If you would like to serve your community as a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder, this is the right place to be. As an FFL dealer, you are allowed by federal law to handle the selling and distribution of firearms and ammo in your very own gun shop.
The requirements are few to get your FFL in South Dakota. At Rocket FFL, we want to make the South Dakota gun dealers’ federal license process easy as possible.
We will discuss in this article:
- FFL Cost in South Dakota
- Steps to getting your FFL in South Dakota
- Federal Requirements for an FFL
- South Dakota State Requirements for an FFL
- South Dakota Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
- FAQs and additional resources
FFL Cost in South Dakota
How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in South Dakota costs between $30-$200 for the first 3 years.
You have to choose from several license types when filling out an FFL application with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Each license type varies in price due to the different allowances the FFL license gives the licensee. If a licensee is just trying to sell a few handguns from their curios at a gun show in Rapid City, that is a big difference from handling NFA items in a Sioux Falls gun store.
Different activities require a different type of license for which the license application fees range in price.
FFL License Cost by Type
To handle NFA items (such as silencers, short-barrel rifles, machine guns, destructive devices, etc.), you must pay an additional licensing fee in the form of an SOT license registration.
Steps to Getting Your FFL
To ensure you are following gun laws to get your FFL in South Dakota, you need to:
- Ensure you meet the federal requirements for an FFL
- Choose your FFL type
- Take an FFL course
- Submit your FFL application forms
Step 1: Ensure You Meet FFL Federal Requirements
The FFL federal requirements are the same for every state in America (more details below). You need to make sure that you meet all Federal requirements before you move forward.
Step 2: Choose Your FFL Type
Depending on what you are trying to do with your business, you will need to make sure you choose the type of license that will allow you to lawfully operate your firearms business. There are expensive consequences if you choose the wrong type of FFL.
Most FFL gun dealers need either a Type 01 license, for most firearms dealers and gunsmiths, or a Type 07 license for manufacturing. A Type 07 license allows manufacturing, gunsmithing, and selling firearms.
To determine what type of FFL best suits your needs, read this article, where we break it down.
NFA firearms and accessories require you to be an SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer). You’ll apply as an SOT after being assigned your FFL number.
You’ll need to be an SOT if you plan to sell these NFA items:
- Full-auto machine guns
- Short-barreled rifles (rifles with a barrel shorter than 16″ or an overall length under 26″)
- Short-barreled shotguns (shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18″ or an overall length under 26″)
- Destructive devices (grenades, mines, bombs, etc.)
- Any other weapons (pen guns, specific special handguns, etc.)
FFL License Types
|FFL License Type||FFL License Purpose||SOT Class|
|Type 01 FFL||Dealer/Gunsmith of Firearms||3|
|Type 02 FFL||Pawnbroker/Dealer of Firearms||3|
|Type 03 FFL||Collector of Firearms||n/a|
|Type 06 FFL||Manufacturer of Ammunition||n/a|
|Type 07 FFL||Manufacturer/Dealer of Firearms and Ammunition||2|
|Type 08 FFL||Importer/Dealer of Firearms||1|
|Type 09 FFL||Dealer of Destructive Devices||3|
|Type 10 FFL||Manufacturer/Dealer of Destructive Devices||2|
|Type 11 FFL||Importer/Dealer of Destructive Devices||1|
Step 3: Take an FFL Course
Next, take an FFL course from a qualified instructor. The logistics for getting your FFL license are often complex. It’s why I developed a course that not only covers getting your FFL, but that also covers state laws and everything you need to know to get your FFL in SD.
I’m a firearms attorney that specializes in ATF compliance. I‘ve used my decades of experience to design these courses to help you learn how to apply for your FFL the right way the first time.
Make sure you opt to get the FFL Course and SOT Course combo. $10 gets you an additional course that teaches you how to apply to buy and sell silencers, as well as Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs).
Step 4: Submit Your FFL Application Forms
After verifying that you meet all requirements (federal and state), choosing the appropriate FFL type for your business, and taking the Rocket FFL course, you are ready to apply for your FFL!
Submit all the forms required by the ATF and pay for them with your credit card. This starts the process of your information being submitted to an NICS background check.
All “responsible persons” for the business are checked. A responsible person (RP) is either the sole proprietor, a partner in the corporation, or anyone with influence on the business’s practices and policies.
After your application paperwork is verified as correct and all background checks are completed, the application is sent to the local ATF field office. There, the industry operations investigator (IOI) sets up an in-person interview with you. This interview is to make sure all information is still correct and that you are following all state and local requirements.
After a successful interview, the IOI makes a recommendation to either approve or deny your FFL application. The ATF field office supervisor submits the approved application to the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC), and you will be given an FFL number!
According to the ATF website, the entire process takes about 60 days from start to finish. Some states outside of South Dakota require multiple forms and extra steps during the process.
However, if you took my Rocket FFL course, you’ll have every detail and access to all the necessary forms to quickly apply for your Federal Firearms License.
Federal Requirements for an FFL
The federal requirements for getting an FFL are the same for every state in the United States of America.
The federal government requires FFL dealers:
- Are at least 21 years of age
- Are a US Citizen or legal permanent resident
- Are legally permitted to possess firearms and ammunition (no felony convictions, have not been a psychological patient or controlled substance user, etc.)
- Have a predetermined location for conducting FFL activities (this includes home-based FFLs)
- Have never violated the Gun Control Act (GCA) or related regulations
- Do not make any false statements/claims on your FFL application
Once you satisfy all of these requirements, you can then move on to the South Dakota state-specific requirements.
South Dakota State Requirements for an FFL
South Dakota state requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:
- State licensing requirements
- Business registration requirements
South Dakota State Licensing Requirements
South Dakota has absolutely no redundant or additional state licenses. This means that you do not have to apply for redundant licensing through South Dakota in addition to your Federal Firearms License.
South Dakota Business Registration Requirements
All South Dakota-based businesses need to register with the State of South Dakota.
As we specify in our Get Your FFL course, you’ll still need to have an official presence in South Dakota, even if you are registered in another state.
To register your FFL business in South Dakota, check out the steps to starting a company by the South Dakota Government Information Gateway. The South Dakota Secretary of State also provides an excellent resource for How To Register your South Dakota Business.
South Dakota Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
Local zoning requirements are sometimes a hassle when applying for an FFL. Ensure the location you use as a base of operations (often a home-based FFL) allows for a business to be in residence.
It’s common to inquire about an FFL for a home-based firearms business and be told you can’t operate in a residential area. Business restrictions are frequently due to a misunderstanding about the type of business activity a location will bring.
When a zoning department hears “FFL,” they may assume regular retail business and heavy foot traffic (which doesn’t fly in residential locations). The truth of the matter is that most home-based FFLs only have customers stop by occasionally.
We cover this and more, including requirements for specific business hours, in our Get Your FFL course.
South Dakota FFL Summary
As you can see, getting your South Dakota FFL can be painless with the proper guidance!
Just make sure you meet the Federal and State requirements, choose the appropriate license type, take our online course, and fill in the correct forms properly, and you’ll be on your way to being the newest owner of a South Dakota FFL.
You can expect to sink a lot of hours into trying to get it right without our course.
Our course will give you the confidence to fill out your forms and get through the process with ease. Start your business knowing you are following all the confines of both federal and local laws. It will take a load off your mind.
I’m ready when you are; let’s do it!
FAQ for South Dakota FFL Licensing
How much does it cost to get an FFL in South Dakota?
An FFL in South Dakota costs anywhere from $30 to $200 for 3 years. For a full breakdown of the cost of an FFL, check here.
Do I need an FFL in South Dakota?
Yes! If you plan to sell, transfer, manufacture, or do anything else for profit involving firearms, you are legally required to have an active FFL.
Does South Dakota require extra licensing for FFLs?
No, there are no additional licensing requirements for FFLs in South Dakota.
Do I need to register a business for an FFL in South Dakota?
Yes, if you are forming a business for your FFL, it must be registered in South Dakota.
Can I get an FFL to save money on guns?
No, you should not get an FFL just to save money on guns. One of the main requirements for getting your FFL is “business intent,” meaning you intend to operate a firearms-related business.
However, you may wait to start your business until after you get your FFL number.
Extra Resources For Getting a South Dakota FFL
US Code § 923: Code § 923 covers federal regulations for the import, manufacture, and dealing of firearms and ammunition. This is the federal law that requires those operating firearms businesses to get an FFL.
US CFR § 478.47 – Issuance of license.: This code explains how a Federal Firearms License is issued, including who must assign the license number. It requires the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to qualify applicants based on a predetermined list of requirements and to issue Federal Firearms Licenses.
If a correctly submitted FFL application has been submitted on ATF Form 7, the Chief of the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (a department at the ATF) must issue the license and assign a serial number to the licensee.
Gun Control Act (GCA): The GCA of 1968 establishes stricter laws on the firearms industry than were already present in the NFA. New regulations regarding firearms offenses, firearms/ammunition sales to “prohibited persons,” and federal jurisdiction for “destructive devices” (bombs, grenades, mines, etc.) were created with the GCA.
Register a Business in South Dakota: Need help finding out where to start with your new business? The South Dakota registration page has loads of helpful information!
South Dakota Firearm Handbook: Firearms dealers in South Dakota can use this handbook to properly handle firearms sales.
FFL Types: Use this guide to make sure that you choose the right type of Federal Firearms License for what you want to do.
Home-Based FFL: Don’t want to pay for a storefront but wish to operate as an FFL holder from your home? We explain how to do it from start to finish.