Legal Requirements that apply to nearly all new businesses

This section will assist you in identifying agencies that need to be contacted while planning your business activities. The following list contains the most common legal requirements, but there may be others to fulfill, depending on the nature of your business. Also see tax requirements.

Assumed Business Name

Businesses may file a statement of assumed business name with the Register of Deeds for the county in which the business is to be located. Such a filing may provide the business with some exclusivity to the use of that name. Contact the Register of Deeds at your county courthouse.

County Address Phone
Pennington 315 St. Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
Meade 1425 Sherman
Sturgis, SD 57785
Butte 839 5th
Belle Fourche, SD 57717
Fall River 906 N. River St.
Hot Springs, SD 57747
Custer 420 Mt. Rushmore Rd.
Custer, SD 57730
Lawrence 78 Sherman St.
Deadwood, SD 57732
Harding 101 Ramsland
Buffalo, SD 57720
Haakon 140 S. Howard
Philip, SD 57567
Bennett PO Box 433
Martin, SD 57551

Trademarks/Service Marks

To register any trademarks or service marks contact:

Secretary of State, Pierre


For general information, current fees, or to order General Information Concerning Patents ($2.25) or Basic Facts About Patents (free) call 703-308-4357.

For assistance in researching existing trademarks and patents, contact:
Laura Jacobs SDSM&T Library 605-394-1275


Register of Copyrights Copyright Office Library of Congress Washington, DC 20559 202-707-9100

Worker's Compensation Insurance

All businesses employing one or more employees are required to provide workers compensation insurance. In most instances, coverage is available through commercial insurance carriers, although companies may elect to self-insure.

Department of Labor in Pierre at 605-773-3681 or Commercial Insurance Carrier

Employee Safety and Health Regulations

Get the following publications:
1. Your Workplace Rights in Action, OSHA 3035
2. All About OSHA, OSHA 2056
3. OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses, OSHA 2209

OSHA Bismarck, ND 1-800-473-7419 or 605-688-4101

Labor Laws

Minimum Wage and Wage Payments and Child Labor Laws
Contact: Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Office 605-773-3682

Federal Wage and Hour Issues
Contact: U.S. Department of Labor, Sioux Falls 605-330-4241

Newly Hired Employees

Employers are required to report all newly-hired employees to SD Department of Labor within 20 calendar days after the date of hire. Mail completed W-4 forms to:

SD Department of Labor
PO Box 4700
Aberdeen, SD 57402
Toll Free: 1-888-827-6078 or 605-626-2312


Many businesses and professions are required to obtain licenses prior to engaging in business
in the state. (i.e., food, liquor, taxi, pawn shop, contractor, vending, kennel, garbage haulers,
ambulance, mobile home court, house mover.)


Location Address Phone
Department of Commerce
and Regulation in Pierre
Rapid City 300 6th Street 57701 605-394-4120
Spearfish 625 5th St. 57783 605-642-1325
Sturgis 1147 Sherman 57785 605-347-4422
Deadwood 102 Sherman 57732 605-578-2600
Hot Springs 303 N. River 57747 605-745-3135
Custer 622 Crook St. 57730 605-673-4824
Belle Fourche 606 6th 57717 605-892-2494

Additionally, agricultural-related licenses and permits such as nurseries, fertilizers, pesticides, dairies, and related businesses have other requirements.

Department of Agriculture Division of Regulatory Services 605-773-3724
Also contact the City where your business will be located for any local permit requirements.

Planning and Zoning

You must determine if: the type of business you are planning is permitted in the zoning code at the location you have chosen, including conducting a business out of your own home. For zoning concerns, be sure to allow ample lead time which could be several months. Please contact the Planning and Zoning office in your city.

City Address Phone
Rapid City 300 6th Street 57701 605-394-4120
Deadwood 108 Sherman 57732 605-578-2082
Spearfish 625 5th Street 57785 605-642-1335
Sturgis 1147 Sherman 57785 605-347-4422

Health Department

If food products are to be prepared and served, an inspection must be completed. Approval from the Health Department is needed before a Food License from the State Department of Revenue is issued.

State Dept. of Health
523 East Capitol, Joe Foss Building
Pierre, SD 57501 II 605-773-3364

Incorporating or Setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC)

If your business will be incorporated, a Certificate of Incorporation must be obtained from the Secretary of State. If you choose to set up your business as a limited liability company (LLC), you must file articles of organization with the Secretary of State.

Secretary of State

Building Inspection

Your business location may need to be inspected and approved for public safety and adherence to structural, electrical, plumbing, fire and other codes. Prior to beginning any remodeling or site alterations contact your local city building inspector:

Location Address Phone
Rapid City 300 6th Street 57701 605-394-4157
Lead 801 West Main 57754 605-584-1617

All other towns, contact your local City Hall.
Business people

Wheelchair logoBecause the center is non-profit and is funded through a variety of public and private sources and operates in cooperation with the  U.S. Small Business Administration, services are confidential and provided at no charge. This business is an equal opportunity provider, and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382. This building is handicap accessible.