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Franchise Lawyers Serving South Dakota

What You Need to Know About Franchising

South Dakota

You could call South Dakota’s business opportunities so good that they’re almost presidential. As the home of Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and the newly constructed Crazy Horse Mountain, South Dakota is also home to over 88,000 small businesses.

It isn’t the easiest to become a business owner in the Mount Rushmore State, though. Classified as a notice filing state, franchisors are required to file a notice that includes a copy of the franchisor’s FDD with the state.  The initial fee is $250 and the renewal fee is $150.

South Dakota Franchise Filing Fees







*Renewal filings must be submitted before the expiration date or South Dakota may require the filing be resubmitted as a new initial filing with payment of the initial fee.

**South Dakota does not require the submission of amendment filings.


The preferred method for filing in South Dakota is through an online portal created by the industry for registration states. The filing fees are also paid through the portal via ACH. You will be required to complete and submit an ACH authorization form to us before we will submit the filing for you. Transaction fees apply for each filing with the current rate being $100 per filing.

South Dakota will accept unaudited financials in lieu of an audit (in your FDD) from first-year startup franchisors.

No deals may be closed in South Dakota until the initial or renewal filing is approved, and all South Dakota prospects must be disclosed/redisclosed with the approved FDD.

Did You Know?

South Dakota has more shoreline than Florida.

Jellystone Sioux Falls

The Crazy Horse Mountain carving will be the largest sculpture in the world.

Jellystone Sioux Falls

South Dakota’s number one industry is agriculture, thanks to its fertile soil. Common crops include corn, wheat, soybeans, and sunflowers, which are grown for their seeds.

Kids National Geographic

South Dakota Franchise Exemptions

Large Franchisee – exemption from registration and disclosure

Large Investment – exemption from registration and disclosure

Fractional Franchises – exemption from registration only

Insiders – exemption from registration and disclosure

Sales to Existing Franchisees – exemption from registration only

Renewal of an Existing Agreement – exemption from registration and disclosure

Sales by Existing Franchisees – exemption from registration and disclosure

Sales by Executor, Trustee, Etc. – exemption from registration and disclosure

Sales to Bank – exemption from registration only

Out-of-State Sales – exemption from registration and disclosure

Non-Franchisor Exemptions


Flat Fee Program for Franchisors

Spadea Lignana’s CORE program for franchisors is a cost-effective and practical solution for the ongoing legal needs of franchisors, including but not limited to, FDD updates, state registrations and franchise agreement executions. Through a proprietary cloud-based system we can effectively and efficiently manage FDD Disclosures and Franchise Agreement executions for fair flat fees billed monthly. We believe that hourly billing, although necessary in certain circumstances like complex M&A deals and litigation, can weigh on the relationship between client and attorney.  By coming up with a fair flat monthly fee, the uncomfortable negotiating of whether or not a 6 minute increment in your bill for replying to an email was legitimate goes away.

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Attorneys Who Understand SD Franchise Law

Franchise laws vary from state to state, and it can be difficult to understand the requirements. Spadea Lignana has streamlined the process to ensure you remain compliant as you grow nationally.

We also work with franchisors all over the midwest including North Dakota, Wyoming, and Minnesota.

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