LLC Operating Agreement North Dakota | The Complete Guide


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Starting an LLC may involve filing articles of organization with the state and establishing internal ground rules for how your business should operate. Establishing your credibility as a legal entity is a part of the plan.

Every North Dakota LLC is encouraged, but not required, to have an operating agreement to safeguard the company’s operations, from organization to dissolution. It ensures that all LLC members understand their roles and responsibilities. This page guides you in making a North Dakota operating agreement.

North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement Content

An operating agreement is a legal document detailing the LLC’s organizational structure and operational procedures. Topics not restricted to a single member or multi-member LLC will be covered. While these provisions might not influence day-to-day operations, they must be included for legal reasons.

  • Ownership: The operating agreement details who the members are and how ownership is divided, be it a sole proprietorship or LLC. Sole proprietorship refers to a single person with total control over a business, also known as a single-member LLC. Multi-member LLC members can have either equal or varying ownership interests.
  • Management: Your LLC could be member-managed or manager-managed. The former means members can decide regarding contracts with third parties; the latter means only designated managers can do so. Using “manager-managed” instead of “hands-on” can reduce administrative work. Management’s authority is also limited in the Operating Agreement. 
  • Voting: Define each owner’s voting rights and voting thresholds, such as a majority vote, supermajority vote, and unanimous consent. A variety of approvals are needed for each type of decision.
  • Changes in Membership Structure: If someone leaves the company, how will roles and ownership be transferred? A member buyout and/or replacement procedure must be outlined in the LLC’s governing document.
  • Contributions: All types of contributions are accepted. In order to fund their ownership interests, members will have to invest in the collective funds.
  • Equity Splits: Determine equity for each member, taking into consideration things like their contributions, responsibilities, and fairness. Maintaining fairness in your equity split will help prevent future disagreements.
  • Transfers: You may want to consider outlawing transfers of ownership interests without the consent of all owners. It’s always a good idea to include permitted transfers, such as first refusal, drag-along rights, tag-along rights, and estate planning transfers.
  • Business Restrictions: To protect the privacy of the company, including confidentiality obligations. You may also ban the owners from owning competing businesses.
  • Intellectual Property: Detail; the ownership of intellectual property created by members. Make sure all company-created intellectual property is owned by the company. You can find alternative ownership/license structures if necessary. 
  • Taxation: Determine how you will be taxed and plan accordingly. Remember, however, that you must file an LLC annual report and might be required a sales tax. 
  • Guaranteed Payments: Determine if any of the members should receive Guaranteed Payments, which are like a salary, particularly if your LLC is taxed as a partnership.
  • Distribution & Dividends: Explain to all members how the funds will be allocated. A pass-through entity will impose tax distributions regardless of profit distributions.
  • Dissolution: The LLC should be dissolved if all members elect to cease operations. It is important to identify how you will end your business in your operating agreement.

Note that the operating agreement, though not a legal requirement in most states, is vital in the operation of your LLC. Should your members have issues with the business, you can deal with it with guidance from the operating agreement.

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Developing an operating agreement could be tedious at times. Besides, since it deals with how your business operates, then it would be best to have professionals help you with it to make sure you get everything right. Getting help from registered agents would be your best bet. Here are three of our best LLC services that can provide you with registered agents to free you of worries:

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Importance of a North Dakota LLC  Operating Agreement

North Dakota’s operating agreements are not required when there is an LLC exists. Most states require their businesses to draft an operating agreement to allow them to examine the business structure. In North Dakota, it is possible to skip this step while forming the LLC and it won’t attract any legal fines.

This step is essential to ensure that the LLC to be protected from any disputes or misunderstandings. Here are a few reasons why you should create an LLC agreement.

  • To protect the business: The operating agreement defines the rules of an LLC. In other words, the rules are enforced by the government in case any members are unable to keep them in line. This arrangement could be used to protect the LLC from being subject to the rules of the government and to offer additional advantages.
  • Making the LLC credible Investors will be able to judge the business’ professionalism when looking into it. Since the operating agreement demonstrates that the members are concerned about their company and are determined to ensure that compliance of all laws and regulations The LLC appears professional. This creates growth for the company by attracting investors
  • For the LLC to be legal: LLCs have limited liability status. Operating agreements must clearly define this to ensure that the government does not misunderstand. Operating agreements are a way to show that they’re different.
  • To resolve any conflicts that may result from decisions or distributions. The operating agreement has the processes, requirements, and rules for the employees of the business. If a task is required, the members can simply refer to the operating agreement to find specifics and then move forward.
  • It allows the LLC to be flexible: Limited Liability Companies are required to be flexible, and that is the nature of their business. It is the operating agreement that allows the LLCs to be flexible. Operating agreements provide validation that allows the LLC to be free and that is the reason it is so important.
  • For opening bank accounts for your company, you’ll require a copy of your operating agreement. This is why it’s difficult for a business to open bank accounts if they don’t have a copy of the operating agreement.

How to Edit Operating Agreement of LLC in North Dakota

Operating Agreement of LLC in North Dakota can be edited when all the members agree to the amendment(s). You do not need to file it with the state.

If you are looking for ways to make a change to your LLC’s operating agreement, you should start by locating a template or online document. Most states require operating agreements and are a legal requirement, but North Dakota does not. These documents provide legal guidance for the members and can also be used as proof of the document’s existence on a specific date. However, you should be aware that in North Dakota, LLCs do not have to have an operating agreement because you can just use fill-in-the-blank articles of organization.

To change the name of your company, you should visit the state’s Secretary of State website. There is a search tool on their website for available names. In North Dakota, you should use this option to check whether the name you’ve chosen is available. Once you’ve located the name you want, complete the form, including the section that authorizes payments by credit card or check. Make sure you carefully read and understand the form.

Another common change to an LLC’s operating agreement is the number of members. The operating agreement will state how each member will share profits and ownership. A standard LLC has one member with one vote, but you may want to give certain members more power. The Operating Agreement may also include information on how each member will be rewarded for their contributions. You can also include information regarding the ownership structure of the LLC in the Guide to LLC Formation and Amendment

Although an LLC does not have to file an operating agreement in North Dakota, it is a good idea to prepare one. Operating agreements provide clear expectations for the team and help maintain the limited liability status of the company. An operating agreement also adds credibility to an entity, and a free template can be downloaded online. You can also find a template for an operating agreement by using the free business center account. It’s a good idea to keep this document handy in case of disputes.

Before you can change your operating agreement, you must first file amendments to the articles of organization and incorporation. In addition, if you change the name of your LLC, you must also change the registered agent. This person will receive all legal documents and information on behalf of the company. If you aren’t sure about this, you can ask an attorney to help you. In North Dakota, companies are required to file amendments for certain changes, so it’s always a good idea to ask an attorney for advice before amending an operating agreement.

In North Dakota, a change in address does not require amendments. However, you must notify the Secretary of State of any changes to your business’s contact details. Changes to the registered agent must be reflected on the operating agreement, and a new form should be filed to update the information. This form is commonly called a Change of Agent/Address form. This form is available online. If you are thinking about changing the Registered Agent, you should use the Change of Agent/Address form to update your information.

F.A.Qs

Does North Dakota require an operating agreement?

In order to clearly state the purpose of a business as well as its ownership interests, a written operating agreement is strongly advised in North Dakota.

What if an LLC has no operating agreement?

You and other members of the LLC will be unable to reach any agreements if you do not have an operating agreement. Even worse, your LLC must follow the state’s default operating conditions.

Can I write my own operating agreement?

It is required by law in California, New York, Maine, and Missouri, but it is not in North Dakota. Although it is not legally required, creating a written agreement is strongly advised. You may self-notarize and distribute the documents.

In Conclusion

The operating agreement is an important document for your North Dakota LLC. However, it is not mandatory to file in many states. It is strongly recommended to file the operating agreement even if it is not required in your state. Get a professional LLC service to file your operating agreement properly.

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