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Congratulations on venturing into entrepreneurship! If you’re reading this, you’re probably ready to start a business in North Dakota but aren’t sure where to begin.

The good news is that launching a business in North Dakota is a pretty simple process in terms of paperwork, whether you’re forming a limited liability company, corporation, or partnership. From getting a registered agent and filing your name to obtaining a tax identification number and filing Articles of Organization, we’ve got tips to help you shift from concept to reality.

Just follow these steps to ensure your business is legal and you’ll be open for business in the Peace Garden State in no time.

What is a North Dakota registered agent?

North Dakota isn’t unique in requiring you to list a registered agent on some of your forms. This person or entity represents your LLC by being the point of contact to accept vital business-related documents delivered during regular business hours.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

How does an owner select a registered agent in North Dakota?

After you choose a registered agent, you’ll need to fill in the information for that person or entity on your LLC formation documents.

Who can be a registered agent in North Dakota? 

There are three criteria to represent yourself as a registered agent in the state of North Dakota. This includes:

  • You must be 18 or older.
  • You must have a street address in North Dakota. This can be your house, business, or office. No post office boxes are allowed because documents must be delivered—and accepted—in person.
  • The person or entity you’ve chosen to be your registered agent must be accessible to accept paperwork for your LLC during business hours Monday through Friday.

Can I be my own registered agent in North Dakota?

Yes. As is the case with all states, North Dakota lets you serve as your own registered agent.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

Like many entrepreneurs, you’re probably looking for ways to lower your start-up costs, leading you to consider serving as your own registered agent. Before you jump on the DIY bandwagon, you may want to consider why paying a registered agent could be money well spent. Here are a few of the advantages to weigh with pros and cons:

  • Local options. If you’re new to North Dakota or don’t live in the state, you may not have an office, storefront, or house set up in the state yet. Since one of the requirements to represent yourself as a registered agent is that you have a street address in North Dakota, you’re already disqualified from performing the duty. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of affordable options to hire a commercial registered agent.
  • Availability. As any new business owner will tell you, finances aren’t the only thing that’s tight when you’re launching an LLC. Time, too, is a hot commodity. Depending on the nature of your business, you could be swamped with employee training, vendor or investor meetings, running errands, or talking to contractors. It’s not always feasible to stay put 40 hours a week just to wait on possible document deliveries.
  • Privacy. Although not every legal document that you’ll receive is a lawsuit, it’s important to realize that perception is reality when it comes to law enforcement delivering your LLC’s paperwork. Yes, your employees, neighbors, and customers may be present when uniformed officers deliver these sensitive documents. Paying an off-site commercial registered agent may help provide privacy.
  • Experience. Like every state, North Dakota requires you to abide by state and federal compliance regulations and deadlines. You probably won’t have as much experience dealing with these confusing factors as a commercial registered agent.
  • Time savings. Hypothetically, let’s assume you know enough to fill out complicated paperwork you’re your LLC. Will you have the time to do it? Paying a registered agent can help take one more item off your already long list of things to do.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a registered agent service cost in North Dakota?

The fees to hire a registered agent service in North Dakota tend to run from $30 to $199. The fees increase as features increase.

List of North Dakota registered agent services 

Have you decided to use a commercial registered agent? Here’s a list of registered agent services that will collect documents for your company and notify the owner when they arrive. Some choices in North Dakota to kick off your search include:

  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but they’ve grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company offers worry-free compliance too, to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • Incfile is another trusted name for business services, including its registered agent services. Business owners can get a registered agent free for a year. That’s right, free. After the first year, the price kicks in at $119. An online dashboard, automatic mail forwarding, and tailored notifications also come with the service.
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North Dakota registered agent FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in North Dakota?

Yes. Like other states, you’ll need to list a registered agent on some of the forms you submit to the North Dakota Secretary of State to legally establish a business.

Can a company change its registered agent?

Filing a Registered Agent/Office Statement of Change form online with the North Dakota Secretary of State is the only way to change your agent with the state.

This can be done via the North Dakota Secretary of State’s FirstStop online filing system. The steps for this process include:

  1. Log in to your online account
  2. Click “Update Registered Agent”
  3. Search for and select your company
  4. Select “File Amendment,” then scroll down to select “Registered Agent/Office Statement of Change”
  5. Complete and submit the form along with your payment

What’s a resident agent?

You may see the phrase “resident agent” used interchangeably with registered agent. The title varies by state. Additional names include statutory agent, corporate agent, or resident agent.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

When filling out LLC-related forms, you may be asked if your registered agent is commercial or noncommercial. If you choose to represent yourself, check the box for noncommercial. If you pay a person or entity to represent you, choose commercial.

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