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Start An LLC In North Dakota

Use our free business tools below to complete your North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization. This is the document you file directly with the North Dakota Secretary of State to form your LLC.

If you want more, hire us to form your LLC in North Dakota for just $39 + state fees. We’ll get your business stood up in minutes with a free domain, website, email, business phone, and more.

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with the help of a Registered Agent

How To Start An LLC In North Dakota

To form an LLC in North Dakota, follow these three steps:

  1. Pick a business name
  2. Designate a registered agent
  3. File Articles of Organization ($135)

We’ll take you through everything you for your North Dakota LLC registration and beyond.

1. Name Your LLC

Naming for your LLC should be fun, but the name you choose must meet the expectations of ND Cent. Code § 10-32.1-11. Basically, your LLC name must:

  • Contain “limited liability company,” “limited company,” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.,” or “LC.”
  • Not include words or abbreviations that make it sound like the LLC is another kind of entity, like “corp” or “limited partnership.”
  • Be distinguishable (unique) among approved business names in North Dakota.

If you’ve got a great business name but you’re not ready to form your business, you can put a hold on the name by filing a “Reserved Name Application” through North Dakota’s FirstStop online filing system.

Already have a business name? Check to see if it’s available.

The fee for getting a North Dakota DBA or trade name is $25. You can file online through the FirstStop online business portal, or fill out and print the Trade Name Registration or Franchise Name Disclosure form. Your DBA will be good for five years before you need to renew it.

Thinking about using a trade name? Learn How to Get a North Dakota DBA.

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2. Designate a Registered Agent

ND Cent. Code § 10-32.1-16 requires all North Dakota LLCs to have a registered agent. A registered agent receives service of process for your business. You can be your own registered agent or hire a person or professional company to act as your registered agent. Whatever you choose, you’ll need your registered agent’s name and address before you start in on your Articles of Organization.

Learn why the pros use a registered agent service.

Yes, you can be your own registered agent, but your business can not be your business’s registered agent. But ask yourself—will you be available during regular business hours? Are you organized and guaranteed not to misplace or lose important mail? Most of all, are you willing to put your name and address on state documents?

Yes. To change your North Dakota registered agent, all depends on if you’re using a commercial registered agent or a noncommercial registered agent. A commercial registered agent is a business or individual that has registered with the Secretary of State to be the registered agent for a large number of companies. Noncommercial registered agents often deal with a smaller number of businesses and do not need to register with the state.

3. Submit North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization

Now it’s time for you to fill out your Articles of Organization. Once filed, your articles will officially form your LLC.

Provide the following information about your LLC in order to successfully fill out the articles:

  • LLC type. Select whether you’re forming a regular LLC or a Farming/Ranching LLC. Initial reports are required for Farming/Ranching LLCs.
  • Company name. Include an indicator like “LLC.”
  • Principal office. The street address of your LLC.
  • Registered agent. Whoever will accept legal mail on behalf of the LLC.
  • Registered office. The street address where your registered agent will accept legal notifications.
  • Formation date. Want to delay your start? You can list a date up to 60 days in the future.
  • Existence. Skip this box if you want your LLC to continue existing indefinitely.
  • Business purpose. Most LLCs put a general purpose like “for any lawful purpose.” You don’t need to spill your guts here.
  • Organizer. The person who completes and submits your articles.

Note: All of the information on this form will become part of the public record.

The filing fee for $135. You can pay by check or credit card.

This is the important part. Filing your North Dakota Articles of Organization is what officially creates your LLC. You can file them online, by fax (really North Dakota, really?) or by mail.

Secretary of State
Business Registration Unit
600 E. Boulevard Avenue Dept 108
Bismarck ND 58505-0500

Send the documents and credit card authorization form to (701)-328-2292

Online filings:
North Dakota FirstStop

The key to keeping your information off public record is to hire a registered agent that will happily put their name and address on all of your state formation paperwork. That way, instead of you getting unnecessary robocalls and mailings, your registered agent’s office will deal with all that. We’re that registered agent!

What to Do After Creating Your North Dakota LLC

Write a North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement

Drawing up an operating agreement for your LLC is an important step because it outlines the LLC’s rules and regulations as well as its basic structure. The purpose of the operating agreement is to govern the internal operations of the LLC, bring legitimacy to your business, and create a framework in case disagreements between members arise.

Check out our attorney-drafted North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement.

North Dakota does not specifically require an operating agreement, but it is in your best interest to write one. An operating agreement is one of your LLC’s most important internal documents. Creating one can help your LLC with things like opening a bank account, keeping track of initial funding, and even handling the addition of members or the dissolution of the business.

Operating agreements are specific to each LLC, but you’ll definitely want to address:

  • initial funding of the LLC
  • distribution of profits and losses
  • management and membership powers, duties, and voting rights
  • member and manager compensation
  • accounting responsibilities
  • transfer of membership interest
  • dissolution of the LLC

100% yes. Most banks want to see an LLC operating agreement before you open a business account. What’s more, an operating agreement serves to give your LLC more legitimacy and provides guidance in case you want to add members to the LLC.

Get an EIN, Bank Account & Funding

Interested in opening a bank account for your LLC? You’ll first need to get an EIN (Employer Identification Number). An EIN is a unique, 9-digit identification number that is assigned by the IRS. Not only does opening a business bank account create a more defined separation between your personal and business finances, but it also allows you to have a place to put the initial funds to start your LLC.

If you have more members in your LLC, each can make an initial contribution to the business bank account. To open a bank account for your North Dakota LLC, you’ll need to bring the following to the bank:

  • North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization (you can use a copy)
  • the LLC’s operating agreement
  • the LLC’s EIN
  • an LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account (if your LLC has more than one member).

If your LLC has more than one member, use our free LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account.

To get an EIN in North Dakota, you’ll file Form SS-4 with the IRS. You can file this form online if you have an SSN or by mail using the paper form if you don’t have a social security number. There is no fee for this form.

6. File Taxes & Reports

North Dakota requires all LLCs to pay some state taxes and file an annual report. And as of January 1, 2024, you’ll need to file a BOI report. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Taxes: North Dakota LLCs are classified as “pass-through” entities by the IRS. This means that profits and losses from the business will flow from the business to the personal tax returns of each member. LLC members are responsible for paying their own income taxes, state taxes, and federal self-employment tax rate (15.3%).
  • Annual Reports: The North Dakota Annual Report costs $50, and must be filed every year. However, if your report is more than 60 days late, they’ll hit you with a $100 penalty. Fail to file for six months, and North Dakota will dissolve your LLC.
  • BOI Report: Most North Dakota LLCs are required to file the federal Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report. The BOI Report is all about disclosing your LLC ownership information (gross) to FinCEN. You can file online or hire us to do it for you ($9).

Worried you’ll forget? Let us file your North Dakota annual report for you.

Your North Dakota Annual Report is due November 15th. Your first report is due in the year following the calendar year in which your LLC became effective in North Dakota. For example, if you form your LLC in June, your first report will be due November 15th of the following year.

All nonexempt LLCs can file their BOI Report online through the BOI E-Filing System. This is a free filing.

Absolutely! If your ownership information changes, you’ll need to file an updated report within 30 days. Got something wrong on your report? You’ll also need to go back and update the filing. But don’t worry, it’s free to file an updated BOI Report.

No. Unlike your North Dakota Articles of Organization, the BOI Report isn’t available to the public. The information on your BOI Report will only be accessible to government agencies, law enforcement, and financial institutions for the purpose of confirming customer identity.

There are 23 types of exemptions to the BOI Report aimed at large companies or heavily regulated businesses that already report their beneficial ownership information to another federal agency.

Check out all 23 types of exemptions listed on our BOI Exemptions page.



*This is informational commentary, not advice. This information is intended strictly for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. This information is not intended to create, nor does your receipt, viewing, or use of it constitute, an attorney-client relationship. More information is available in our Terms of Service.

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