How to Start an LLC in North Dakota: If you’re interested in setting up an LLC in North Dakota, you’ve come to the right place. Having an LLC not only protects your personal assets but also is less complicated than other business structures. North Dakota laws make it easy to establish your LLC in North Dakota. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your North Dakota LLC has been correctly established. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start an LLC in North Dakota
- After Starting Your North Dakota LLC
- North Dakota Foreign LLC
- North Dakota LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in North Dakota
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection.
If you wish to start an LLC in North Dakota, you mainly have to file your Certificate of Formation with the State and pay a filing fee of $135. There are some more steps to follow to get your LLC established in North Dakota. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in North Dakota in 2022. Let’s get started! It is always recommended to hire a professional LLC formation service in North Dakota to set up your LLC.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your North Dakota LLC
The very first step while forming an LLC in North Dakota is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.
North Dakota LLC Naming Guidelines
There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in North Dakota have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:
- Your business name should be available and no other existing business in North Dakota can have the same name. Perform a name search from the below-mentioned source to be sure your name isn’t taken already.
- “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
- You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
- Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by North Dakota State Government are fulfilled.
- (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
|Important Links –||Submit Offline Form to –|
|North Dakota Business Entity Search – Online Name Search|
Name Reservation Form – PDF
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
North Dakota LLC Name Search – Instructions
|Secretary of State|
State of North Dakota
600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept 108
Bismarck ND 58505-0500
Reserve Business Name for Future
If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided then you can reserve your LLC name for 1 year. To keep the name, you have to file a name reservation application and pay $10 to reserve your name with the North Dakota Secretary of State.
Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name
Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the North Dakota Secretary of State by submitting an Application to Register Trade Name in North Dakota along with the filing fee of $25.
Recommended: You can do name search, get company logo, business domain, website, emails, and a lot more in one place by hiring a professional service. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
TailorBrands offer DIY website templates and incredible logo designs. If you plan to get a website then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.company”, “.xyz” etc. With TailorBrands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.
It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in North Dakota
The second step to forming a North Dakota LLC is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity that will act or work on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in North Dakota. Hence, hiring a competent North Dakota Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary.
Make sure your registered agent is a resident of North Dakota or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in North Dakota. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC setup services, even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $49/year) you also get registered agent service and other services at a reasonable price.
These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business in North Dakota. Some LLC formation services offer standalone North Dakota registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services from them without purchasing any other LLC formation services.
A person who is above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of North Dakota can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One who is responsible for handling all the legal documents.
Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are a resident of the state of North Dakota and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in North Dakota.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in North Dakota
The third and most important step in forming a North Dakota LLC is to file the Certificate of Formation. This North Dakota Articles of Organization is a legal document needed to officially register your business with the Secretary of State. It costs $135 to file your formation certificate in North Dakota. (Read more on LLC cost in North Dakota).
The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and structure of the company (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in North Dakota LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to North Dakota then you need to register as a North Dakota Foreign LLC.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. You will get the online service page. If you are already a subscriber then click on the “log in to Subscribe Account” option and log in with your credentials. If you’re not subscribed, then you can create your business account and directly start filing your LLC by clicking on the “Online Filing” button below. Read more about the North Dakota Articles of Organization for online registration.
Processing Time: It takes 24 hours to get a North Dakota LLC if you file it online. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.
Recommended: Online LLC Formation service can provide all these documents in lesser time along with lifetime customer support and 100% accuracy. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 4: Create Your North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement
Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
When it comes to filing a North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. Like North Dakota, there are other states that do not have a mandatory rule to file operating agreements. But, this document would be useful if you decide to dissolve North Dakota LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary but it is definitely ideal.
Recommended: You can get operating agreement templates at only $29 with TailorBrands. You don’t need to worry about drafting it as they will take care of it on your behalf. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 5: Filing a North Dakota LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter.
EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in North Dakota LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for North Dakota foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.
To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant who can help you with the process.
Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free
Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your North Dakota LLC. If you do it yourself it should take you a long time to properly understand and do all the steps.
However, if you use TailorBrands it should take fewer hours and you always have live chat with expert support for any help you need.
After Starting Your North Dakota LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business bank account
- File North Dakota business permits & licenses
- Get general liability insurance and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a North Dakota LLC annual report or biennial report.
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Cost of North Dakota LLC
Forming an LLC in North Dakota is no doubt more cost-effective than other structures of a business. There are some fees and charges one has to bear to form a North Dakota LLC. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your North Dakota LLC won’t bring you a massive tax burden. Here are some of the fees and taxes are needed to be paid while forming an LLC in North Dakota,
|Fees/Tax||Amount to be Paid|
|Name Reservation Fee||$10|
|Articles of Organization Fee||$135|
|LLC Annual Fee||$50|
In North Dakota, an LLC name reservation is not mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that online. Your LLC name will be reserved for 1 year without registering your LLC. It can be done by paying $10.
In North Dakota, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $50. Also, the State of North Dakota requires LLCs to pay a Sales Tax of 5% every year. Read our guide on LLC costs in North Dakota for more information.
North Dakota Foreign LLC
If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in North Dakota then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the North Dakota Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc. to the North Dakota SOS to form your foreign LLC in North Dakota. To know more in detail, check out our guide on North Dakota Foreign LLC.
Reasons to Start an LLC in North Dakota
There are plenty of tax benefits and income-boosting opportunities available in North Dakota. As such, a North Dakota Limited Liability Company enjoys several incentives. Due to these incentives, the number of companies opening up in the state is enormous. If you, as an entrepreneur, are also thinking of considering it as an option for your business, then here are some detailed benefits.
Sales and Service Tax exemptions
There are several tax exemptions that the government decides for those businesses that are thinking of incorporating as an LLC in North Dakota. Read more on North Dakota’s classification of LLC tax. These exemptions are based on the products and services which are mentioned in detail below.
- A sales tax exemption is provided on all livestock and poultry products, commercialized fertilizers, gasoline and fuels, food and its products, medicinal equipment, etc. The start-up, which is based on these products’ sales, is eligible to return the sales tax that they will give to the government.
- The next exemption is provided to those giving up services like public transportation, hospital and nursing services, repairing and restoring services, and cleaning tangible personal property. They are liable to file a service tax returned to them as a business incentive by the government.
- The Hotel- Motel rental and mobile home renting services are also exempt from sales tax but are covered under conditional exemptions.
North Dakota Renaissance Zone
There are many renaissance zones formed by the Commerce Division of Community Service in the North Dakota state. An LLC, when chooses this zone to Start an LLC in North Dakota. Then they are eligible for some incentives on tax paid. These taxes are the purchase or leasing of the property in the zone bundled and many other exemptions like state income tax, local property tax, etc. All this is provided to choose the special zone as the LLC will improve and develop in the special zone.
New Business Income Tax Exemption Program
This package is available for the tourism business or some primary sector entities. In this program, the income generated from the business is not taxable, and one can reinvest it back for their expansion. The only condition is that for application, one needs to visit the state tax commissioner and get all the business details verified to enjoy the benefits.
Wage Credit program
To boost up the company hiring procedure, the government of North Dakota is providing a 1% tax rebate on the income tax to the LLC. The value will be based on the wage that the company pays to the employees. This benefit will last for 3 years from their establishment as North Dakota LLC.
Leading Businesses in the North Dakota State
Are you looking forward to forming an LLC in North Dakota? For that, you must have complete economic statistics knowledge of the state and its top businesses. Here is the list of the best businesses in North Dakota.
The North Dakota state is known for its oil reserves along with mines of coal and shale gas. The coal that can be procured from North Dakota’s mines is lignite, out of which 90% is used in power generation of the state and nearby states. If we talk about the oil production, then the average oil, then the average production in the state is 50,000 barrels every day, which has helped the energy sector contribute $8.51 billion.
An interesting fact about the energy businesses is that there is a rise in wind energy due to the continuous wind flow at 10 miles/hr.
Tourism In North Dakota
Exceptionally few people choose the state for going on a vacation, but it is still the best economy driver. Only the state’s tourism sector contributes around $3 billion, which is huge for this small state. About 24 million visitors that North Dakota caters to, and the biggest reason for their visit are Clark’s historic tail and Theodore Roosevelt National park.
It is the leading sector that is known for trading for fur. Approximately 10% of the state is handling the farm area of North Dakota, which is around 90% of the state’s total area. State agriculture has a significant share in oilseed production also which is described below.
- 94% of flaxseed of the USA is produced in Dakota farmland.
- 92% of canola seed is grown in North Dakota
- 62% of the whole mustard seed of the USA is also produced in North Dakota, with 53% of sunflower oil.
Some small business ideas that are currently booming in the state are:-
- Home-based oil production
- Graphic designing
- E-commerce business
North Dakota LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in North Dakota. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your North Dakota LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
- Choose a Registered Agent
In North Dakota, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services like NorthWest Registered Agent to get things done hassle-free.
- File a Formation Certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC in North Dakota. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in North Dakota but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
How Fast Can I Form an LLC in North Dakota
Filing for an LLC in North Dakota may take upto 4 weeks of time, while it also depends on the number of applications received.
The first step in forming an LLC in North Dakota is to choose a name. You should choose a name that fits your business brand, message, or service. It should also comply with the rules and regulations set by North Dakota state. Luckily, there are ways to speed up this process.
The state website has a tool to search for business names. You must make sure that the name you choose is not already taken by another business in the state. Otherwise, you will be rejected for filing. To avoid this problem, you should perform a name search prior to choosing a name. It is also a good idea to call the companies that appear in your search results and verify that they are available for business.
Next, you’ll need to fund your business. Funding an LLC is an essential part of becoming a fully functioning business. Funding an LLC with one member is simple, but it is more complicated with multiple members. For example, you might use your personal property or a service to fund your business. However, it is important to note that using property to fund your business can trigger scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service.
You should also consider hiring a registered agent. Depending on the business you have, you can hire a professional to act as your agent in North Dakota. A registered agent will accept service of process and make sure you receive any legal notices in person. The cost of this service is usually minimal.
There are many steps to form an LLC in North Dakota. The first step is to choose a business name and designate a registered agent. Next, you’ll file your Articles of Organization with the North Dakota Secretary of State. This process can take two to four weeks and costs about $135.
Another important step in the formation process is to draft an Operating Agreement. An operating agreement is a document that details who owns what and how the business will operate. This document is crucial as it can help you open a bank account and handle the addition of members and dissolution.
Once your business name is chosen, you can file the name reservation application online. This is necessary, as the name reservation will hold your business name for a year. Name reservation applications may be filed online, through the mail, or by fax. Remember to pay the name reservation fee of $10 when you file your LLC application.
In North Dakota, an LLC must file an annual report every year. This report is due November 15 of the calendar year following the year of LLC formation. If you fail to file this document, the Secretary of State will revoke your business registration after six months.
If you are a resident of North Dakota, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.
Apart from the formation fee of $135 (domestic LLC) and $135 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in North Dakota include $50 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 5% every year.
It takes 24 hours to get a North Dakota LLC if you file it online. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend TailorBrands which has impeccable turnaround time.
Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $50 to the North Dakota Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for the LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you will obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the North Dakota Classification of LLC Tax.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups can easily start their LLCs in North Dakota at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.