North Dakota LLC – How to Form an LLC in North Dakota (2022)


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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 🙂

North Dakota LLC

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, mainly you 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!

Step 1: Decide a Name for Your North Dakota LLC

north dakota name your 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.

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Tailor Brands 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 Tailor Brands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.

Do I have to include LLC in my company email/domain?

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

north dakota registered agent

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.

LLC Service

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$49 + State Fees

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$299 + State Fees

  • Turnaround in a few days

  • EIN & Website Included

  • Operating Agreement Included

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.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

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.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?

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

north dakota certificate of formation

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.

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Step 4: Create Your North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement

North Dakota 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.

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Step 5: Filing a North Dakota LLC EIN

North Dakota file EIN for llc

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

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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:

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/TaxAmount to be Paid
Name Reservation Fee$10
Articles of Organization Fee$135
LLC Annual Fee$50
Sales Tax5%

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.

Energy Businesses

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.

Agriculture

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.

  1. 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.
    name your llc

  2. 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.
    registered agent

  3. 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.
    articles of organization

  4. 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.
    operating agreement

  5. 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.
    file EIN for llc

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.

If you’re wondering how fast it takes to form an LLC in North Dakota, you’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs are curious about this question, as well. The answer depends on your business and your financial situation. Here are some important tips to consider when forming your business. Make sure you choose a name that’s distinctive from another LLC. Having a distinctive name prevents any confusion with an existing company. State laws recommend that applicants make their names distinct from their own. Making small changes to the name’s grammar will not count. You’ll have to completely change it, so as not to create confusion with another LLC.

If you’re an attorney, you can file the Articles of Organization online with the Secretary of State of North Dakota. First Stop also offers online filing services for LLCs in North Dakota. After you sign up for an account, select the Articles of Organization option and follow the instructions. Articles of Organization take about four weeks to process. If you’re a licensed professional, you can opt to file your LLC operating agreement as well.

Your name must include “limited liability company” or one of the abbreviations, such as “LLC.” You cannot use a name that may confuse the government or any other company. If you’re going to use an LLC name that has restricted words, you may need to fill out extra paperwork or hire a licensed individual to help you with your name registration. You can check whether your chosen name is legal by visiting the Secretary of State’s website.

It’s important to understand the legal requirements of forming an LLC in North Dakota. A limited liability company has some specific requirements, and failure to meet them will lead to penalties. Choosing a state that allows you to incorporate an LLC is not the best idea for everyone, but if you have the means and know how to do it, you can form your business without the assistance of an attorney. If you’re planning to run a business in North Dakota, it may be worth it to form an LLC as soon as possible.

In North Dakota, LLCs can be approved by the Secretary of State within two to five weeks. This is because North Dakota’s Secretary of State processes the filing and enters it into the system. After that, they send the documents back to you either electronically or via mail. When choosing a filing method, remember that it will include time spent in the mail as well as the processing and mailing the documents. For most companies, this will be the fastest option.

The State of North Dakota website also offers information about business trends in the state. The TRUiC Business Center, for example, provides educational resources for women and other business owners. The center is free and offers helpful information about starting and running a business. Women entrepreneurs can use these resources to establish a positive business credit history. Building business credit will help them access different funding options, like lower interest rates and higher lines of credit.

F.A.Qs

Can I file an LLC in North Dakota by myself?

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.

What is the cost of forming an LLC in North Dakota in a year?

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.

How long does it take to get an LLC in North Dakota?

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 Tailor Brands which has impeccable turnaround time.

How to renew my LLC in North Dakota?

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.

What is the tax structure for an LLC in North Dakota?

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.

In Conclusion

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.

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