It’s critical that you choose the best LLC service to form your South Dakota LLC.
The right LLC service will get your South Dakota business established and operating within a matter of days because it’ll file your articles of organization and apply for the proper business licenses with the right government agencies.
The wrong LLC service can delay your business launch by days, even months, because it didn’t file the right paperwork or apply for a business license with the right agency, all of which could hinder business operations indefinitely.
So that you make the best possible choice when it comes to picking an LLC formation service, I wrote detailed reviews and rated the top 10 LLC services in South Dakota using a four-stage investigation and five-factor rating process. Here are the findings of my South Dakota LLC formation services analysis:
1. Northwest Registered Agent: 9.45/10 (Best Overall LLC Service)
The reason Northwest Registered Agent took my #1 spot is that it covers all the services that South Dakota LLCs need, it has an extraordinary price, and it’s the only formation service in South Dakota to offer small business advice.
There are a lot of reasons to fall in love with Northwest Registered Agent.
It provides all the services you need to establish your South Dakota LLC in accordance with South Dakota law.
Northwest will file the articles of organization for your business entity, provide South Dakota registered agent services free for the first year, give you compliance alerts to remind you about important filing dates for things like your annual report, and offer an intuitive online document storage portal.
It also provides a lot of quality of life improvements for business entities, such as a free accounting consultation to make sure your payment processing system is properly set up, a 90-day trial of its VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service, and an operating agreement template for your LLC in South Dakota.
You can choose a number of add-on features at checkout while you’re completing the sign-up process, including state-certified copies of your formation documents, a Certificate of Good standing, and an employer identification number (EIN).
Northwest Registered Agent’s real stand-out feature is its Corporate Guides.
The Corporate Guides go above and beyond because they’re the typical customer service team that can barely answer your questions, give you filing updates, and help you change your password. Instead, they’re a US-based team of experts made up of former lawyers, accountants, small business owners, and entrepreneurs that not only answer questions about navigating the LLC formation process, but also about managing your small business in South Dakota.
Each team member has gained first-hand experience by forming and growing their own LLCs and by helping countless other business owners through the formation process.
This sort of small business advice typically costs up to $5,000 a day if you get it from a consulting firm, which makes this quite a boon for any South Dakota business owner.
The last reason Northwest sits at the top of my list is its low price.
Its standard rate is $225, which is a great price when you consider that it offers small business advice. But I’ve managed to negotiate a special discount with Northwest for BoostSuite readers (Because I can send them thousands of referrals, I have more leverage than the average customer). If you use my special referral link to sign up with Northwest Registered Agent, you’ll get an 82% discount, which makes the total cost of setting up your South Dakota LLC a mere $39 plus state filing fees.
Like I said, Northwest’s standard $225 rate is great considering all the services and features you get for that price, but when an incredible 82% discount dropped the fee to only $39, naming it the best LLC service in South Dakota was a no-brainer.
The only drawback to using Northwest Registered Agent’s services is that it doesn’t provide any features to establish your South Dakota business’s online presence. Some LLC services include things like business domain name registration, web hosting, Google advertising credits, and even website-building tools. But all these features are noticeably absent among Northwest Registered Agent’s service offerings.
But the good news is that Google offers $500 in advertising credits to every new business, Squarespace and other premium website builders are usually less than $15 a month, and business domain registration is typically less than $12.
Northwest Registered Agent offers all the services that a new South Dakota LLC needs, and it has an incredible customer service team made up of former accountants, lawyers, and entrepreneurs, all of whom have the needed experience to guide you through the formation process and give you advice about the obstacles your South Dakota business will certainly face in the future.
If you want the best LLC formation service, one that will go out of its way to provide you with excellent services and an outstanding customer service team, and you’d like to take advantage of an incredible 82% discount, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent today.
2. ZenBusiness: 8.25/10 (Best Essentials LLC Service)
The $0 price of ZenBusiness is the cheapest on the market, but the absence of free registered agent service and small business advice will cost you in the long run.
For $0 (plus state fees) ZenBusiness offers all of the basics needed to establish an LLC. In addition to ensuring that your business name is available, it will also make sure that your information is correct and submit your articles of organization for you.
Upgrade to ZenBusiness’ $199 Pro plan for expedited filing (four to six days, depending on your location), and help create the operating agreement for your company. And if you settle on the $299 Premium plan you’ll get an email address and domain name, a custom website-building tool, and rush filing in as little as one to two days.
In addition to everything else, its US-based in-house support team is quite available, with long shifts throughout the week, as well as Sundays.
For the essentials, ZenBusiness’s $0 price is a fantastic deal but if you want anything more it will end up costing more in the long term.
ZenBusiness does not include a free year of registered agent service in any of its LLC formation packages and instead charges $199 per year when you join up. This means you pay the entire amount from the start.
Furthermore, while the customer support staff is quick and helpful with things like changing your login information or updating your payment information, they can’t assist you with HR or logistics woes or address your tax concerns.
For the basics necessary to set up an LLC, ZenBusiness is great. It has a US-based support staff that’s accessible during extended hours to assist with any concerns while they ensure that your forms have been properly filled out and filed with the appropriate authorities.
While their registered agent service will cost you more, their 100% accuracy guarantee and worry-free compliance will allow you to rest easy.
If you’re looking for barebones services and want to learn more about ZenBusiness, check out its website.
3. Harbor Compliance: 7.15/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance earned second place on my list because it offers dedicated account managers to help with any questions or problems you may have, but this service comes at a high price.
Harbor Compliance offers all the basics you need to form your LLC in South Dakota.
It ensures your business name is available, files the articles of organization for your business entity, helps you get an EIN, provides you with an operating agreement for your South Dakota LLC, and supplies a free year of South Dakota registered agent services, which is usually $99.
But Harbor Compliance’s best feature is its dedicated account managers.
Rather than calling a customer service hotline and reaching an anonymous representative you’ve never spoken to before, you’re assigned an account manager that knows all about your business, where you are on your journey, and your unique circumstances and obstacles, so they can offer you tips to fit your specific situation rather than simply offering up vague generalizations about business ownership.
Harbor Compliance’s biggest shortcoming is that even though its dedicated account managers are a great feature, it isn’t cheap (or even what I’d consider affordable).
The basic formation package is $399, and Harbor Compliance also has a $799 “compliance” package (that includes reminding you to file your annual report). This makes its fees twice as much as Northwest Registered Agent’s standard rate, and an astounding 10 times more than the special discount from Northwest for BoostSuite readers.
Of course, receiving a personal account manager who is able to guide you through the formation process is a nice perk, but is it really worth spending an additional $110 to access this feature? That’s a matter of personal opinion that only you can answer.
Harbor Compliance didn’t take first place or the title of the best South Dakota LLC service, but it does offer the standard services that every LLC in South Dakota needs, and its dedicated account managers are a unique perk.
It’s true that its $399 price tag is 10 times higher than the special discounted rate I’ve arranged with Northwest Registered Agent for BoostSuite readers, but it’s still one of the best LLC services in South Dakota.
If a dedicated account manager sounds like a good idea to you and you don’t mind paying high prices to get it, then check out Harbor Compliance’s website.
4. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a pretty big name known throughout the business world, but few people are aware of its South Dakota LLC formation services, which are great when you combine them with its other services.
The thing that really sets Rocket Lawyer apart from other LLC services in South Dakota is its online legal services. Most companies in the formation sector specialize solely in formation services, which means they don’t offer legal services, so this addition is a nice bonus for small business owners.
Rocket Lawyer’s $99 basic package includes filing your South Dakota articles of organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State and making sure your business name is available. But that’s not all it offers.
When you sign up for Rocket Lawyer’s formation services, you also get a 30-day trial of its legal services. The legal services include access to its massive catalog of customizable legal documents, a 30-minute legal consultation on any topic you choose, lawyer verification of your documents, and an attorney protection guarantee if any of your documents are ever challenged in court.
If you go with Rocket Lawyer’s LLC formation service then you’re not going to get any of the extra perks that Northwest Registered Agent offers in its $39 basic package. It doesn’t provide South Dakota registered agent services unless you pay $149 (plus filing fee).
So your South Dakota LLC won’t have an individual or business entity to accept service of process or mail on your behalf, or provide you with a business address to use on your formation documents for privacy reasons. You’re also not going to get any of the quality of life benefits that Northwest Registered Agent offers, like an LLC operating agreement template, compliance alerts to remind you to file annual reports, or VoIP service.
If you’ve got a South Dakota LLC that requires ongoing legal services, then Rocket Lawyer is probably a good choice for you. But if you’re looking for a business formation service that provides a bit more quality for the money, then Northwest Registered Agent is a better option for you.
To learn more about Rocket Lawyer’s products and services, you can read more about it in my Rocket Lawyer Review.
5. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings was formed in 2012, which makes it a fairly new addition to the LLC formation service industry.
It charges only $49 (plus filing fee), and it offers a lot for that low price. Swyft Filings will help you file your articles of organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State for your small business in South Dakota, an online account to store your documents, a free year of business domain name registration, and a 30-minute business tax consultation.
But it doesn’t offer free registered agent service, unlike Northwest Registered Agent. Instead, it charges $149 for its South Dakota registered agent services. So you’ll pay way too much for Swyft Filings’ services in the long run.
If you want a more thorough description of Swyft Filings’ services, check out my complete Swyft Filings review.
MyCompanyWorks has a lot of inconsistency when it comes to the quality of its services.
It has a $79 basic package that includes filing your articles of organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State, assisting you with the operating agreement for your LLC in South Dakota, providing you with an online portal to store your documents, and sending you compliance alerts to remind you about annual reports.
But there’s a downside to these services.
While MyCompanyWorks offers a free year of South Dakota registered agent services, it’s only available with the premium package, which is a steep $279. But Northwest Registered Agent charges only $39 for its LLC formation services and offers a year of free South Dakota registered agent services, so I can’t highly recommend MyCompanyWorks.
7. Inc Authority
Inc Authority is a business formation service that seems like a budget option at first, but when you really start looking into its services you’ll see that it’s not even close to a budget service.
Inc Authority doesn’t charge anything, other than state fees, to file your articles of organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State, but if you want any other services or perks for your South Dakota limited liability company you’re going to get hit with a lot of additional fees.
Inc Authority has a basic package that includes an EIN, a South Dakota operating agreement, and a company seal for $399 (plus state fees), as well as a $799 premium package that includes a free year of South Dakota registered agent services.
But even if you’re flat broke and don’t have money to spend on LLC formation services, I feel like ZenBusiness is a better choice than Inc Authority.
8. Incorporate Fast
Incorporate Fast is a business formation service that offers a basic package for $99 (plus state filing fees), and it’s a very aptly named company.
It offers services like filing your articles of organization with the South Dakota Secretary of State for your LLC in South Dakota, a complimentary year of South Dakota registered agent service, help drafting your operating agreement, and a handful of sample documents that can be useful when you’re starting a new business.
But if you’re more interested in choosing a formation service with loads of services and features at a low price, then Northwest Registered Agent is a better choice for you.
BizFilings also charges $99 for its basic package (plus state fees).
Its formation service consists of the filing of your formation documents with the Secretary of State, a year of free South Dakota registered agent service, and compliance notifications to remind you when it’s time to file your annual report.
But beyond these basic services, it doesn’t offer any luxury services, like an operating agreement, business tax assessment, or online document storage, so it’s going to cost too much in the long term.
LegalZoom also has a $99 basic South Dakota LLC formation service package with minimal features. With this package it’ll file your formation documents with the proper government agencies in South Dakota and provide you with a banking resolution so you can open a business bank account for your South Dakota LLC.
You might consider using LegalZoom’s formation services if you’re already using some of its other business services, like its South Dakota registered agent service. But I honestly can’t recommend using LegalZoom just for its South Dakota LLC formation services.
If you’d like to read more about LegalZoom’s services and prices, then click here to read my LegalZoom review.
Other LLC Services
There were seven other South Dakota LLC service providers that I investigated while searching for the best LLC services, but they were so underwhelming that I didn’t think they really deserved full reviews. So here’s a look at those companies, in no particular order.
Incorporate.com is another LLC formation service that offers a $99 formation package with scant services. For that price, the only two services it offers are filing the articles of organization for your LLC in South Dakota and providing an online document storage portal.
You won’t even get South Dakota registered agent service (so you won’t have anyone to receive mail or legal documents for your business or a physical address to use for privacy reasons), so I can’t recommend them highly.
The only two services that CorpNet supplies with its $108 LLC formation package are filing the articles of organization for your LLC in South Dakota and issuing compliance alerts (so you don’t forget to file your annual report). Again, this is another substandard formation service that doesn’t even offer South Dakota registered agent service.
MyCorporation’s LLC formation package costs $133, and for that price it’ll simply file your formation documents and help you draft an operating agreement for your LLC in South Dakota. You’ll be charged an additional fee for every service or feature you need beyond that (like South Dakota registered agent service).
14. Direct Incorporation
Direct Incorporation offers all the same services that MyCorporation does (filing your articles of organization and assistance with an operating agreement), but adds an EIN and a banking resolution (so you can open a business bank account for your company). And it charges an exorbitant $147 for these minimal services.
Like MyCorporation, InCorp will file your company’s articles of organization and help you with the operating agreement for your LLC in South Dakota in its $117 formation package, and every additional service you need beyond that (South Dakota registered agent service, for instance) will cost you additional fees.
16. Nationwide Incorporations
Nationwide Incorporations offers the same services as MyCorporation, which includes filing your formation paperwork and assistance with drafting an operating agreement for your company, but it charges a steep $200 for these services and you won’t even get South Dakota registered agent services for that price.
17. SunDoc Filings
The only service you get with SunDoc Filings’ $79 basic package is filing your articles of organization. It has a $99 Key package in which it’ll help you draft your operating agreement, and a $279 Premier package in which it’ll assist you in obtaining an EIN for your company.
None of its packages include South Dakota registered agent service, or any of the other wonderful services that Northwest Registered Agent offers, so it’s outshined by the other, more superior LLC services on this list.
The Best LLC Service in Utah Review Summary
Out of the 17 best LLC services in South Dakota, I recommend Northwest Registered Agent as the one that will meet the needs of most business entities.
With its $39 basic package you’ll get all the basic services you need to form your LLC, and the business advice from its Corporate Guides usually cost more than $5,000 a day from business consulting firms.
If you’re ready to start your business now and want the support of seasoned business professionals to guide you through all the obstacles you’ll encounter along your business journey, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent now.
Best LLC Service Review Methodology
Here’s how I chose the best LLC services in South Dakota.
Why You Should Trust Me
You can trust me to provide quality LLC formation service recommendations because
I’ve got more knowledge and experience with the LLC formation industry than nearly anyone else on the planet.
My experience started when I was forced to use three different LLC formation services to start my three South Dakota LLCs. Yeah, I really did have to use three because two of them didn’t cover all my needs. (I’m not going to call them out here because they’ve significantly improved their services since then and I feel that if I name them you’ll base your opinions of them on outdated information.)
The third LLC service I used (which was the one I used to build this website) exceeded all the expectations I had for LLC services and provided me with a lot more in terms of service than I actually paid for. And that’s why Northwest Registered Agent earned the #1 spot on my list.
But my experience goes beyond the three LLC services I used for my businesses. I’ve got a lot of expertise in helping other people find the right LLC formation services for their businesses as well. Since starting BoostSuite, I’ve helped more than 1,000 people find the right LLC services for their companies, and it required me to conduct extensive research into the LLC service industry.
How I Selected the Best LLC Service
I used a four-stage investigative process to choose the best LLC formation service.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first stage was going through the online reviews for each company on major online review platforms. Many of the most reputable LLC services encourage their customers to log on and leave reviews for them. This has led to some of these services accumulating more than 4,500 online reviews.
Reading these reviews allowed me to start forming a general picture of each company and weed out the LLC services that didn’t live up to industry standards.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After eliminating underperforming companies during the first stage, the next stage was to visit each company’s website. I read headlines and titles and tried to get a generalized idea about the companies using the statements and claims they made on their websites.
This gave me a better understanding of the products and features that each LLC service offered, as well as how the companies view their services when compared to other businesses in the industry.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
After reading up on each company, the next stage was to find out if it lives up to the claims it makes on their websites. You can find some of this information through online reviews, but most customers will only leave online reviews if they’ve had an unbelievably spectacular or a devastatingly horrendous experience with a company, which means that online reviews can often be in direct opposition of each other, which makes it difficult to get a good idea of what it’s like to work with a company.
So I reached out to real customers who could have a one-on-one conversation with me and tell me about their first hand experiences with these companies. I talked to friends who had used formation services, people I’d referred to formation services, and visitors to my website to find out about both the good and bad aspects of working with each company.
These interviews with customers helped to ensure that I got the full picture of what it’s like to work with the companies on my list from the customer’s perspective. Learning what it’s like to work with each company furthered my investigation and prepared me for the next stage.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Teams
The last step of my investigation was to call up sales and customer service teams and press them for answers.
I gathered up all the negative reviews and customer feedback I’d received during the course of my investigation and asked them point-blank questions about them.
This stage really revealed a lot about the LLC services I investigated and let me know how they handled negative feedback and responded to criticism.
After my four-stage investigation process, I used five different factors to rate the companies on my list.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first rating factor I evaluated each company according to was its service offerings.
Some of the LLC services I learned about would merely file your articles of organization and then kick you to the curb unless you paid them more money to get additional services (like South Dakota registered agent service.) Then there are other South Dakota LLC formation services that will not only file your formation paperwork, but will also provide you with consultations with an accounting team to set up your payment processing system, South Dakota registered agent service, an operating agreement template, online document storage, and compliance alerts so that you won’t forget to file your annual report.
Factor 2: Price
The second factor I looked at when rating each formation service was price. Some LLC services charge $0 for their services, while others won’t consider doing business with you for less than $399.
When I combined this factor with the wide disparity in the services offered by various LLC services in South Dakota, the cost per service became the second rating factor I used.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
My third rating factor was how easy it is to sign up for LLC service.
There are some formation services that will supply you with forms that are already filled out and all you have to do is sign them. Then there are other services that only offer standard blank forms and require you to enter the same information in multiple sections of the list, regardless of the fact that they already have all the information the forms ask for on file.
No one wants to deal with a company that wastes their time, especially during the formation process. Forming an LLC is stressful enough! That’s why I rated each company on how easy it was to complete their sign-up process.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Unfortunately, it’s not likely that design and function issues encountered during the sign-up process end there. They’re often carried over throughout the entire onboarding process.
Some companies have glitchy, old servers and systems that remind you of a website designed by a high school coding class in the mid-90s. Then there are other LLC services that spend millions of dollars and countless hours to provide customers with a sleek, easy-to-navigate system. They focus on the customer experience rather than saving money by cutting corners on their systems.
Of course, it’s preferable to choose an easy-to-navigate system, rather than an ancient system full of technical issues. So I rated each service according to how user-friendly its system was.
Factor 5: Customer Service
Customer service was the last rating factor I looked at. This was another aspect where I saw a major difference in the quality provided by each company.
Some LLC services set up their customer service call centers in foreign countries and then staff them with locals who aren’t familiar with US business practices and may not have the faintest idea how to form an LLC. Then there are other companies, like Northwest Registered Agent, who supply a US-based team of experts made up of former lawyers, accountants, small business owners, and entrepreneurs who all have the necessary experience to help you through the formation process and give you the best advice to meet your needs.
Because of the wide variety of customer service value provided by LLC services in South Dakota, I chose to rate each company based on the customer service they provide.
Northwest Registered Agent provides all the services you need to get your LLC up and running, such as filing your formation paperwork, providing an online document storage system, and offering a year of registered agent service for free.
Northwest offers all the services you want, too. It provides you with an operating agreement template, a 90-day trial of its VoIP system (Voice over Internet Protocol), and even adds a free consultation with its accounting team to set up your payment processing system.
The most beneficial feature by far is Northwest’s team of experts that guide you through the obstacles that come with owning a small business.
If you’re ready to start your LLC in South Dakota, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent today.
While you’re learning about formation services, it’s a good time to consider registered agent services, too. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that accepts mail and legal documents on behalf of your company. If you’d like to learn more about registered agent service, read my Best Registered Agent Services article.