North Dakota is easily one of America’s most intriguing states. It was fairly unaffected by the Great Recession, and has one of the lowest unemployment rates of any state. North Dakota is also the only state with a state-run bank, the Bank of North Dakota , and a state-run flour mill, the North Dakota Mill and Elevator, which is also the largest flour mill in the USA. Both of these institutions are carryovers of the Nonpartisan League, a populist political party that did so well in North Dakota that it gave the state a three-party system before eventually merging with the Democrats. North Dakota is also the reason we have a National Park system – its natural beauty inspired Theodore Roosevelt to champion conservation.
North Dakota’s excellent economy makes it a prime state to start a business. So just what do you have to do to start a company in the state? And how do you form a limited liability company or incorporate in North Dakota?
What do you have to do to start a business in North Dakota?
Like nearly every other state, North Dakota requires new businesses to register a ‘Doing Business As’ name with the ND Secretary of State. Filing your DBA will run you $25 and it will last five years before you have to renew. If you run a business that offers a government-regulated product or service, you’ll need to apply for a state business license as well.
How do you form an LLC or incorporate in North Dakota?
To form an LLC, you simply file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. North Dakota requires that LLCs designate themselves by including the words ‘limited liability company’ or the abbreviations ‘LLC’ or ‘L.L.C.’ in the company’s trade name. Your articles of organization has to include your registered trade name, as well as the names and addresses of any organizers, your registered agent, and the LLC’s purpose.
The process to incorporate in North Dakota is very similar. Corporations have to have a trade name that includes ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.’ These designators can be abbreviated as ‘Corp.,’ ‘Co.,’ ‘Inc.,’ or ‘Ltd.’ After you figure out the name, you file your Articles of Incorporation with the state. This form has to include the corporation’s trade name, the names and addresses of the incorporators, the business’s purpose, its registered agent, and how many shares it is authorized to issue.
In both cases, North Dakota requires that physical copies of these forms be mailed into the Secretary of State’s office, along with a filing fee.
Does North Dakota offer any special incentives or tax breaks to small businesses?
Yes! North Dakota’s Department of Commerce has a very active Division of Development and Finance meant to help new and existing business in the state. The state-run Bank of North Dakota is also tasked with spurring industrial and agricultural growth in the state, and offers low-interest loans to most new businesses. The state even offers a five-year corporate income tax exemption to primary sector and tourism-related companies.
Ready to stake your claim in the Roughrider state? Have any questions on how to form an LLC or Incorporate in North Dakota? Give us a call at 1 (877) 692-6772!