Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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How to Start an LLC in North Dakota

North Dakota is located in the northern part of the Midwest U.S. Strong economic sectors include agriculture, natural resources, tourism and healthcare.

For most business owners, the fastest and easiest way to start a business in North Dakota is by creating an LLC. A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business entity that’s ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of larger North Dakota corporations, but with much simpler rules and regulations.

Briefly, the benefits of starting a North Dakota LLC include:

  • Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
  • Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulation and administration of your North Dakota LLC
  • Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment

Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure here.

Form a North Dakota LLC in Six Quick Steps

We’ve got lots of useful information on starting a business in ND. On this page, you’ll find the basic steps of how to form a North Dakota LLC, with more in-depth content throughout the rest of our guide.

STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members

First, you need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.

STEP 2: Search for and Choose a Unique Business Name for Your North Dakota LLC

You will need a distinctive and original name for your LLC that’s not used by any other business in ND. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out a North Dakota business entity name search on the Secretary of State website.

There are a few rules you’ll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to searching for and naming your South Dakota LLC.

Learn about North Dakota LLC business naming rules.

STEP 3: Provide an Official Address for your ND LLC

Every North Dakota LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address can be outside the state of North Dakota, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.

STEP 4: Assign a Registered Agent for Your North Dakota LLC

Every ND LLC must have a “Registered Agent.” This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the North Dakota Secretary of State.

This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your Registered Agent must have a physical street address in North Dakota and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours.

At Incfile, all of our packages include a North Dakota Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.

Learn more about North Dakota Registered Agents

STEP 5: Get an Employee Identification Number (EIN) From the Internal Revenue Service

You will need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you as part of the North Dakota LLC business formation process.

STEP 6: File A Certificate of Organization With the North Dakota Secretary of State

Once you've gathered all the information together for your North Dakota LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the ND Secretary of State. This document is known as your “Certificate of Organization,” and filing the document creates your North Dakota LLC. Here’s what is typically included:

  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your Registered Agent
  • Names of managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing
  • Addresses of managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing
  • Purpose of your business
  • Name of the incorporator

You can file your North Dakota LLC Certificate of Organization online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in North Dakota. You only need to file your Certificate of Organization once.

Form Your LLC Now

Review Information From the North Dakota Secretary of State

The Secretary of State has plenty of information on forming and running a business in North Dakota.

These are all the basic steps for forming an LLC in North Dakota. You’ll find other useful information below.

Special Types of North Dakota LLCs

A regular North Dakota LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.

Form a Professional North Dakota LLC

Some states, including North Dakota, allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” These types of businesses typically have special requirements and licensing. Here’s what the SOS says about professional LLCs in North Dakota:

"A professional limited liability company, as the name implies, is a limited liability company made up exclusively of licensed professionals. Licensed professionals are those people who have been legally authorized to provide a professional service to the public that requires a license prior to rendering the service.

A professional limited liability company may render:

  • One specific type of professional service and services ancillary thereto, or
  • Two or more kinds of professional services that are specifically authorized to be practiced in combination under North Dakota's licensing laws of each of the professional services to be rendered.

A professional limited liability company is created, and otherwise operates and is treated, in the same manner as a general business limited liability company.”

Form a Foreign LLC in North Dakota

If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to North Dakota, you’ll need to form a foreign LLC.

More information on North Dakota filing and licensing requirements here

What to Do After Forming Your North Dakota LLC

Want to know your next steps after creating a new LLC in North Dakota? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide to understanding your ongoing requirements, setting up new bank accounts, protecting your business name, getting accounting in place and more.

Detailed Information for Your North Dakota LLC

You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:

Naming Your North Dakota LLC

How to search the North Dakota business registry of the ND Secretary of State and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a North Dakota LLC name and more.

North Dakota Registered Agents for Your LLC

How to appoint a North Dakota Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for North Dakota Registered Agents.

Fees and Requirements for Your North Dakota LLC

How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and North Dakota rules. Includes details of Employee Identification Numbers (EINs), North Dakota and federal business licenses, North Dakota annual reports and more.

Federal, State, Sales and Other Taxes forYour North Dakota LLC

How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and North Dakota government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment and North Dakota taxes like sales tax and income tax.

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What are the fees and requirements to form a business in North Dakota?

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$135 6 Weeks 4 Weeks

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually

Due Date: November 15th

Filing Fee: $50

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