How to Start an LLC in North Dakota by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

How to Start an LLC in North Dakota

Unsure how to go about forming an LLC in North Dakota? Get the information you need on registration, forms and fees, naming requirements and more.

by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.
updated August 11, 2017 · 5 min read

LLCs in North Dakota are affordable and easy to form. And as with other states, the State of North Dakota has some specific requirements that are unique to the state.

Interested parties must register with the Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.

The specifications required of a North Dakota LLC are:

Registration. Registrants must file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This may be done online or by mail. The articles must include pertinent information such as:

  • LLC name and principal office address
  • Purpose of the LLC
  • Name and address of registered agent
  • Effective date
  • Duration, if not perpetual
  • Name, email, daytime phone number and dated signature of organizer
  • Name, email and daytime phone number of contact person

All documents submitted must be accompanied by the payment for the filing fee.

Forms and fees. LLC registrants are required to file Articles of Organization accompanied by the necessary filing fee of $135. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent requirements.

Timeline. The standard processing time for documents with the Secretary of State can be as long as two weeks.

Naming requirements. LLC naming requirements can be confusing. However, the easiest way to ensure that your LLC name will be approved is to make it distinguishable from other LLCs and include specific words required of LLCs. You may opt to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing your LLC formation documents with the Secretary of State.

Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must first file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.

An LLC with more than one member is also strongly advised to have a limited liability operating agreement among its members.

Should your LLC offer professional services, you may have to obtain certain licenses and permits from the state’s professional licensing boards.

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Starting an LLC in North Dakota

Before you begin the registration process for an LLC in North Dakota, it’s important to know what an LLC is and whether or not it is a viable business structure for your company, so be certain to read up on the definition and benefits of an LLC.

These steps will guide you through the LLC registration process with the North Dakota Secretary of State:

1. Decide on a name for your business. You can choose any name for your LLC as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company” or any variation of its abbreviation—e.g., LLC or L.L.C.

  • A name may be reserved for up to 12 months. You must file a name reservation application with the Secretary of State. This may be done by mail or fax. All requests must be accompanied by the $10 filing fee. Be sure to include the following information:
  • Name to be reserved
  • Owner’s name, address, phone number and dated signature
  • Contact person’s name, email and phone number

A preferred name may be checked for availability by accessing the Secretary of State’s website.

2. Assign an agent for service of process. Registered agents are individuals or corporations authorized to do business in the state and which have permanent addresses in North Dakota. Registered agents accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC and make sure its members are notified.

3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. If there are two or more members in your LLC, your company will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, for tax purposes.

4. Create an operating agreement. Although LLCs in North Dakota are not required to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is wise to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member. The State of North Dakota recognizes limited liability company operating agreements as governing documents.

5. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations, specifically annual reports. These are due every year by November 15. Reports may be filed by mail or fax and must include the $50 filing fee payment. Should you file a postmarked report after the November 15 due date, you will be required to pay a total of $100 in filing fees. The first report is due in the year following that in which the LLC was formed.

Make sure that your LLC, should it offer professional services, meets state legal requirements.

Continuing legal obligations may vary with each state. These could be, but are not limited to, state taxes, annual or biennial reports and so on.

Filing an LLC and Fees

Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting an LLC in North Dakota:

1. Forms. Complete and submit Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. All documents submitted must be accompanied by the payment for the necessary filing fee.

2. Fees. The filing fee for Articles of Organization is $135. This must be paid upon submission of the documents to the Secretary of State.

3. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although the LLC operating agreement will not be submitted to the Secretary of State, it is a good idea to have one in place for LLCs with more than one member. This document should be kept on file by the registered agent.

4. Taxes. LLCs in North Dakota are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications. Depending on the type of taxation you opt to have for your LLC, you will have different federal tax responsibilities.

You should always make sure to acquaint yourself with the state laws regarding taxation. Your LLC may be subject to other taxes depending on the kind of services it offers.

Ready to start an LLC in North Dakota? LegalZoom provides LLC formation services, including providing a registered agent in North Dakota.


Ready to start your LLC? START AN LLC ONLINE NOW
Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

About the Author

Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

Healthcare and FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen is Founder & President of the Michael H. Cohen Law Group. The Michael H. Cohe… Read more