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How to become an RIA in South Dakota

Are you thinking about starting an RIA in South Dakota? You’ll need to become familiar with the state's requirements as it varies from state to state. In this article, we’ll list what’s required for South Dakota.

In South Dakota, an advisor who lives in the state, serves SD residents, or solicits in the state must register their RIA.

If setting up your RIA independently seems overwhelming, consider hiring a compliance consultant to help make this process easier. 

Financial statement requirements for the state of South Dakota:

Advisors must have one of the following professional designations to operate in the state: Series 65, Series 66 and Series 7, CFP, CFA, CIC, ChFC, or PFS. 

All state registration filing fees must be paid, as well as completing and submitting the following tasks for Individual Advisor Representatives (IARs) to register their RIAs successfully:

  • Submit FINRA Entitlement Paperwork

    While FINRA doesn’t regulate or supervise RIAs, the state does use its system to process registered investment advisor applications. Therefore, IARs must apply for access to FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD online system.
  • Form ADV Part 1 (online portion)

    Form ADV Part 1 is solely about the firm and will include information about ownership, clients, business practices, employees, any disciplinary events of the advisor or employees, and affiliations. This is the online component of the ADV and is also used to upload ADV Part 2A and ADV Part 2B.
  • Form ADV Part 2A (paper and online)

    Form ADV Part 2A is known as the disclosure brochure for the firm. The advisor will include information about fees, services, disciplinary disclosures, and other details about the firm within this brochure. South Dakota requires that this brochure be written in plain English and easily read and understood by clients. This is also required to be given to prospective and current clients.

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  • Form ADV Part 2B (paper and online)

    For Form ADV Part 2B, an advisor will share information about themselves. This brochure will include details about their education, employment, potential conflicts of interest, and any disciplinary actions. 

    It should also be noted that any Executive Officers or representatives who advise clients must complete this form.  

    In most cases, the state also requires Form ADV Part 2B to be given to clients. 
  • Client Advisory Contract

    This must follow the regulatory authority standards for client advisory contracts in South Dakota.


  • Code of Ethics 

    This filing ensures that the RIA aligns with the fiduciary standards required by the state of South Dakota.
  • Privacy Policy Statement 

    At the start of the client relationship, the advisor must give them a copy of the Privacy Policy Statement and annually after that. This statement must include information about how the RIA will handle, store, and share client information. 

    It should be noted that while the Privacy Policy Statement will vary by RIA, it must meet the state’s compliance requirements.
  • Policies and Procedures Manual

    This manual will contain information about how the RIA maintains and enforces its internal policies. It must include details about how the RIA handles client complaints to how it trains new IARs. Additionally, it must have information on Anti-Insider Trading plans, Business Continuity, Anti-Money Laundering, and Information Security.


Starting an RIA doesn’t have to be overwhelming with the right resources, such as our comprehensive RIA launch kit.

At Altruist, we strive to make independent financial advice better, more accessible, and more affordable. Our platform gives back precious time and capital to RIAs, so you can focus on what matters most: your clients and business.

On one intuitive, integrated platform, advisors can open and fund accounts, trade and rebalance, report, and bill, at a fraction of today’s edging-ever-higher technology costs. 

Our dedicated customer support team is here to help advisors that are planning to make the leap from their wirehouse. Our team will help ensure a smooth transition with exceptional ongoing service.

To see how we’re helping RIAs streamline operations, reduce overhead, and elevate the client experience, book a call with one of our transitional specialists now.

*Altruist and its affiliates do not provide legal advice, so it’s important to check with a qualified professional for each state’s registration requirements.

Step-by-step advice on forming your RIA
Altruist’s COO guides you toward a successful RIA launch.


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