Forming an LLC in North Dakota may be easier than you think, with a little assistance. We’ve got a free, downloadable “do it yourself” kit you can use. In other words, the price you pay to purchase equals “zero.” That kit provides more information about LLCs and includes a couple of free LLC operating agreements. (We used to sell the kit but since the Covid-19 pandemic have simply given the kit away.)
If you just need a guide to getting the forms filed with the state of North Dakota, you can just follow these steps. (These instructions are up-to-date as of August 5, 2020.).
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
As a first step, you may want to check if the LLC name you want to use is even available. Here’s an easy and free way to do this: You can search for a similarly named LLC using the North Dakota Department of State’s online database at:
The database can be accessed by the first few words of a business name, by any significant word in a business name, or by the System ID number assigned to the record by the Secretary of State.
You also have the option of filing a Reserve Name Application form for $10. This filing will reserve the chosen name for one year. However, it only reserves the name and does not grant authority for the use of the name until the documents applicable to the business structure are filed. This is not a required step.
2. File the Articles of Organization form on the North Dakota Online Service Website
LLCs articles of organization forms are filed online using FirstStop at:
After creating a user account, you’ll need to answer a few questions to find the online form suggested.
Choose if you are creating an in-state or out-of-state business. Then click “Limited liability company” in the first list and select the business type applied in the second list.
The below instructions are for a Business LLC. Click the suggested online form ” Business Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization” to start.
3. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
Indicate if an LLC name reservation was obtained. The name must contain the words “limited liability company,” or must contain the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Acme Explosives LLC
- Acme Explosives L.L.C.
4. Provide the Principal Office Address and the Mailing Address
Type the address of the president’s office(if applicable) or the registered office. This address cannot be a PO Box.
The mailing address may be a PO Box address.
4. Identify your registered agent in North Dakota
North Dakota wants to know the name and contact information of the registered agent. The registered agent may be an individual residing in North Dakota, a domestic corporation or a domestic limited liability company, or a foreign corporation or a foreign limited liability company authorized to transact business in North Dakota with a business
office in North Dakota. A corporation or limited liability company appointed to serve as a registered agent must be registered with the Secretary of State and be in good standing. A limited liability company cannot serve as its own registered agent. Search for your registered agent information by entering the name of an individual or company.
5. List date
List the effective date of the organization if a later date than that on which the certificate of organization issued by the Secretary of State (may not exceed 90 days after the certificate is issued by the Secretary of State).
5. State the period of duration
The period of duration is the life span of your LLC. Some LLCs are created for a specific purpose and are intended to exist only for a specific period of time. You can enter a specific date, or choose “Perpetual.”
6. State your business purpose
Type in the description of your business activity in the box “Business Purpose”. For example, you could put “technology consultant.”
6. Identify yourself as the LLC organizer
One or more individuals may organize a limited liability company. The individuals must be at least eighteen years of age. Individuals do not need to be North Dakota residents to act as organizers under North Dakota law. Name and addresses of organizers must be included in articles of organization. The articles of organization must bear the signatures of the organizers. Therefore, put your name and address in this section.
7. Signature and date
Enter the name of the organizer who will sign the form.
8. Submit and Pay
After you complete the Articles of Organization, choose the payment type. The filing fee is $135.
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the Secretary of State’s office.