North Dakota LLC: Cost Breakdown, pros and cons, requirements

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) have become a cornerstone of the modern business landscape.

These versatile business entities offer entrepreneurs and established companies a unique combination of liability protection, operational flexibility, and favorable taxation.

In this article, we’ll explore the world of LLCs, exploring their significance and why they are a popular choice for businesses of all sizes.

North Dakota LLC points

About North Dakota LLC

When it comes to choosing a state for forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), North Dakota holds several distinct advantages that make it an appealing destination for entrepreneurs and businesses.

In this section, we’ll explore why North Dakota is considered a favorable choice for establishing an LLC, emphasizing its business-friendly environment, legal advantages, and the role of the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office.

Why North Dakota?

Business-Friendly Environment: North Dakota prides itself on fostering a business-friendly environment.

The state’s regulatory framework is designed to support business growth and entrepreneurship.

Whether you’re a startup or an established company, you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere that encourages economic development.

Stable Economy: North Dakota has maintained a relatively stable economy over the years.

Known for its diverse economic base, the state is not overly reliant on a single industry, which can help mitigate economic fluctuations and provide stability for businesses.

Skilled Workforce: North Dakota boasts a skilled and educated workforce.

The state’s educational institutions and vocational training programs produce a steady stream of qualified professionals, making it easier for businesses to find and retain talent.

Natural Resources: The state’s abundant natural resources, including oil, agriculture, and renewable energy sources, provide diverse business opportunities.

Whether you’re in the energy sector or agriculture, North Dakota offers a conducive environment for various industries.

Low Tax Burden: North Dakota’s tax structure is often seen as advantageous for businesses.

The state offers competitive corporate income tax rates and various tax incentives that can benefit both startups and established companies.

Legal Protections: North Dakota’s legal system provides strong protections for businesses and their owners.

This includes the liability protection afforded to LLC members, shielding their personal assets from business debts and legal liabilities.

Cost Breakdown

Forming and maintaining a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in North Dakota involves several expenses, including filing fees, annual report fees, and potential taxes.

Below is a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with establishing and running an LLC in North Dakota:

North Dakota
Filing Fee$135
Annual Report fee$50
State Income Tax1.10% to 2.90%
Sales Tax5.00% to 8.5%
Corporate Income Tax1.41% to 4.31%

Filing Fee: When initially forming an LLC in North Dakota, you’ll be required to pay a filing fee.

The filing fee for an LLC is $135. This fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing your LLC formation documents.

Annual Report Fee: LLCs in North Dakota are required to submit an annual report to the Secretary of State’s Office. The annual report fee for an LLC is $50.

This report helps the state maintain accurate records of your LLC’s current information, such as contact details and management structure.

State Income Tax: North Dakota imposes a state income tax on businesses, which can vary depending on the taxable income of your LLC.

The state income tax rate for businesses in North Dakota ranges from 1.10% to 2.90%. It’s important to consult with a tax professional to determine your specific tax obligations based on your LLC’s income.

Sales Tax: If your LLC engages in selling goods or certain services, you may be subject to sales tax.

North Dakota’s sales tax rate ranges from 5.00% to 8.5%, depending on the location and type of goods or services sold.

Corporate Income Tax: In addition to state income tax, North Dakota also levies a corporate income tax on certain business entities, including corporations and some LLCs.

The corporate income tax rate for businesses in North Dakota varies from 1.41% to 4.31%. The applicability of this tax depends on the legal structure and income of your LLC.

Pros and Cons

When considering the formation of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in North Dakota, it’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages that this business structure offers.

Below, we provide a comparison of the pros and cons of forming an LLC in North Dakota, highlighting the state’s strengths and potential challenges.

North Dakota LLC pros and cons


Limited Liability Protection: Like LLCs in other states, North Dakota LLCs offer limited liability protection to their members (owners).

This means that the personal assets of members are typically protected from the company’s debts and legal liabilities. In the event of a lawsuit or financial difficulties, members’ personal assets are not typically at risk.

Operational Flexibility: North Dakota LLCs enjoy operational flexibility, allowing members to manage the business with minimal formalities.

There are fewer regulatory requirements and administrative burdens compared to corporations, making it an attractive option for small businesses and startups.

Pass-Through Taxation: By default, North Dakota LLCs are treated as pass-through entities for tax purposes.

This means that the company’s profits and losses are passed through to the individual tax returns of the members. Pass-through taxation simplifies tax reporting and can lead to potential tax benefits.

Ease of Formation: Forming an LLC in North Dakota is generally straightforward and involves minimal paperwork. This accessibility makes it an appealing choice for new entrepreneurs looking to establish their businesses quickly.

Stable Business Environment: North Dakota boasts a stable business environment with diverse economic sectors, including energy, agriculture, and technology. This stability can provide businesses with a reliable foundation for growth.


Annual Report Requirement: North Dakota LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s Office, accompanied by a fee.

While this helps maintain accurate records, it does involve ongoing administrative tasks and associated costs.

State Income Tax: North Dakota imposes a state income tax on businesses. Depending on the LLC’s income, the state income tax rate can range from 1.10% to 2.90%.

While not excessively high, it is an additional financial consideration.

Sales Tax: If your LLC engages in selling taxable goods or services, you must collect and remit sales tax.

The sales tax rate varies depending on the location and type of goods or services sold. Compliance with sales tax regulations is essential to avoid potential penalties.

Corporate Income Tax: Some LLCs in North Dakota may be subject to the state’s corporate income tax, which ranges from 1.41% to 4.31%.

This tax may apply to LLCs with specific income levels or structures.

Competitive Business Landscape: While North Dakota offers a stable environment, it also means a competitive business landscape.

Businesses need to strategize effectively to stand out and succeed in their respective markets.

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Requirements to Form an LLC in North Dakota

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in North Dakota involves several legal requirements and steps to ensure compliance with state regulations.

Here, we provide a detailed explanation of the key requirements for LLC formation in North Dakota, including the necessary documents, registered agents, and compliance obligations.

Requirements to Form an LLC in North Dakota

1. Choose a Name for Your LLC:

Your LLC’s name must be distinguishable from existing businesses registered in North Dakota.

The name must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or abbreviations like “LLC” or “L.L.C.”

2. Designate a Registered Agent:

Every North Dakota LLC must have a registered agent with a physical address within the state.

The registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents and official notices on behalf of the LLC.

3. File Articles of Organization:

Prepare and submit Articles of Organization to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office.

This document typically includes basic information about the LLC, such as its name, registered agent’s name and address, and management structure (member-managed or manager-managed).

4. Create an Operating Agreement:

While not required by North Dakota law, it’s strongly recommended to create an operating agreement for your LLC.

An operating agreement outlines the management structure, rights, responsibilities, and operating procedures of the LLC.

5. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN):

If your LLC has more than one member or employee, you’ll need to obtain an EIN from the IRS.

An EIN is essential for federal tax purposes and may be required for state tax filings.

6. Comply with North Dakota Tax Obligations:

Determine your LLC’s tax obligations based on its structure and activities.

This includes assessing state income tax, sales tax, and potential corporate income tax.

7. File an Initial Report (Optional):

While North Dakota does not mandate an initial report, you can choose to file one with the Secretary of State’s Office.

The initial report provides additional information about the LLC, such as its members and management.

8. Annual Report Requirement:

North Dakota LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s Office.

The annual report includes updated information about the LLC, such as its members, managers, and contact details.

9. Maintain Records and Compliance:

LLCs in North Dakota are required to maintain accurate records of financial transactions, member meetings, and important company decisions.

Ensure compliance with state regulations and tax obligations to avoid penalties and legal issues.

10. Pay Required Fees:

Pay the necessary fees associated with LLC formation and annual reporting, including the filing fee for Articles of Organization and annual report fees.

Comparison of North Dakota’s LLC Formation Advantages and Unique Features

When considering where to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC), entrepreneurs often compare the advantages of different states.

North Dakota offers several compelling reasons to choose it as the location for your LLC.

Let’s compare North Dakota’s LLC formation advantages with those of commonly chosen alternative states and highlight its unique features and benefits:

North Dakota Advantages:

Economic Stability: North Dakota enjoys economic stability, with diverse industries such as agriculture, energy, and technology. This stability provides a reliable environment for business growth.

Low Population Density: North Dakota’s low population density can be advantageous for businesses, as it can mean reduced competition and a more tightly-knit business community.

Low Operating Costs: The state offers relatively low operating costs compared to more populous states, including lower rent and labor costs.

Business-Friendly Climate: North Dakota has a reputation for being business-friendly, with policies that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

Access to Resources: The state offers access to abundant natural resources, such as oil and agriculture, which can benefit businesses in related industries.

Comparison with Other States:

North Dakota vs. Delaware: While Delaware is known for its business-friendly legal environment, North Dakota offers stability and lower costs, which can be appealing to small and mid-sized businesses.

North Dakota vs. Nevada: Nevada is often chosen for its tax advantages, but North Dakota’s stable economy and lower population density can offer unique opportunities for certain businesses.

North Dakota vs. Wyoming: Wyoming is recognized for its privacy and low taxes, but North Dakota’s diversified economy and access to resources may be advantageous for different types of businesses.

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Statistics of LLCs in North Dakota


In 2022, a total of 6,818 new Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) were formed in North Dakota.

On average, there were 576 new LLC formations per month throughout the year.

The highest month for new LLC formations was March, with 637 new LLCs established.

December saw the lowest number of new LLC formations, with 483 companies formed during that month.

2023 (up to September):

Up to September 2023, a total of 4,835 new LLCs had been formed in North Dakota.

The monthly average for new LLC formations up to September was 537, indicating continued business activity.

Similar to the previous year, March was the peak month for new LLC formations, with 589 new companies established.

July had the lowest number of new LLC formations up to September, with 483 LLCs created during that period.


In conclusion, forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in North Dakota presents a range of advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses.

North Dakota’s stable economy, low operating costs, and business-friendly climate make it an attractive destination for those seeking to establish their LLCs.

The state’s unique features, including its strong focus on agriculture, energy resources, and innovation, offer diverse opportunities across various industries.

Comparing North Dakota to other states, it becomes evident that the state’s economic stability and access to resources provide a solid foundation for business growth.

While other states may offer specific tax advantages or privacy benefits, North Dakota’s overall package of benefits makes it a compelling choice for many entrepreneurs.

Additional Resources

North Dakota Secretary of State – Business Services Division: The official website of the North Dakota Secretary of State provides comprehensive information on LLC formation, including forms, fees, and regulations. North Dakota Secretary of State – Business Services Division

North Dakota Small Business Development Centers: These centers offer free and confidential business consulting services, including guidance on LLC formation, business planning, and more. North Dakota SBDC

Taxation and Income Resources: For information on state taxes and income resources, including tax forms and guidelines, visit the North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s website. North Dakota Tax Commissioner

North Dakota Department of Commerce: Explore resources and incentives for businesses looking to establish or expand their presence in North Dakota. North Dakota Department of Commerce

North Dakota Business Laws: Access the North Dakota Century Code to review the state’s business laws, including those pertaining to LLCs. North Dakota Century Code

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – North Dakota: The SBA offers guidance and resources for small businesses, including information on financing, business planning, and regulatory compliance. SBA North Dakota

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