North Dakota LLC Costs

Last updated: May 14th, 2024
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Most business owners benefit when they form a limited liability company in North Dakota. An LLC is a business structure that provides even small business owners and entrepreneurs with liability protection, tax breaks, special intensives, and an optimal management structure. Some believe that LLC formation in North Dakota is expensive and complicated. But, it is actually relatively simple and worth the investment for most.

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Costs to start an LLC in North Dakota

1
LLC Articles of Organization ($135)

2
North Dakota annual report fee ($50)

  • You must file an annual report with the North Dakota Secretary of State.
  • You will use the North Dakota FirstStop website to file the LLC’s annual report online.
  • The annual fee is $50 and is due by November 5th every year.
  • The failure to file the annual report fee will result in a $100 late fee, and you could face possible involuntary dissolution.

3
North Dakota registered agent fee (varies between $50 to $300)

  • When you form an LLC in North Dakota, you must appoint a registered agent.
  • It is the way you assure the Secretary of State that someone is available during business hours to accept subpoenas, tax notices, and other documents.
  • Anyone can act as a registered agent in North Dakota as long as they meet the state requirements. The only exemption is your LLC cannot be its own registered agent.
  • The overall cost of appointing a registered agent in North Dakota depends on the service you use, your LLC’s needs, and the state filing fees.

4
Fees to form a foreign LLC in North Dakota ($250)

  • In North Dakota, you must register as a foreign LLC when you have an LLC in another state and expand into the state.
  • You can complete the form and submit it online using the Secretary of State Business Document Filing System.
  • Or, you can mail the foreign LLC registration form (Form L-09) to the North Dakota Secretary of State.
  • The LLC filing cost to register a foreign LLC is $250 in North Dakota.

5
LLC name reservation fee ($10)

  • You do not have to reserve an LLC name before formation in North Dakota.
  • When you reserve a company name, you are ensuring no one else can reserve and register the same name.
  • LLC names must be unique and available for use in the state.
  • You will reserve your LLC name online using the North Dakota FirstStop filing system.
  • You can reserve a North Dakota LLC name for up to a year before formation.
  • LLC name registration in North Dakota is $10.

6
DBA filing fees in North Dakota ($25)

  • The acronym DBA stands for the business-related term ‘doing business as.’ A DBA, or an assumed name, is any name an individual or business uses to operate that is not the legal name.
  • LLCs must register a DBA in North Dakota if they are operating under a business name that is not the legal name of the LLC.
  • In North Dakota, DBAs must be unique and meet the state requirements.
  • You will register a DBA online using the ND FirstStop filing system.
  • The LLC filing for a North Dakota DBA is $25.

7
Cost of certified document copies ($20)

8
North Dakota certificate of fact ($20)

  • Banks will require you to submit a certificate of fact before allowing you to do any business banking.
  • You will order the certificate of fact online using the ND Secretary of State website.
  • The LLC filing fee for a North Dakota certificate of fact is $20.

Steps to start an LLC in North Dakota

1
Choose a business name

When deciding on an LLC name in North Dakota, you will want to consider a few things.

  1. An LLC name in North Dakota must be unique and available for use.
  2. The North Dakota LLC name must meet all state naming requirements.
  3. It is always a good idea to check web domain availability to keep branding and marketing easy.

You will use the North Dakota SOS business name availability database to conduct a name search.

LLC name reservation fee

In North Dakota, you are not required to reserve an LLC name before the formation process.

You will reserve the North Dakota LLC name online. LLC name reservation is valid for up to 1 year before formation.

The cost to reserve a company name in North Dakota is $10. A North Dakota LLC name is good for up to 12 months before formation. North Dakota does not require you to reserve an LLC name.

2
Appoint a North Dakota registered agent

In North Dakota, you must appoint a registered agent when you form an LLC in the state.

The price for a North Dakota registered agent or service varies between $50 and $100 a year. The cost depends on the state and your LLC needs.

A registered agent in North Dakota is an individual or business entity that receives tax forms, legal documents, subpoenas, civil notices, service of process, and other official government correspondence on behalf of a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.

The registered agent you choose must be a North Dakota resident or a registered agent service authorized to conduct business in the state.

Northwest

  • Total Out The Door State LLC Formation Service Package – $42 a month and includes:
    • State fee
    • Filing service fee
    • Registered Agent
    • Tax ID
  • Annual Plan – $225 plus state fees a year

ZenBusiness

  • Starter Plan – $39 a year plus state fees
  • Pro Plan – $149 a year plus state fees
  • Premium Plan – $249 a year plus state fees

ZenBusiness has a stand-alone registered agent service. The price is $99 per year.

LegalZoom

  • Economy – $79 plus $153 state filing fees
  • Standard – $329 plus $153 state filing fees
  • Express Gold – $349 plus $255 state filing fees

3
File North Dakota Articles of Organization

You must file articles of organization with the North Dakota Secretary of State when forming an LLC.

You will file the LLC’s articles of organization online using the ND FirstStop filing system.

The cost to file ND articles of organization is $135.

North Dakota offers same-day expedited service for mail registrations for an additional fee of $50.

Mail addressed to:
Business Division
Secretary of State
600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept 108
Bismarck ND 58505-0500

The articles of organization form will ask various questions about your LLC.

  • LLC name
  • Registered agent information

The fee in North Dakota for filing the LLC certificate of organization starts at $135.

4
Get a North Dakota LLC EIN

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, can also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax ID Number (FTIN).

The 9-digit EIN number that the IRS issues for free acts as a Social Security Number for LLCs for income tax purposes.

If you decide to convert a sole proprietorship into an LLC, you must apply for an EIN.

Applying for an EIN is a simple process online through the IRS website.

Business banking for a North Dakota LLC

Business and financial professionals will recommend that an LLC owner open a business account separate from personal bank accounts. It is how you protect personal assets and future credit scores.

In North Dakota, banks will require an LLC owner to submit a copy of the LLC’s articles of organization, operating agreement, and EIN before allowing you to open a business bank account.

Business banking accounts are generally free, and do not have additional charges or fees.

Business attorney fees in North Dakota

When you choose to retain a business attorney in North Dakota, you are keeping the LLC formation process simple. It also means someone is available to handle any business-related issues that could arise later.

In North Dakota, business attorneys typically offer free consultations for first-time clients.

Professional services such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer LLC formation packages that include comprehensive legal services.

On average, a business lawyer in North Dakota will cost $300 per hour.

LLC taxes in North Dakota

  • In North Dakota, LLCs are considered pass-through entities. As the owner of the LLC, you will pay personal taxes rather than the company’s tax return.
  • The North Dakota state tax rate is 5.00%, and the max local and county rate is 3.50%.
  • If you sell physical products in North Dakota, you will register for a seller’s permit with the ND Department of Revenue.
  • You must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax with the North Dakota Unemployment Insurance Employer Account System if you hire employees for your LLC.
  • You must also register for Employee Withholding Tax with the North Dakota Taxpayer Access Point.
  • State taxes and federal taxes can get overly complicated. Appointing a tax expert can help ensure you do not miss important deadlines, penalty fees, or face possible dissolution.

Business licenses and permits in North Dakota

The entire cost of business licenses and permits in North Dakota will vary depending on where the company is located and the type of business.

You will use the nd.gov website to explore which business licenses and permits you may need for your business.

A business licence in North Dakota varies between $30 to $350. The total cost of permits and licences will depend on where your LLC is, and the type of LLC.

Local government agencies in North Dakota will have different license processes and rules. You will want to contact the office to inquire about the process, price, and office hours.

Notary public

You may find that some North Dakota LLC formation documents will require a notarization from a notary public.

If you cannot locate a notary, most government agencies have one in the office.

According to North Dakota law, a notary public can only charge a max of $5 per act.

Employer obligations in North Dakota

Benefits of a North Dakota LLC

  • LLC formation in North Dakota makes business banking easier. Forming a limited liability company helps to protect future liability. And, banks will require that you open separate personal and business banking accounts.
  • LLCs have different compliance requirements than other business structures. Incorporations must answer to shareholders and stock owners when they make business decisions.
  • All LLCs in ND are considered pass-through entities. Owners file personal tax returns rather than the LLC’s tax returns.
  • Forming an LLC in North Dakota helps reduce your chances of double-taxation. C-corporations are double-taxed while LLCs are not.
  • North Dakota has state-specific incentives that are available to LLCs. The Wage and Salary Credit Program and North Dakota Renaissance Zone are available to LLCs in the state.

FAQs

How long does it take to register an LLC in North Dakota?

When you file your LLC registration online, it will take the North Dakota Secretary of State 4 to 6 weeks to process it. The process for mailed documents can take up to 10 weeks.

North Dakota does offer a same-day expedited LLC service for hard copy filing for an additional $50.

Does North Dakota have an annual franchise tax?

North Dakota does not impose a franchise or privilege tax on limited liability companies.

How do I dissolve my North Dakota LLC?

You should always dissolve an inactive LLC to avoid ongoing costs and accrue state fees. You will file your articles of dissolution online with the ND Secretary of State.

The total cost for LLC cancellation in North Dakota is $20.

Can I take money out of my LLC in North Dakota?

Single-member LLC owners do not get a yearly salary or wages. Instead, they do something called an owner’s draw where you can pay yourself from the profits of your LLC.

In North Dakota, it is legal to write yourself a check to transfer those funds to your personal bank account.

Does North Dakota have a publishing requirement for LLCs?

An LLC in North Dakota has no further publishing requirements, unlike states like Nebraska and Arizona.

Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in North Dakota?

North Dakota does not mandate that you submit a business operating agreement to the Secretary of State. But, it is always a good idea to have one in file to avoid future internal conflicts.

Banks and money lenders will require you to submit an operating agreement in order to conduct business banking.

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