How to Start an LLC in North Dakota

Last Updated on February 4, 2022

Costs to Form an LLC in North Dakota

To form a Limited Liability Company in North Dakota, file the Articles of Organization with the North Dakota Secretary of State.  The LLC filing fee is $135.

Approval time for the LLC is typically between 2 and 3 weeks.

Professional Limited Liability Company

Businesses that require state licensing and offer professional services such as accountants, attorneys, podiatrists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, etc. have the option of filing for a Professional Limited Liability Company (sometimes referred to as a Professional LLC or PLLC) instead of an LLC. Filing for a PLLC is very similar to the LLC outlined below.

Foreign LLC

Instead of creating a new LLC, an out-of-state LLC wanting to do business in North Dakota will have to register as a foreign LLC by filing a Certificate of Authority Foreign Limited Liability Company Application with the North Dakota Secretary of State.

Steps to Form a North Dakota LLC

Begin by visiting the North Dakota FirstStop website or by downloading the Articles of Organization.

Step 1: Purpose of the LLC

In the first section, you are asked whether the LLC is being formed for general business purposes or farming.  Select the one that applies.

Step 2: Name the LLC

Enter the name you want for the LLC.  The LLC’s name also has to differ from other entity names registered with the Secretary of State.  Learn how to do an LLC name search in North Dakota before filing to be sure the one you want is available.

Additionally, the name of the LLC must include the following phrase or abbreviations at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • L.L.C.
  • LLC

If there is a name you want to use but aren’t ready to form the LLC, the Name Reservation Application can be filed to hold the name for up to 1 year. The state filing fee for a name reservation is $10, paid to the Secretary of State.

Step 3: Address of Principal Executive Office

In this section, enter the street address, city, state, and zip code of the initial principal office.  This address must be in North Dakota and can be the LLC’s physical address, or it can be the address where the business records are stored.  You may not use a PO Box for the designated office.

Step 4: Registered Agent

To have an LLC in North Dakota, a Registered Agent must be identified.  The Registered Agent can either be a resident of North Dakota (Select “noncommercial registered agent”) or a Registered Agent service (Select “commercial registered agent”) that is registered with the Secretary of State.  See the Secretary of State’s Commercial Registered Agent List.  The agent must have a physical address in the state (PO Boxes are not allowed), be available during normal business hours, and act as a point of contact to receive important legal and tax documents, summons, subpoenas, etc. on behalf of the LLC.

Step 5: Effective Date

If you want the LLC to start on today’s date, choose the box that says, “When filed with the Secretary of State.”  Otherwise, select the box that says “Later on (month, day, year)” and enter a date less than 90 days in the future to start.

The main reason for delaying the LLC start date is when the filing is being done close to the end of a calendar year, and the business will not have any activity until the start of the year.  By delaying until the following year, they will reduce the number of end-of-year filings.

Step 6: Term of Existence

In this section, you can indicate how long the LLC will remain in existence.  Most LLCs will choose a perpetual/indefinite existence; however, some businesses (usually investment-related) will have a specific closure date.

Step 7: Business Description

In this article, you can either adopt the default statement of being in business for “any lawful purpose” or provide some basic information about what the business does. It’s generally better to keep a broad statement in case the focus of the business ever changes.

Step 8: Other Provisions

This is an optional section and not used by most LLCs.  Here you would include additional rules for the operation of the LLC.

Step 9: Name, Address, and Signatures of Organizers

List each organizer along with their mailing address and have them sign.

Step 10: Pay and File

Mail the Articles of Organization along with payment to:

Business Registration Unit
Secretary of State
State of North Dakota
600 E Boulevard Ave Dept 108
Bismarck, ND 58505-0500

In approximately 2-3 weeks, the LLC will be approved.