How to start an LLC in North Dakota

Update: January 2, 2024

By: Tom Macken

Start an LLC in North Dakota

Food and farming. Oil. The Lewis and Clark Riverboat. North Dakota is known for many things including the stunning Theodore Roosevelt National Park and also as a place where businesses of all sizes set up operations.

Numerous aspiring entrepreneurs establish their businesses in North Dakota and use the state’s resources. What should be done next? And what will the cost be? We have outlined all of the necessary actions below.


1. Name Your North Dakota LLC
2. Select a North Dakota Registered Agent
3. File your North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization
4. Receive a Certificate From the State
5. Create an Operating Agreement
6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
7. File Annual Renewals
Costs and Next Steps

A limited liability corporation, sometimes known as an LLC, provides small companies with a number of benefits, including protection from personal responsibility and tax breaks. If an LLC is the perfect company structure for you, take these steps to form one in North Dakota.

Note that you have the option of forming the limited liability company (LLC) yourself, or you may choose to deal with an incorporation service that will handle all of the necessary steps for you.

1. Provide a Name for Your North Dakota LLC

According to the laws of North Dakota, the name of a limited liability company (LLC) must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or one of the abbreviations: “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”

It is important that the name you choose for your limited liability company be easily distinct from the identities of other business entities that have already been registered with the North Dakota Sec. of State. 

The database of company names maintained by the Secretary of State of North Dakota allows users to verify the availability of names.

By submitting an application for a Reserve Name (SFN 13015) to the Secretary of State in North Dakota, you will be able to hold a name for a period of one year. The registration may be sent either electronically, by regular mail, or via fax. The first filing cost is ten dollars.

2. Select an ND Registered Agent

A registered agent in the state is required of every limited liability company in the state of North Dakota. If the limited liability company (LLC) is taken to court, this refers to a person or company that has agreed to accept service of process on its behalf.

It is possible for the Registered Agent to be either a resident of North Dakota or a corporate body that is permitted to conduct operations in the state. The Registered Agent is required to provide evidence of a North Dakota street address where they may be reached.

What exactly is the role of a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is a person or business that is in charge of getting important tax forms, legal documents, notices of lawsuits, and other official government mail on behalf of your company. 

This can include tax papers, legal papers, notices of lawsuits, and other official documents. Think of the registered agent as your company’s main point of contact with the state.

Eligibility to be a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent must either be an individual who resides in North Dakota on a permanent basis or a company that is permitted to carry on trade in North Dakota. An example of the latter would be a Registered Agent service. You have the option of selecting anybody who works for the organization, including yourself.

3. Ensuring your ND Articles of Organization are filed

In order to have your limited liability company in North Dakota registered, you will have to submit the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State. This may be accomplished over the internet.

This is the paperwork that officially recognizes your limited liability company (LLC) as a valid legal entity in the state of North Dakota.

What should be included in a company’s Articles of Organization?

When completing the Articles of Organization for your North Dakota company, you are required to include the following information:

  • The legal moniker given to your limited liability company
  • The location of your company’s primary office.
  • Name and street address of your organization’s registered agent. If the physical address is different from the postal address, you should mention both of them.
  • All of the names of the people that founded the firm
  • Your LLC commencement date
  • At the very least one organizer’s signature is required.

Online filing of your organization’s articles of incorporation

Log in to your FirstStop account in order to electronically submit the Articles of Organization. There is a charge for submitting the paperwork. This form is available to be accessed via your FirstStop portal, and it may either be printed off and sent to the state office or submitted online.

The name and location of the organization, as well as the objective, are going to be required pieces of information for the online application. In addition to this, it will provide an option for the length, which refers to the period of time during which the firm is operational. In most cases, a member of the LLC will be responsible for completing the form.

The filing price is $135, and you can anticipate that the approval process will take anywhere from two to four weeks.

4. Obtain a Certificate from North Dakota

After the formation paperwork of the limited liability company has been submitted with the state and been given its approval, the state will offer you a certificate that verifies the LLC’s official existence. 

You will get a receipt from the Secretary of State of North Dakota, as well as a Letter of Acknowledgement and a copy of your Articles of Organization that has been postmarked.

It is probable that these papers will be sent to the postal address that is recorded for your registered agent by the Secretary of State.

5. Draft an Operating Agreement for Your LLC

Although not required for founding an LLC in ND, writing an operating agreement is highly recommended. The following items should be included in the operating agreement:

  • Describe the business structure of the limited liability company.
  • Determine the specific duties and commitments that each member of the limited liability company (LLC) has
  • Operational structure of the LLC.

If a limited liability company (LLC) doesn’t have an operating agreement that spells out the exact responsibilities of its members, it could face major legal and organizational problems.

6. Obtain a tax EIN number 

A number of limited liability companies (LLCs) will be required to get a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), often known as a tax ID number. 

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) identifies your company to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is required in order to pay federal employer taxes, open a bank account such as a Bluevine account or Kabbage account, or recruit staff.

On the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is accessible without charge, you may check to see whether you need an EIN and submit an application for one online. 

The vast majority of companies are required to obtain an EIN, although a significant exception is provided for single-member limited liability companies, which are permitted to use the owner’s Social Security number instead.

Business Licenses

Both a ND business license and a municipal business permit can be required of your limited liability company (LLC), depending on the sector in which it operates and the location of its headquarters. For instance, if you sell things in the state of North Dakota, you could be required to collect sales tax and have a license that allows you to collect sales tax.

7. Filing your ND Yearly Company Renewals

North Dakota limited liability companies, both domestic and foreign, are required to submit an annual report to the North Dakota State Secretary by November 15 of each year. Following the year in which the limited liability company (LLC) was originally formed with the Secretary of State the LLC is required to submit its first annual report.

On the FirstStop website for the Secretary of State, you can find an online filing option for the annual report. The filing cost is fifty dollars. Late Fees: The state of North Dakota levies a $50 fee for each tax return that is not submitted on time. 

In addition, if an LLC in North Dakota fails to submit an annual report within the first six months of its existence, the state has the authority to revoke the business registration of the LLC.

Fees and further actions


The price of $135 to submit your LLC’s Articles of Organization digitally with the Sec. of State in ND is the primary expense associated with establishing a limited liability company (LLC).

To maintain compliance with applicable regulations, your business will need to pay additional fees, such as the Secretary of State’s Annual Report Fee of $50 and the Registered Agent Fee.

In addition, North Dakota limited liability companies are obliged to pay a yearly renewal fee of $60.

Further actions

When you register a limited liability company (LLC), you establish a legal basis upon which to operate your firm. Companies should make it a priority to maintain their limited liability company in compliance with state regulations and in an active position on the state’s website.

In addition, having a registered limited liability company enables you to perform the following:

  • Obtain any permissions or licenses that are required to run your business, such as those issued by the health department, the zoning department, the department of home occupations, the department of professional licensing, and so on. Some states need a seller’s permission to conduct sales
  • Register your company with the department of revenue in your state.
  • Establishment of a bank account for a business.
  • Create a credit card account for your company.
  • Invest in insurance coverage for your company.
  • Create a trademark to protect both your company’s name and its logo.

DIY LLC setup or hire a pro to set up your ND

To establish a limited liability company (LLC), you are not required by law to consult a lawyer. The majority of states enable the establishment of LLCs via the process of registering the business entity on the website of the secretary of state and the IRS.

If you are not acquainted with the process of forming an LLC, your best bet may be to hire a company setup service so that you can be certain that the creation will go smoothly and quickly.

When entrepreneurs start a new firm, they may save startup costs and save valuable time by using a professional agency that specializes in company forms. They can take care of the things that you may not have time to think about for a price ranging from $50 to over $500, and some examples of such things are as follows:

  • Developing an operating agreement for an LLC that details your company’s who, what, when, where, why, and how, and putting it into writing (required in some states).
  • Putting together articles of incorporation that identify the management of the LLC, the registration agent, and the date the company was formed.
  • Taking up the role of registered agent for your firm.
  • Keeping careful records in the event that there are investigations or litigation.
  • Payment of filing fees and registration with the appropriate parties.
  • Registering the name of your company and ensuring that the name you choose for your limited liability company is accessible.
  • Finishing up and turning in all of the necessary legal and formation documentation.


In North Dakota, how do you form an LLC?

You will need the registration cost, a name for your limited liability company (LLC), a Registered Agent, Articles of Organization, an Operating Agreement, and an EIN number from the Internal Revenue Service in order to start an LLC in North Dakota.

How much time does it take to establish an LLC in North Dakota?

If you want to form a limited liability company in North Dakota, the process may take anywhere from two to four weeks (depending on whether you choose to file online or by mail).

What are the steps I need to take to switch my registered agent in North Dakota?

You need to fill out a Commercial or Noncommercial Registered Agent Statement of Change form and submit it to the North Dakota Secretary of State in order to change your registered agent in the state of North Dakota.

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