Step 1) Create a Name for Your North Dakota Corporation

Choose a Business NameThe first thing that you need to do when forming a North Dakota Corporation is to make a unique and distinguishable name that will not confuse the public. Once you are able to decide on a business name, you have to include the words, “incorporated” or “corporation” to represent the entity status of your business.

Use the business name search tool provided by the North Dakota Secretary of State to make sure that it’s available. Upon checking, it it’s available, you can reserve your chosen business name for 12 months by submitting a  Reserve Name Application. The filing fee is only $10.


Step 2) File Your Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCTo legally form your business, you need to submit your Articles of Incorporation  before the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office. Take note of the following information that you may need to prepare:

Filing Fee: $100


Step 3) Designate a North Dakota Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentA North Dakota Registered Agent is your partner in success. They are important in every type of business because they’ll take care of important legal and government documents for you by receiving them on your behalf.

The state of North Dakota does not allow businesses operating within the state to act as their own agent, you are required to appoint one. Having said this, you can find a registered agent which you can pay $169/year, but if you form your Corporation with IncFile it’s free of charge. You can also look into this list of registered agents in North Dakota prepared by the Secretary of State.


Step 4) Set-up a Corporate Records Binder

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Record Binder or your Corporate Record Book is a compilation of all important documents related to your North Dakota Corporation. It contains anything from your registration documents, taxes, business licenses and permits to the records of the minutes of every meeting and other paperwork.

You can obtain a Corporate Records Book from your local office supply store. If you want an easier transaction, you can order one at Amazon and have it shipped directly.


Step 5) Appoint the Initial Directors of Your North Dakota Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsPart of your responsibility as a business owner is to appoint the initial directors of your North Dakota Corporation. These professionals are in-charge of making important calls and decisions. They will also act as members of the board until the initial shareholder’s meeting is conducted.

After you’ve appointed the directors of your corporation, make sure to create an Incorporator’s statement showing all the complete names and addresses of every director. Place this in your Corporate Records Binder for safe keeping.


Step 6) Conduct Your First Board of Directors Meeting

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsRight after you elected your initial directors, set-up your corporation’s first board of directors meeting where you can discuss matters such as:

When forming your North Dakota Corporation, it would also be best to have an S-Corporation status; this has to be included in your meeting. Once the meeting is done, a minutes of the meeting must be ready, duly signed by the board of directors.


Step 7) Comply with North Dakota Business Tax and License Requirements

Business LicensesBusiness taxes and business licenses compliance is a mandatory requirement when doing a business in North Dakota. By meeting these requirements, you will avoid problems with the state government and the Internal Revenue Service. Below is a list of the requirements you must fulfill.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountIt is essential that you separate your personal and business finances for healthy financial management. To be able to do this, you may need to open a business bank account. By having a business bank account, you’ll be able to keep a close eye on your business expenses.

Recommended Resource: Check out this roundup to help you decided which type of business banking accounts is best for you.


To-Do After Starting a

North Dakota Corporation

Now that you’ve complete the 8 step above, you are now officially a North Dakota Corporation. Apart from the 8 steps mentioned above, here are three additional requirements that you need to comply based on best practices.

1) Write a Funding-ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanWriting a business plan is not a mandatory requirement to start a corporation in North Dakota, but it’s highly recommended that you make one. A business plan is not just a blueprint, it will also enable you to obtain funding for your business. If you need assistance in writing a business plan, here are two useful resources.

Writing a Business Plan Quick-Links


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteA business website is highly essential if you want to do business these days. WordPress is an excellent platform that will allow you to create a website in minutes. Another reliable website software is Bluehost. It features a WordPress installation tool and customer support service.

Resource for Getting Started: You can take advantage of this step-by-step guide to assist you.  


3) Create Your Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsYour North Dakota Corporate Bylaws is the internal rulebook of your corporation. Your bylaws controls your daily operations, enabling you to run your business smoothly and normally.

Even if it is not filed together with your Articles of Incorporation, it is still an integral part of building your business.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered a legal advice or document. If you have questions or concerns on the legalities of starting a North Dakota Corporation, you can address them to your lawyer. It is also important to remember that you’re required to file annual reports throughout your operations. Check out more of this here.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom