How to Start a Business in North Dakota

How to Start a Business in North Dakota


Welcome to our guide to business registration in North Dakota. This main page is meant to serve as a general overview of all the functions available on the Secretary of State website and we insist that you take the time to delve further into the site to ensure that you’re fully aware of every detail associated with the filing of your entity. You will have noticed if you’ve already navigated to the government website, that there isn’t an online filing procedure. For this reason, we’ve supplied all the required information for each entity available within North Dakota to be filled and filed with the proper authorities. Read on and get the full idea of what’s in store for you should you commit to transacting business in North Dakota.

Start an Entity in North Dakota

Search for a Business Name

Searching for a name is usually done to check the availability of the one you plan on operating under. In North Dakota, as in the remainder of the country, your business will need to register with a name that is distinguishable from that of any other registered entity on file with the Secretary of State. To ensure that this is the case, you can perform a Business Entity Search. There are other reasons to utilize this function as well, one of them being to obtain your annual report if your business is functioning as a professional/profit corporation or standard LLC. Also, business representatives will often search for a business to investigate any information on file with the state government and to view any business’s detailed filing history.

How to Register in North Dakota

Step 1- As we’ve previously mentioned, it’s necessary that your entity be filed with a name that is completely unique to your business. For this reason, we always recommend that filers commit to using the Business Entity Search function to avoid a rejected registration form. Furthermore, you may want to take advantage of the extremely low price of Name Reservations in this state will last for a period of 12 months.

Step 2- Once you’re fairly certain that your name is indeed available, you can continue by downloading the PDF associated with your filing type. Click on the link below that corresponds with your entity for more detailed information on the exact requirement of each.

Step 3- When you’ve complete the form and had all necessary members sign it, you will need to then attach to it any certification the Secretary has deemed necessary. For all foreign entities, you will be required to furnish your document with a certificate of good standing issued by the authorities in your state/country of initial formation. Professional entities will need to attach a certification from the licensing board associated with their profession as well.

Step 4- Once all the necessary documents have been completed, printed, and signed, you will then need to attach the filing fee (see list below for amounts). The prices vary between entities but generally, they’re fairly reasonable when compared to those of other states.

North Dakota Filing Fees


  • Domestic Business/Farming/Professional Corporation- $100
  • Domestic Non-Profit Corporation- $40
  • Foreign Business/Professional Corporation- $145
  • Foreign Non-Profit Corporation- $50

Limited Liability Company

  • Domestic Standard/Farming LLC- $135
  • Domestic Professional LLC- $135
  • Foreign Standard/Farming LLC- $135
  • Foreign Professional LLC- $135


  • Domestic Limited Partnership- $110
  • Domestic Limited Liability Partnership- $35 + $3 every additional partner
  • Domestic Limited Liability Limited Partnership- $110
  • Domestic Professional Limited Liability Partnership- $35 + $3 every additional partner
  • Foreign Limited Partnership- $110
  • Foreign Limited Liability Partnership- $60
  • Foreign Limited Liability Limited Partnership- $100
  • Foreign Professional Limited Liability Partnership- $60

Name Reservation

In the case that you feel as though your name is common enough to be taken by another entity, but you haven’t quite prepared yourself completely will all provisions needed for registration, you may benefit from a Name Reservation. In this state especially it is a useful filing. Not only is it one of the longest reservation periods in the U.S. (one full year). All that is required of you is to download the Name Reservation Application, have an authorized representative fill it out, and submit it by fax or by mail the way you would for any other filing. It is necessary of course that your name is available for use when committing to such a filing, for this reason, you may want to perform a Business Entity Search first.

North Dakota Certificate of Good Standing

In North Dakota, a Certificate of Good Standing is issued only to corporations and LLCs that are currently up to date with their annual reports and fees. A similar certificate representing the same status and serving the same function is the certificate of fact, issued to partnerships. There is currently no downloadable request form online, instead, you will be required to send a request along with the filing fee.

North Dakota Agreements

A binding agreement amongst the managing members of your business entity can greatly improve your company’s general organization. Through these documents, you will be able to relay the nature of the relationship between each official and the business entity, which will, in turn, allow you to dictate the rights and responsibilities of your company’s operators. Although these agreements are not a legally required in North Dakota, for the reasons we’ve just discussed, it is usually recommended by most respected authorities. Take the time to review the agreement that correlates to your entity type, linked below, and take advantage of the free template found on each of the tutorials.

  • North Dakota Corporate Bylaw
  • North Dakota Operating Agreement
  • North Dakota Partnership Agreement

Employer Identification Number

Many new businesses will be required to, after the acceptance of the registration documents, apply for an Employer Identification Number in order to transact business lawfully in the United States. This will allow you to then go about hiring employees, opening bank accounts, and otherwise committing to all variations of financial transactions.

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