Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the North Dakota Secretary of State, Incfile can help. We have all the information you need to know on how to conduct a North Dakota business search, plus LLC naming rules, trade names and registering your business.

 

General Rules for LLC Names

These rules typically apply to all LLCs, regardless of what state they’re formed in.

1
Your LLC Name Must Be Unique

Your preferred business name cannot be used by any other LLC or formed entity in the State of North Dakota. This is why it's imperative to perform a North Dakota business entity search prior to beginning the filing process.

2
Your LLC Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name

Your LLC name should be original, but that’s not enough. 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 and distinguishable from the name of another business:

  • Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
  • Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
  • The conjunction "And," or “&"
  • The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
  • Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
3
Your LLC Name Must Contain Certain Words

All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, normally at the end of the name.

4
Your LLC 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 state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, North Dakota Comptroller, 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 International Olympic Committee
  • Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out

Specific Rules for North Dakota Business Names

As mentioned above, North Dakota requires LLCs to comply with the general naming rules. Unlike most states, North Dakota does not require any further naming regulations to be met.

How to Come Up with a Business Name

Finding the perfect business name may be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:

Best represent your product or services

Be memorable enough to stand out

Appeal to your customers

Not be used by any other business

Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free Business Name Generator.

North Dakota Business Search

Once you have an idea of what you want as your business name, you’ll need to perform a North Dakota business entity search to make sure the name hasn’t been taken by another formed business.

Incfile offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The North Dakota Secretary of State also has a tool that lets you search the State of North Dakota business name registry to see whether your desired name is available or if another business is using your preferred name.

Find out whether your preferred business name is available in North Dakota with Incfile’s free tool

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your North Dakota LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t do that is to complete a trademark search through Incfile. If no one else is using it, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.

Make sure your business is starting off on the right foot when it comes to intellectual property.

Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.

 

North Dakota DBA or Trade Name

You may do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In several states, this is called a DBA (doing business as), assumed name or fictitious name. The state of North Dakota calls it a trade name. You may choose to use a North Dakota trade name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your business might be called Northern Marketing Solutions, LLC, and under that company, you have an event planning business called Northern Events. You could file for a trade name just for that company. You'll need to apply for Trade Name Registration with the North Dakota Secretary of State, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA service.

Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.

Register and manage a DBA name through our easy-to-use service
 

Register Your Business Name with the North Dakota Secretary of State (SOS)

Once you’ve completed a North Dakota business entity search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious business name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.

1

If you don’t want to form your LLC right now, you can reserve the business name. You can file an Application for Reservation of Name with the North Dakota Secretary of State. Your name will be reserved for 365 days once the application is processed. If you’re forming your North Dakota LLC right away, you won’t need to reserve a name.

2

If you’re ready to start your LLC now, you can file your Articles of Organization with the North Dakota Secretary of State or have Incfile do it for you.

Incfile can handle all your formation paperwork with the State of North Dakota for you — and we’ll do it for free!

Incorporate in North Dakota for $0 + State Fee ($135)

FAQs about North Dakota Business Names

How Do I Search for My North Dakota Business Name?

Use our intuitive, free Business Name Search tool and enter your desired business name. You can also perform a North Dakota business name availability search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether there are any corporations or LLCs in the state with that name.

Are There Any Rules for Naming My Business in North Dakota?

Yes. Most LLCs are bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the State of North Dakota). You'll find more information above.

Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in North Dakota?

Yes. The state of North Dakota allows you to conduct business using a trade name. Details are above.

Can I Reserve a Name for My North Dakota LLC?

Yes. The North Dakota Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name for 365 days if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you’re ready to start your business now, you don’t need to reserve a name.

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