-updated notification of which filings they’re currently processing if you want to keep an eye on the progress.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in South Dakota to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $25 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $150 South Dakota Articles of Organization fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $25 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate. Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state of South Dakota.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into IncFile or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.
We compiled our meticulous research into thorough comparison guides for you to use. Take a look if you’re considering a professional LLC service. It’s well worth your time.