To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name in North Dakota, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a free Business Entity Search through the state, and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your LLC name should contain the words like ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C.’ are also acceptable. If needed, file a Reserve Name Application with the Sec. of State for via mail, fax, or card.
Filing Fee: $10
Your North Dakota Registered Agent can be a resident of the state or a local/foreign company registered in North Dakota, however a physical address is required. It’s their responsibility to receive and help process all important documentation like state filings, court notices, tax forms, etc.
You can either choose from this List of Registered Agents provided by the Secretary of State, use a private service which can cost up to $160/year. or get a Registered Agent free of charge when you register an LLC through services like IncFile or BizFilings.
Head back to the LLC Forms page and download the Articles of Organization (SFN 58701) which needs to be filed through mail or fax with the Sec. of State when you’re ready to set up shop. It’s an official declarative document for the public record that among other things discloses:
LLC Filing Fee: $135
Your EIN, or FEIN is a unique 9-digit federal Employer Identification Number that relevant agencies use to track your business activity. It’s very similar to how social security numbers work for individuals. Your EIN allows you to process taxes, legally hire employees and also set up a business bank account.
Okay, so where do you plan on establishing the financial groundwork of your LLC? The first thing to ensure is that no other financial data-stream or account of any kind will get into the mix and muddy the waters. Keep it separate. Then, shop around at different local, state and national banks as well as credit unions to get a good idea of your options.
To get research going, check out this short free quasi-guide to Business Checking Accounts from the more big bank perspective. It should help give you a basic idea of the numbers involved.
Because of the flexibility of an LLC, you need to create an operating agreement that will protect your LLC status. An Operating Agreement isn’t a mandatory requirement but it’s HIGHLY recommended.
This document outlines your ownership status, financial and operational relationships and corporate rules so everything’s clear with your co-owners, managers and partners. Even if you’re solo you should have one drafted. It can be updated later. To get started, consider checking out this savvy Operating Agreement Tool which you can customize yourself.
If your North Dakota LLC has employees or you intend to sell products with sales taxes, you must register at the ND Office of the State Tax Commissioner otherwise known as the Tax Dept. Your other option is to register manually through paper (Form SFN 59507) or Register Online.
Also, consider bookmarking both the Fargo district office of the Small Business Administration and the state’s Small Biz Development Center because they’re likely going to be go-to sources. If you need help with this step, consider professional Business License Research packages that can quickly source all needed documents for you and provide filing instructions.
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Note that this article on how to form an LLC in North Dakota isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in North Dakota or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.