North Dakota Business Searches & Registering an LLC Name
Your North Dakota business entity needs the perfect name, and we’re here to help. In this section, we’ll guide you through searching the ND Secretary of State business register, tell you about the rules for naming your business, describe “Trade Names” and get you started with registering your LLC.
North Dakota Secretary of State Business Search
You should start naming your business by completing a North Dakota business entity search with the Secretary of State. They have a helpful tool on their website that lets you search the register of ND LLCs and corporations to see if someone already has your desired business name.
If the business name is already used, that means it’s not available and you won’t be able to register it. Try searching for a different business name instead.
Naming Restrictions for LLCs in North Dakota
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet North Dakota Secretary of State naming rules.
Your LLC Business Name Must Be Unique
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the state of North Dakota. This is why you should check business name availability on the ND SOS website.
Your LLC Business Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name
It’s not enough for your LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in North Dakota. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
- Definite articles like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
Your LLC Business Name Must Contain Certain Words
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their name. These words should normally come at the end of the name.
Your LLC Business Name May Have Other General Restrictions
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or ND agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, North Dakota Department of Revenue, North Dakota Police, Treasury, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the Olympic organization
- Imply a purpose that it would be illegal for your business to carry out
North Dakota LLC DBA Names
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In North Dakota, doing business under a different name is known as a “Trade Name.” You might choose to use a different name from your ND formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called North Dakota Lakes Tourism Company LLC and you have a chain called Luxury Lakes Boating. You should file a Trade Name to let the North Dakota Secretary of State know. In North Dakota, you do that through their FirstStop website, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.Incfile's DBA/fictitious name service
Business Name Registration in North Dakota
Once you’ve searched for your North Dakota business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a Trade Name, you can register your ND LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this:
If you don’t want to form your LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the North Dakota Secretary of State. You will need to complete a Name Reservation Application and file it with the ND SOS. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away.
If you’re ready to start your LLC, you can formally file your Articles of Organization with the North Dakota SOS, or let Incfile take care of it for you.
FAQs on Naming Your North Dakota LLC
You might find the following answers useful.
Just go to the business name search tool and enter your proposed business name. You can search the register of the North Dakota Secretary of State, which will tell you if there are any corporations or LLCs with that name.
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of North Dakota). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Yes. Known as “assumed names,” “fictitious names,” “doing business as names” or “trade names,” you can choose to conduct business under a different name. Details are above.
Yes. The North Dakota Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you are ready to start your business now, you do not need to reserve a name.
Useful Resources for Naming Your North Dakota LLC
You might find these resources helpful.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your North Dakota LLC name does not infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name does not infringe is to carry out a trademark search through Incfile. If it doesn’t infringe, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.Incfile Trademark Search and Registration Service
Find the Perfect Name for Your North Dakota LLC
The perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:
- Appeal to your customers
- Be memorable enough to stand out
- Best represent your product or services
- Not be used by another business