Starting a New Business?

Before starting a new business in Sioux Falls, you may want to check with several City departments. We’ve compiled some frequently asked questions and resources to guide you.


Step 1.Join the start up community.

From community events, to regional startup resources and office space, discover how the startup community in Sioux Falls can help you start building something great.

Step 2.Check zoning requirements.

Different types of businesses and building uses are allowed in different areas of the City by zoning district. You’ll need to check if the type of business you are planning is permitted by the zoning code at your location and whether any special situations apply.

If you are changing the use of a particular location from one type of business to another, City officials may require a zoning update. For example, some locations may not have enough off-street parking spaces to meet current zoning regulations.

“In-home” businesses that operate from a dwelling are required to obtain a permit as a home occupation.

Be sure to allow time for processing. In some cases, this could be several months.

Learn more about zoning requirements.

Step 3.Follow regulations for signage.

The sign area allowance depends on the amount of street or building frontage and the zoning district where the building is located. If you plan on sharing a location with other businesses, existing businesses may have used up allowable sign area.

Learn more about sign requirements.

Step 4.Apply for permits and licenses.

If new construction, an addition, remodeling, or a change-in-use is planned, you must apply for a building permit before beginning work. Building improvements are regulated by building codes. Certain uses may require fire ratings and / or a fire sprinkler system.

Site improvements including grading, utility work, and paving are subject to review by the Public Works Office

Projects requiring a conditional use permit are also subject to a review by the City. They may also require landscaping or other site improvements as part of the approval process. Contact the Planning Office to learn more.

To find out if your business requires licensing, you should check with the Licensing Specialist and the South Dakota Department of Commerce and Regulation Division of Professional and Occupational Licensing at (605) 773-3178. The City Licensing Office handles special permits and licenses. These are listed in Chapter 110 of the City ordinance with the current fee schedule. Applications are available through Licensing or online, depending on the type of license.

Step 5.Make sure your business follows building codes.

Building codes are referred to in Chapter 150 of the City ordinance and the International Building Code. You can contact Building Services with questions or to set up an inspection.

Step 6.Reach out to City departments.

If you have questions about:

Security. The Sioux Falls Police Department has a number of crime prevention programs available for small businesses. In addition, if there are specific, special needs that a small business has, the department can develop programs to meet their needs. For information about these programs, contact the Police Department at (605) 367-7212.

Fire Safety. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue will answer questions at (605) 367-8092.

Sanitation. The Sioux Falls Health Services is active in assisting the implementation of many new establishments, especially those distributing food and beverages. Questions for the Health Department may be directed to (605) 367-8760.

The City maintains a commitment to disadvantaged businesses.

Small businesses owned by minorities, women, or other disadvantaged groups may qualify as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). The City works with South Dakota DBE certifications so DBEs have the maximum opportunity to compete for and perform federally assisted contracts and subcontracts. If you’d like to learn more about the necessary requirements and benefits of DBE certification, contact the City’s Contract Compliance Specialist at (605) 367-8176.

Businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons may qualify for funds through Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-assisted projects. The Contract Compliance Specialist can share information about current opportunities.