Filing the Articles of Organization is Simple!
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
You can download and mail in your North Dakota Articles of Organization, OR you can create an account and file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.
Option 1: Create a personal or business account with the North Dakota Secretary of State. Business accounts require information about your organization. After logging in, select “Forms” from the left toolbar.
Then, select “Business Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization” from the “Limited Liability Companies” section.
- OR -
Option 2: Download the Articles of Organization PDF from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s website. This form will need to be mailed to the Secretary of State’s Business Registration Unit.
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization
In this step, we will help you complete the North Dakota Articles of Organization form.
You will need to know the following information to complete the form:
- Entity Name, Type, and Address
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Effective Date and Duration
- Business Purpose
- Organizer Names and Addresses
Entity Name, Type, and Address
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- meets North Dakota naming guidelines.
- is not already in use by another business in North Dakota.
Follow the North Dakota Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.). It cannot contain the words "limited" or "company" without association with the words "limited liability company."
- Your name cannot contain the words "corporation," "incorporated," "limited partnership," or "limited liability partnership,” or abbreviations of these.
- Your name cannot imply that the LLC was organized for an unlawful purpose or one not outlined in its articles of organization.
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- In some states, certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual to be part of your LLC.
- Your name may not be the same as or deceptively similar to any existing business in the state. This includes North Dakota reserved names.
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in North Dakota? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the North Dakota Secretary of State website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in North Dakota guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.
Registered Agent and Registered Office
A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your North Dakota LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office.
Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in North Dakota. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during normal business hours. Your registered office address cannot be a P.O. box.
To learn more about choosing a North Dakota registered agent, read our How to Choose a North Dakota Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
Effective Date and Duration
List your desired effective date for the Articles of Organization and note whether your LLC’s existence will be perpetual or if you have a planned dissolution date.
In North Dakota, you can form a limited liability company for any legal or non-prohibited activity. You can state “any lawful purpose” under this article.
Keep in mind that a business purpose that involves licensing, tax-exemption, or tax-deductible status requires special language from the IRS or a professional license.
Organizer Names and Addresses
You must list the names and addresses of the organizers of the LLC.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
There are two ways to file your Certificate of Formation:
- Complete the Forms Online
- Submit a Hard Copy By Mail
Option 1: Create or log into your account with the North Dakota Secretary of State. After logging in, select “Forms” from the left toolbar. Then, select “Business Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization” from the “Limited Liability Companies” section.
Fill out the required fields and submit.
- OR -
Option 2: Download and mail in the Articles of Organization PDF to the Secretary of State’s Business Registration Unit.
State Filing Cost: $135
State Filing Cost: $135
Business Registration Unit
Secretary of State
600 E Boulevard Ave Dept 108
Bismarck, ND 58505
Fax: (701) 328-2992
Create an Operating Agreement
A North Dakota LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.
In North Dakota, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.
Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with North Dakota's New Business Registration website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Brand Your Business
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.