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How to Start an LLC in North Dakota

To start an LLC in North Dakota, you must file Articles of Organization with the North Dakota Business Registration Unit, pay a $135 filing fee, and get an EIN from the IRS. The complete steps to forming a North Dakota LLC are as follows:

  1. File North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization
  2. Pay the North Dakota Business Registration Unit $135
  3. Wait to receive your Certificate of Organization
  4. Get a Federal EIN tax ID for the LLC
  5. Create a North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement
  6. Take these documents to the bank and get a North Dakota LLC bank account
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North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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Documents & Forms

How to File North Dakota Articles of Organization

To form a North Dakota LLC, you file the LLC Articles of Organization in the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your new LLC
Step 2 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 3 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 4 Choose when you want to start and how long you’d like your LLC to exist
Step 5 Declare the purpose of your business
Step 6 Mail your filing to the Business Registration Unit, Secretary of State, State of North Dakota, 600 E Boulevard Ave Dept 108, Bismarck ND 58505-0500 with a check or money order for $135, or fax to 701-328-2992 with a credit card authorization form

How Long Does it Take to Start a North Dakota LLC?


Fastest 2-4 weeks

Mail or fax your Articles of Organization yourself. In a few weeks (usually within 24 business days), you’ll receive your Certificate of Organization.


Almost Fastest (and some might say better) 2-4 weeks

Let Northwest form and file your Articles of Organization. Just fill out a brief questionnaire, sit back, and let our Corporate Guides file everything correctly the first time.

What is the Cost of a North Dakota LLC?

The state filing fee for your North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization is $135. When you hire Northwest, your total, out-the-door cost is $360, including state fees.

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How much does an LLC in North Dakota cost each year?

There is a $50 filing fee to submit the North Dakota LLC Annual Report.

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What are the North Dakota LLC taxes?

The North Dakota personal net income tax rates are:

1.10%: $0 to $37,949
2.04%: $37,950 to $91,899
2.27%: $91,900 to $191,649
2.64%: $191,650 to $416,699
2.90%: $416,700+

The state sales tax is 5%, but cities and counties can tack on local sales taxes as well. The average total sales tax is 5.6% but is as high as 8.5% in Tioga.

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Is a North Dakota LLC Registered Agent Required?

Yes, your North Dakota LLC is required to have a North Dakota registered agent. One option is to appoint an individual like yourself or a friend—although there are a few problems you can run into. You’ll have to list your address in your public Articles of Organization. A public address is a prime target for data sellers, meaning you’re trading in privacy for a mailbox full of junk. You’ll also have to be available during business hours at the address you list. And let’s be real—no one wants to be chained to their desk. You have meetings to attend, investors to woo, and sometimes you just need to get away from it all.

A better option? Hire Northwest Registered Agent. We’ll list our address, so you can maintain your privacy. We’ll also be ready and waiting to accept your legal notifications, which we’ll scan and send to you the same day. With Northwest, we leave you free to run your business when and where you want.

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North Dakota LLC Versus North Dakota Corporation:

When it comes to state filing fees, North Dakota corporations are a little cheaper than LLCs. Articles are $100 for a corporation and $135 for an LLC. Annual Reports are $25 for a corporation and $50 for an LLC.

While they may cost a bit more in filing fees, many people choose to start an LLC because they’re generally easier to operate. Members can self-manage without the need for directors, officers, or even any managers at all. Without a management hierarchy, it can be faster and easier for LLCs to make decisions and changes. New businesses and small businesses often go with LLCs. On the flip side, large businesses (or those that hope to scale quickly) commonly opt for corporations. Interested in a corporation in the Peace Garden State? Here’s information on North Dakota incorporation.

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Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for a North Dakota LLC?

Hiring employees? Filing certain federal excise returns? You’ll need an EIN. Even just to open a bank account for your business, you’ll nearly always need an EIN. You can apply for one for free on the IRS website, so there’s really no reason not to get one. You also have the option of using your EIN in some cases where you’d otherwise have to use your personal social security number, like establishing credit with a vendor or filing some local taxes. Don’t want to slog through another application? Add on EIN service when you hire Northwest, and we’ll apply for you.

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Does a North Dakota LLC Need a Business License?

North Dakota doesn’t have a general statewide business license, but the state does issue licenses for specific activities, such as selling fireworks. Some cities and counties have their own licensing requirements as well. For example, Fargo requires local licenses for a variety of businesses, including haulers, excavators, and taxi services.

What is a North Dakota LLC Annual Report?

Your North Dakota LLC Annual Report is a form you file with the Secretary of State each year to update contact and ownership information. The filing fee is $50 and due November 15th. This weird filing time is easy to forget—and if you file late, your filing fee doubles to $100. Fail to file for 6 months, and the state will dissolve your LLC. Afraid you’ll forget? When you sign up with Northwest, we’ll help you remember. We’ll send you reminder notifications for your Annual Report. Better yet, hire us to file your reports for you and never worry about missing a filing deadline.

Does a North Dakota LLC Need an Operating Agreement?

Absolutely. Every LLC should have an operating agreement. Sure, it’s not a legal requirement—operating agreements aren’t state filings like your Articles of Organization—but operating agreements are the most important internal document for your North Dakota LLC. While your Articles register your business with the state, your operating agreement sets the terms of your business. It puts in writing who owns the business, how much each person invested, how profits and losses are allocated, and what happens if the whole thing crashes and burns. Members are heavily invested in the terms of your operating agreement. Your bank will almost certainly ask to see it when you take on debt or even open an account. Potential investors and partners will ask to see it as well. Your Articles start your business, but your operating agreement defines how your business really works.

Operating agreements are essential. That’s why we give you a free operating agreement, specific to your management style, when you hire Northwest to form your North Dakota LLC. We’ve spent years refining these forms, along with the other free forms we give our clients, like resolutions and membership certificates. We’ve been crafting and improving our forms for a long time—we were the first website to give out free LLC forms, and over a million LLCs have used our free LLC forms to help form and maintain their businesses.


North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization Requirements:

LLC Type

North Dakota uses the same form for regular LLCs and Farming/Ranching LLCs. If your business engages in farming or ranching, tick the farming box and also complete an Initial Report for Farming or Ranching. Tip: Most LLCs are just regular, general business LLCs.

Company Name

Your name must include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation. Most businesses go with “LLC.” You can’t use any words that could suggest you’re a bank, like “banking” or “trust.” (So abandon your dreams of naming your cycling outlet “Joe’s Off-Road Bicycle Bank.”)

Principal Office

This street address is the official address of your LLC and can’t be a PO Box. Hire us as your registered agent, and you can use our North Dakota address as your principal address.

Registered Agent

You can choose a noncommercial agent (such as yourself) or a commercial registered agent (like Northwest). Clearly, we’re fans of Northwest.

Registered Office

If you have a noncommercial agent, list the address where the agent will be available to accept legal notifications. This North Dakota street address will become part of the permanent public record of your LLC. Or, hire a commercial registered agent like us and skip this section. Our address is already on file with the Secretary of State.

Effective Date

You can choose to have your company begin its existence when your Articles are filed, or you can push it off to a later date (maybe when the next tax period begins). Future effective dates must be within 90 days. Tip: Most LLCs start their businesses upon filing.


You can skip this box if you want your LLC to continue existing indefinitely. If you’d rather put a self-destruct timer on your business, you can enter an end date for your North Dakota LLC here.


This section is less existential than it sounds. Your purpose is why your LLC was created (meaning what activities it will engage in). Most LLCs put a general purpose, stating that LLC is organized for any lawful purpose in the State of North Dakota.

North Dakota LLC Organizer

Your organizer forms and files your Articles of Organization. Organizers must include their names and addresses, and they don’t have to be anyone in the LLC. When you hire Northwest, we’ll be your organizer.

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by Local Corporate Guides®