How to Get a South Dakota DBA Name

Although filing for a DBA is similar nationwide, there are specific rules to follow when getting a South Dakota DBA. Read on to learn more.
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Carlos Serrano
Written by Carlos Serrano
Written byCarlos Serrano
Updated February 29, 2024
Edited by Alexis Konovodoff
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You’ve created or are in the process of creating a business in South Dakota, and you’re not sure the legal company name you’ve chosen is right. Thankfully, you can create a South Dakota DBA, a fictitious business name for your business. 

Read on to learn more about how to obtain a DBA and what effects having a DBA has on your business.

DBA in South Dakota: Key Takeaways

  • Your South Dakota DBA must be unique, meaning no other business in the state can be using the name.

  • It costs $10 to file for a South Dakota DBA, and the name needs to be renewed every five years.

  • You can complete your DBA filing online using the South Dakota Secretary of State website.

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What Is a DBA?

A DBA, also called a “doing business as” or “assumed” name, is a fictitious name for your business that you can use in place of the company’s legal name. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners get DBAs for branding as their fictitious name looks better on marketing materials than their legal name.

It’s also important to understand what a DBA isn’t. It’s not a type of business or entity. For instance, having a DBA doesn’t change your company from being a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or corporation. It simply means business owners get another company name they can use for business purposes.

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How to File a DBA in South Dakota

If having a different name could benefit your business, you need to know the ins and outs of DBA registration. Fortunately, securing a new DBA in South Dakota isn’t challenging if you follow these steps.

To select an appropriate “doing business as” name, you’ll go through a process similar to the one you followed when choosing your official name. This starts with a trip to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Business Information Search database.

Free South Dakota Business Name Search

Enter your desired South Dakota company name to see if it is available with our free business name search.

Note that filing for a South Dakota DBA doesn’t grant you a trademark on your name. You have to file for that separately if you want full legal protection for the name, as without it, others might use your name, especially out of state.

2. File Your DBA With the Secretary of State

With a potential name selected, your next step is to file the relevant DBA paperwork with the South Dakota Secretary of State. You must complete this process entirely online via the Secretary of State’s website. 

You will pay a filing fee of $10 and be asked to provide your name, address, and South Dakota Business ID, assuming you have one.[1]

The website accepts most major forms of credit cards, and you need to complete this filing process for each South Dakota DBA you intend to use. You have no obligation to inform the local county clerk’s office of your intention to use an alternative name.

3. Follow Up

Once the state approves your application, there is little you need to do regarding follow-up. South Dakota law does not require you to publish your DBA in local newspapers, for instance, or write a fictitious business name statement declaring your intention to operate under an alternative name. You also don't need to file additional DBA paperwork with your local county clerk's office.

The only follow-up comes five years after your registration. That’s when your DBA expires, meaning you must re-file your forms to ensure you can keep using your DBA after the five-year deadline. Each filing grants another five years of usage.[1]

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South Dakota DBA Name Restrictions

When naming your DBA, South Dakota applies most of the same naming restrictions to your legal business name. The main exception is the need to state what type of business you have within the name — you don't need to do that for a DBA.

Beyond that, follow these rules, and you should have no issues with your application:

  • Use a DBA name that’s unique and not used by any other business in South Dakota.

  • Avoid names that imply your company is part of a governmental agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

  • Make sure the name doesn’t imply the business does anything that’s not legal in the state of South Dakota.

DBA South Dakota Tax Considerations

Filing for DBA name registration doesn't mean you're filing to create a new business structure. The name does not affect your taxes at all, as it's simply an alternative business name that you and others can use to refer to your company.

This also means that filing for a DBA does not impact the liability protection afforded to your personal assets under your company's current structure. For instance, your LLC, assuming that's your structure, continues to provide the protection you need no matter how many DBAs you create.

Finally, you don't have to change your Employer Identification Number (EIN) tax ID, either. Again, you're not changing the business entity, so your EIN applies to your DBA just as much as it does to your company's official business name.[2]

Why Should You Get a DBA?

Now that you know how to get a DBA, the next question is simple — why do it?

There are a few reasons:

  • You are a sole proprietor and want to create a more official-sounding name for business and privacy purposes.

  • You need to create a business bank account and your bank won’t accept your current company name.

  • You wish to rebrand without changing your company’s structure, which you can do with an assumed or trade name.

Think of DBAs as one of the many business services available to your company, and you’ll see that applying for one could have many benefits from the branding and privacy perspectives.

Register Your South Dakota DBA in Minutes
  • Gain Privacy: Hide your personal name and details when marketing your business.

  • Improve Branding: Choose a DBA that easily informs your audience about what you have to offer.

  • Expand Services: Operate multiple businesses without creating separate entities for each one.

Secure My DBA


What’s the difference between an LLC and a DBA?

An LLC is a type of business entity, which means it influences how you structure your company and how you pay taxes. DBAs are just alternative names — they do not influence your company's structure.

How much does getting a DBA cost?

It costs $10 to apply for a DBA in South Dakota.

Do I need a DBA for my South Dakota business?

There's no legal requirement to get a DBA if you're happy to operate under your company's legal name. But you must apply if you wish to use an alternative name because it must be on record with the Secretary of State.

What’s the difference between a trade name, an assumed name, and a DBA name?

There is no difference. They’re synonyms that refer to a fictitious business name.

How long does a DBA last?

Your South Dakota DBA lasts for five years before you have to apply for renewal.

Is there a limit to the number of DBA names I can have?

There’s no limit on the number of DBAs you can have in South Dakota, though you must file for each one separately.

Is a DBA the same as a trademark?

It isn’t. Though a DBA legally entitles you to use an alternative business name, it doesn’t afford the same legal protections for that name as you receive from a trademark.

Does a DBA affect my business’s tax status?

DBAs do not affect your company's tax structure.


  1. South Dakota Secretary of State. “Register a DBA – Business Name.” Accessed November 8, 2023.

  2. Internal Revenue Service. “Do You Need a New EIN?” Accessed November 8, 2023.

Originally published on February 29, 2024, and last edited on February 29, 2024.
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