How to start a North Dakota LLC

By Bazal Razzaq

Chief Editor

Updated: September 21, 2023, 12:30pm

Editorial Note: We earn a commission if you use the services recommended on this page. Commissions do not affect our opinions or recommendations.

North Dakota LLC

A North Dakota LLC is essential to start a business or to hold assets like real estate, vehicles, boats, or aircraft). It is a legal structure to protect your personal assets such as your home, bank account etc.

To apply for an LLC in North Dakota, you have to file the Articles of Organization with the North Dakota Secretary of State. The cost of filing for North Dakota LLC is $135 and the application is accepted online.

We have shared the steps below on how to form a North Dakota LLC.

#1 Give a name to your North Dakota LLC

Choosing a name for your company is the first step towards starting a Limited Liability Company. You must keep in mind that the chosen name must satisfy North Dakota naming requirements.

  1. The company name should include either ‘Limited Liability Company’ or its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).


  2. The LLC name should not include the name of any govt agency like the FBI, State Department, Treasury etc.


  3. If you are keen to use a restricted word such as Bank, Attorney, or University, you will have to do additional paperwork.

It will be nice to check if your LLC name is not taken already. It can be done by searching the LLC name at North Dakota LLC Search on the Secretary of State’s website.

If the verified name is available, select a professional service to finish the LLC formation process.

#2 Appoint a Registered Agent in North Dakota

The second step involves the appointment of a Registered agent for handling your LLC. A registered agent is the one who receives important legal documents regarding the business. It can be an individual or a business entity with a physical address within the state.

You can select a Registered agent from the 3 options given below:

  1. Select a friend or a family member as a Registered agent.

  2. You can be your own Registered agent.

  3. Hire a Registered Agent Service in North Dakota for the LLC.

A registered agent must be 18 years or above in age and be available during business hours.

#3 File for the North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization

To register the LLC in North Dakota, you would be required to file for the Articles of Organization with the North Dakota Secretary of State. The filing can be done online or sent through mail.

It takes 3 easy steps to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.

  1. Get the Articles of Organization form– create a personal or business account with the North Dakota Secretary of State.


  2. Fill out the form– Provide necessary information such as Entity Name, Address, Registered Agent name, Purpose of business, Date and Duration, Name and Address of the Organizer.


  3. File for the Articles of Organization- You can complete the form online or send a hard copy of the form by mail. The filing cost is $135.

The Mailing address is-

Business Registration Unit

Secretary of State

600 E Boulevard Ave Dept 108

Bismarck, ND 58505

Fax: (701) 328-2992

#4 Create an Operating Agreement for North Dakota LLC

A Limited Liability Company is not required to create an Operating Agreement, but it is good to have one.

You can create single-member LLCs, and multi-member LLCs Operating Agreement as required.

An Operating Agreement defines important facts such as the ownership, and operating procedures of the LLC. Some of them are given below-

  1. Organization of LLC.

  2. Voting and Management.

  3. Capital Contributions by members.

  4. Distribution of profit or loss.

  5. Lays down changes in Membership Structure.

  6. Dissolve your LLC.

#5 Obtain an EIN

EIN is an Employer Identification Number that is obtained from the IRS free of cost. This unique number is used to identify the business entity and track the business’s tax reporting. It is also the Social Security number (SSN) of the company.

An EIN is required for the following reasons-

  1. To open a Business Bank Account.


  2. For federal and state tax-related matters.


  3. To hire new employees.

The EIN can be obtained either online or by manually downloading the form and sending it through mail. The mailing address is-

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

#6 File the Annual Report

The Secretary of State has made it necessary to file the Annual Report online. The fee for the application is $50. The LLC Annual reports should be submitted by November 15. There is a fine of an extra $50 if you fail to file on time. You can file online or print the form and send it by mail with the payment to the Secretary of State.

You can also correct the filing mistakes in the Articles of Organization. There can be a spelling error, address error etc. The changes can be made by completing an amendment online on the portal. It takes 4 weeks time to process the amendment.

#7 Keep your LLC Compliant

To open and run the LLC successfully, you must comply with federal, local, state, and government regulations. Fees, license and permit requirements will depend on the type of business license you need.

#8 North Dakota LLC Taxes

After the LLC has been set up and running, there are two types of filing, the Annual Report and another is taxes.

The amount of taxes on LLCs depends on:

  1. How tax is imposed on LLC.

  2. Local and state tax rules.

  3. If you have employees.

These are the simple and easy steps to form your own LLC in North Dakota and kick-start your business.

Frequently Asked Questions​

It will be easy if you follow the North Dakota LLC naming guidelines.

  1. Use “limited liability company” or its abbreviations LLC, or L.L.C.
  2. Try not to use a government agency name.
  3. Use proper licensing when you use words such as doctor, or lawyer.

If you are 18 years or above, and have a physical address, you can be your own Registered agent.

A Registered Agent Service is a more affordable way to manage government filing for your LLC. One way or the other, a professional service outweighs the annual cost.

The Annual report costs $50 per year and will be paid till the LLC is up and running.

In North Dakota, it is not necessary to file an Operating Agreement, but it is advisable to have one. The Operating Agreement is only a document kept for future reference.

A Social Security Number is not necessary to have an EIN. You can fill out IRS Form SS-4, and call IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete the application.

You can tell the LLC Tax classification by having a look at the number of members in your LLC.

  1. One Member: LLC is taxed as Sole Proprietorship.
  2. More than One Member: LLC is taxed as a Partnership.

Every Business doesn’t need a business license in North Dakota. There are some businesses, industries and professions that are subjected to federal or state licensing requirements.

The members of the LLC must consult the operating agreement, file an annual report, close all tax accounts, clear debts and all liabilities and apply for the Articles of Dissolution.

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