The Ultimate Guide to North Dakota Articles of Incorporation in 2023

Are you considering incorporating your business in North Dakota? If so, you’ll need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s office.

Filing these articles is a critical step in the process of starting a corporation, as they establish your company’s legal existence and provide important details about its structure and operations.

To ensure that you complete this process correctly, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of the requirements for North Dakota Articles of Incorporation.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to file your articles successfully in 2023. From filling out the necessary forms to choosing a registered agent and paying filing fees, we’ve got you covered.

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The Purpose Of Articles Of Incorporation

If you’re looking to start a business in North Dakota, one of the first things you’ll need to do is file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State.

This document serves as the legal foundation for your company and sets out important details like your business name, purpose, and ownership structure.

There are many benefits to incorporating your business, including limited liability protection for owners, easier access to financing, and potential tax advantages.

However, there are also some common mistakes to avoid when filing your articles of incorporation.

These can include failing to properly identify the purpose of your business or not providing enough detail about your ownership structure.

By taking the time to carefully draft and file your articles of incorporation, you can help ensure that your business is set up for success from day one.

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Choosing A Business Name

Let’s start with Name Availability – is the name you’ve chosen already taken? It’s important to check this before you move forward with any other steps.

Then there are Naming Restrictions – generally, you can’t use a name that implies a connection to the government or government agencies.

Last but not least, there’s Business Name Registration – you’ll need to file your articles of incorporation with the state of North Dakota to make your business official.

Name Availability

Before settling on a business name, it is essential to check its availability.

The state of North Dakota has specific requirements and legal restrictions that must be followed when choosing a name for your business.

To ensure the name you want is available, you can use the online search tool provided by the Secretary of State’s office.

It allows you to conduct a preliminary search of the state’s database of registered business names.

Keep in mind that even if your preferred name appears available, it may still be subject to legal restrictions.

Therefore, it is crucial to review the state’s guidelines carefully before finalizing your decision.

Naming Restrictions

Now that you have checked the availability of your preferred business name, it’s time to consider the restrictions surrounding naming a business in North Dakota.

Trademark considerations are one factor to keep in mind, as using a name already protected by another company could result in legal repercussions.

Additionally, North Dakota has specific rules regarding certain words and phrases that may not be used in business names.

If your preferred name is unavailable or restricted, there are alternate naming options to explore, such as modifying the name with a unique spelling or adding a descriptive word or phrase.

It’s essential to carefully review all guidelines and restrictions before settling on a final business name.

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Business Name Registration

Now that we have discussed the availability and restrictions of business names in North Dakota, let’s move on to the next step in the process: business name registration.

Once you have chosen a name that is available and does not violate any trademark or naming restrictions, it’s important to register your business name with the appropriate state agency.

This will ensure that your business name is officially recognized and protected by law. Failure to properly register your business name can result in legal issues down the line.

So, be sure to follow all necessary steps for registering your business name in North Dakota.

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Selecting A Registered Agent

As we’ve discussed in the previous section, choosing a business name is a crucial step in starting your North Dakota corporation. Once you have decided on the perfect name, it’s time to move on to selecting a registered agent.

A registered agent is an individual or entity that is designated to receive legal and tax documents on behalf of your corporation. Registered agent duties include accepting service of process and other important legal notifications and forwarding them to the appropriate parties within your company.

While you can designate yourself as your company’s registered agent, there are many benefits of hiring a professional, such as ensuring compliance with state regulations and maintaining privacy for your personal address. It’s important to carefully consider all of these factors when selecting a registered agent for your North Dakota corporation.

Filling Out The Necessary Forms

When it comes to filing your North Dakota articles of incorporation, understanding the requirements is crucial. By doing so, you can save yourself time and money in the long run.

The first step is to download the necessary forms from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s website. Make sure that you have all the required information ready, including your company’s name, registered agent, purpose, and number of authorized shares.

One common mistake to avoid when filling out the forms is not providing enough detail about your company’s purpose. It’s important to provide a clear and concise explanation of what your business does so that there are no misunderstandings down the line.

Another mistake is not double-checking for accuracy before submitting your forms. Any mistakes or missing information can delay the processing time or even result in rejection of your application. Take the time to review everything carefully before sending it off for approval.

Paying Filing Fees And Completing The Process

Once the Articles of Incorporation have been completed, the next step is to pay the filing fees and submit them for approval.

Filing fees can vary depending on the state, but in North Dakota, the fee is $100. This fee must be paid at the time of submission and can be paid online using a credit card or electronic check.

Online submission is highly recommended as it allows for faster processing times and eliminates the need for mailing in paperwork.

Once all necessary steps have been completed, it typically takes around 5-10 business days for approval. It’s important to keep track of this timeline and follow up with any additional documentation or information that may be requested during this time.

Once approved, you will receive a copy of your Articles of Incorporation and are officially recognized as a legal business entity in North Dakota.


Overall, the process of filing North Dakota articles of incorporation may seem daunting at first, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it can be a smooth and straightforward process.

Remember to choose a business name that accurately reflects your company’s values and mission, select a registered agent who is reliable and knowledgeable, and thoroughly fill out all necessary forms.

By following these steps and paying the required fees, you can successfully incorporate your business in North Dakota in 2023.

With your articles of incorporation filed, you can focus on growing your business and achieving your goals for the future.

Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from legal professionals or online resources if needed – with the right support, you can confidently navigate this important step in establishing your company.

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