How to Start an LLC in North Dakota | Mid 2023 Update

Embarking on the journey to establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in North Dakota can be both thrilling and challenging. Known for its robust energy and agricultural sectors, North Dakota presents diverse opportunities for entrepreneurs. This guide will walk you through the key steps to start an LLC in North Dakota and delve into the unique requirements of the state.. By the time you are done with this article, you should have all the information you need to know how to start an LLC in North Dakota.

Whether you are looking to start this LLC to develop a family office the Familoff way, or if you are just looking to start a business, let this guide lead the way.

How to Start an LLC in North Dakota: Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a North Dakota LLC involves several essential steps to ensure compliance with state regulations. In this guide, you’ll find a detailed overview of the process for forming a North Dakota LLC, including choosing a name, appointing a registered agent, filing the Articles of Organization, creating an operating agreement, obtaining an EIN, complying with tax and regulatory requirements, maintaining your LLC, and outsourcing LLC creation.

Choose a Name for Your North Dakota LLC

The initial and perhaps most fundamental step in creating your LLC is selecting a suitable name. In North Dakota, the name of your LLC must comply with the rules set out in the North Dakota Century Code. It should be distinguishable from the names of other businesses registered with the North Dakota Secretary of State.

The name of your LLC must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or any of its abbreviations like “LLC” or “L.L.C”. The chosen name’s availability can be checked via the North Dakota Secretary of State’s business database. If the name is available but you’re not ready to officially file, you can reserve it for 12 months with a $10 filing fee.

Additionally, securing a corresponding domain name for your business website can enhance your digital presence.

Appoint a Registered Agent in North Dakota

North Dakota law requires every LLC to appoint a registered agent, who can be an individual residing in the state or a business entity authorized to conduct business in North Dakota. The registered agent, whose physical street address must be in North Dakota, is responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your LLC in case of litigation.

File North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization

To legally establish your LLC, you must file a Certificate of Organization with the North Dakota Secretary of State. The filing can be done online or by mail, and it comes with a $135 filing fee. The Certificate of Organization should include:

  • The name of the LLC
  • The name and address of the LLC’s registered agent
  • Whether it’s a member-managed or manager-managed LLC
  • The LLC’s purpose
  • The address of the LLC’s principal office

Create an Operating Agreement for Your North Dakota LLC

Though not legally required by North Dakota law, having an operating agreement is highly recommended. This internal document outlines the ownership structure and operating procedures of your LLC. It’s key to protecting your limited liability status, preventing misunderstandings among members, and ensuring your business operates under your rules rather than the state’s default laws.

Obtain an EIN for Your North Dakota LLC

An EIN, also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number, is essential for your LLC. Required by the IRS for tax purposes, this number is also crucial for opening a business bank account and hiring employees. You can apply for an EIN online or by mail, free of charge, from the IRS.

Comply with North Dakota LLC Tax and Regulatory Requirements

Depending on the nature of your LLC’s business activities, you may need to register for one or more types of state tax:

  • Sales Tax: If your LLC sells goods to customers in North Dakota, you may have to collect and pay sales tax. This requires registration with the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner.
  • Employer Taxes: If your LLC has employees, you will need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax with the North Dakota Job Service North Dakota and North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner, respectively.

North Dakota requires LLCs to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $50, and the report is due on November 15th of each year, beginning in the year following the year the LLC was formed.

Maintain Your North Dakota LLC

In addition to these fundamental steps, your LLC may need to meet other state-specific requirements:

  • Business Licenses and Permits: Depending on its location and industry, your LLC may need to obtain additional local or state business licenses or permits.
  • North Dakota Employer Requirements: If your LLC has employees, there are further requirements concerning wage and labor laws, insurance coverages (such as workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance), and more.

While the journey of starting an LLC in North Dakota is exhilarating, it does involve legal and financial complexities. Professional guidance from an attorney or a certified public accountant can be invaluable in navigating these intricacies and maintaining compliance with state regulations.

Outsourcing North Dakota LLC Creation

While forming a North Dakota LLC on your own is doable, many entrepreneurs choose to outsource the process to professional services such as LegalZoom, Incfile, or ZenBusiness. These services can simplify the LLC formation process and save you time, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Outsourcing LLC creation offers several benefits:

  • Expertise: Professional services are well-versed in state requirements and can help you avoid common pitfalls and errors.
  • Convenience: They will handle the paperwork, filings, and interactions with the state on your behalf, ensuring all necessary steps are completed.
  • Registered agent services: Many LLC formation services also offer registered agent services, providing you with a reliable and experienced registered agent for your LLC.
  • Ongoing support: Most services offer ongoing support and assistance with maintaining your LLC, including compliance reminders and annual report filing.

When choosing an LLC formation service, compare pricing, features, and customer reviews to find the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind that the cost of using a professional service will be in addition to the state filing fees.

Final Thoughts on How to Start an LLC in North Dakota

Forming an LLC in North Dakota offers a host of benefits, including limited liability protection, tax advantages, and operational flexibility. However, adhering to the correct formation process and state-specific requirements is key to your LLC’s long-term success. Seeking professional assistance can equip you to make informed decisions that align with your business’s unique needs.

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