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Start a Business in North Dakota

Starting a business in North Dakota is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the North Dakota Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.

One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."

Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your North Dakota business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.

All You Need

Hire us to start your North Dakota LLC or corporation and get all the tools you need to start fast:

  • ND registered agent service

  • North Dakota business forms

  • Online client account

  • Easy access to all our business services & answers to your business questions

Start Your Business the Right Way

As your registered agent, when we start your business, we give you what other filing services can’t:

  • Privacy by Default®
  • Business address
  • Free mail forwarding
  • Lifetime support from local Corporate Guides®

Start Your North Dakota Business

$225 + State Fees
Rated 4.6 / 5 stars by 427 clients on Google

How to Start a Business in North Dakota


You file articles of incorporation for a North Dakota corporation or articles of organization for a North Dakota LLC with the ND Secretary of State.

Federal Tax ID

You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of North Dakota showing your approved North Dakota business.

Bank Account

Opening a business banking account under your new North Dakota business name should be easy with these two items.

State Tax Commissioner

If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the ND Office of the State Tax Commissioner. We provide all these links in your online account.

Trade License

You obtain a trade license, if you actually need one. (Most businesses don’t.) Some North Dakota licenses are issued by either the ND Attorney General or the ND Secretary of State. Links and information are in your online account.

Local License

You obtain a local business license, if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.


If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.

Get Going

If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.

Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer? You Can Save Some Money:

If you want to start a business in North Dakota yourself, you can just hire us as your North Dakota registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the North Dakota LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a North Dakota corporation or form a North Dakota LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional North Dakota registered agent service.


North Dakota LLC vs Corporation

LLCs often work best for small to medium sized businesses. They have fewer annual requirements and are easier to maintain. Corporations are great for large businesses. Having the ability to sell stock also helps attract strong investors.

But, what about North Dakota? Any pros and cons for a North Dakota LLC vs a ND corporation?

In terms of initial and maintenance fees, there are some advantages to starting a North Dakota corporation versus a North Dakota LLC. The Articles of Incorporation will only cost $100, whereas the Articles of Organization will cost $135. Both entities must file an annual report each year; however, corporations will pay less—$25 vs $50.

During tax season, corporations will be hit slightly harder than LLCs. Overall tax rates are low. Traditional corporations are subject to a North Dakota corporate income tax. Revenues between $0 and $24,999 are taxed at 1.41%; however, anything over $50,000 will result in a higher payment ($1,240.00 + 4.31% of income over $50k). Personal income tax rates range from 1.10% and 2.90%—so even owners of higher earning LLCs won’t end up paying huge taxes.

North Dakota offers a few tax incentives for corporations that qualify as a primary sector business (i.e.: farming, fishing, and mining). These types of businesses may be granted exemption from the State Board of Equalization and pay $0 in corporate income taxes for the first five years of existence. This also applies to companies that process and package raw materials.

If you want a corporation, you file North Dakota Articles of Incorporation:

The North Dakota articles of incorporation cost $100 with the North Dakota Secretary of State.
We custom draft your North Dakota articles of incorporation when you hire Northwest to start your North Dakota business.

The basic requirements of North Dakota corporations are:

  • The North Dakota corporation must have a corporate ending such as incorporated, corporation or an abbreviation thereof.
  • The duration of the corporation is “perpetual” unless otherwise stated.
  • The purpose of the North Dakota corporation.
  • The number of shares the North Dakota corporation is authorized to issue and par value.
  • The name of the registered agent in North Dakota and the registered office address.
  • The name and address of the directors of the North Dakota corporation.
  • The name and address of the North Dakota incorporators.
  • Date of execution.
  • The North Dakota incorporator must sign the articles of incorporation.
  • The name and business address of the person preparing the ND articles of incorporation.

North Dakota does not require original signatures on new ND corporation filings. The stamped form will be mailed to the address of the person who filed the documents.

Start Your North Dakota Business!

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If you want a LLC, you file North Dakota Articles of Organization:

To form a North Dakota LLC, file articles of organization and pay the $135 fee.

The basic requirements of North Dakota LLC filings are:

  • The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it such as LLC, L.L.C.
  • The North Dakota business name must be different than already registered North Dakota businesses.
  • The duration of the North Dakota LLC, (Usually perpetual.)
  • North Dakota limited liability companies do not need to state a LLC purpose.
  • The North Dakota registered agent and the physical address.
  • The names and addresses of the initial member(s) are not required
  • If the ND limited liability company is to be managed by one or more managers, you must specify this management structure.  Managers names are not required.
  • Someone must sign as the ND LLC organizer.

North Dakota does not require original signatures on new ND LLC filings. You’ll get a certificate of formation mailed back to you after the state approves your filing.

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