North Dakota Business Facts
North Dakota outranks a number of states in America in various aspects. North Dakota has one of the lowest rates of unemployment among all 50 states. Its GDP growth in 2009 ranked third. Moreover, the state has a low crime rate and a low rate of credit card default.
Major Companies Headquartered in North Dakota
North Dakota is the headquarters of many major companies including Scheels, TMI Hospitality, Altru Health System, Stallion, and the University of North Dakota.
North Dakota ranked first among all states in terms of the best place to start a business. The different categories included in the survey were as follows – business cost, business environment, and accessibility to various resources. In addition, North Dakota has a supportive community for new entrepreneurs.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation, or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in North Dakota, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching North Dakota state databases:
NOTE: Familiarize yourself with the North Dakota naming guidelines. LLC entity names need to contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation LLC, and certain words are restricted or prohibited.
Restrictions on North Dakota Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in North Dakota.
How to form an LLC in North Dakota
How to Incorporate in North Dakota
NOTE: When registering a new company the Secretary of State can take several weeks to file the paperwork. You can expedite the process by hand delivering the documents directly to them or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long North Dakota is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in North Dakota
Optional Considerations when registering a North Dakota business
Ready to register a business in North Dakota?
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
To obtain an EIN you can apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Top 5 Major Banks in North Dakota
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments, or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Review our list of Accountants, Accounting Software, and Bookkeepers in our Vendor Network.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection. Click here to view our preferred provider of business insurance online.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. Establish a process to fulfill orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years, with an option for renewal.
LLC: North Dakota corporations are required to file a Periodic Report with the North Dakota Secretary of State by November 15 each year, in addition to general taxation. Information on your business’ taxes can be found here. The filing fee is $50.
Corporation: Businesses in North Dakota should file an annual report by August 1 to the Division of Corporate and Consumer Services. The annual report fee is $25.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most of your ongoing compliance tasks.
North Dakota Secretary of State
Business Services (for Corporation and LLC filings)
State of North Dakota
600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept 108
Bismarck ND 58505-0500
North Dakota Taxation Departments
North Dakota Labor and Employment Departments
North Dakota Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Dakota District Offices
2. SCORE North Dakota
3. North Dakota Legal Statutes
4. North Dakota Chambers of Commerce
6. North Dakota Angel Investors
7. North Dakota Business News
8. Economic Development & Finance
9. North Dakota Small Business Development Center
10. ELPC (Environmental Law & Policy Center)
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