Form a Corporation in North Dakota
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How to Incorporate in North Dakota
It's easier than you think to incorporate your business in the state of North Dakota, and SunDoc is here to assist you with some or all of your paperwork. We specialize in incorporations in North Dakota.
The process is quite simple for incorporation in North Dakota. We've outlined it step-by-step for you below. Just remember that this information cannot be construed as professional legal, accounting, or tax advice. When you have questions about your own incorporation in North Dakota, it's best to consult with a licensed professional. At the same time, it is not absolutely required that you have an attorney in order to file incorporation paperwork.
For a fee, you’ll have to file what’s called your Articles of Incorporation. Before this, however, you’ll need to know:
- Your corporation’s new name
- Your corporate address
- Your registered agent’s name
- The number of shares you’ll allow your corporation to issue
- Your corporation type (and accordingly, the number of shareholders you’ll have)
In addition to this information and the filing of your Articles, hold your first meeting of your Board of Directors. At this time, adopt bylaws (not necessary to file) and appoint officers (not needed in your articles). Also, get an EIN from the IRS. An EIN is your Federal Tax ID number.
You'll need to file a document called the Annual Report the following year of your incorporation filing. This will be your first Annual Report filing, and it will include your directors and officers. You'll have to pay a fee to file this document. If you need assistance with taxation in the state of North Dakota, ask your accountant or a tax lawyer.
All new corporations in North Dakota need to choose the type of corporation they'll be forming. You have three choices: the General Stock Corporation, the Close Corporation, or the Professional Corporation.
General Stock Corporations are the most common. There is no limit on the potential number of shareholders here. Close Corporations have a limit of 35 shareholders. Professional Corporations are mandated by North Dakota State and are just for certain types of professionals.
The forms supplied by North Dakota for download meet the minimum requirements of the North Dakota Corporations Code, but you can create your own to meet your specific needs. Your attorney may well draw up a document from scratch.
To illustrate: the default articles of incorporation limit the corporation to one class of shares. This can be changed in a custom document. Similarly, initial directors can be named in the articles if desired, provided that all directors are included and sign the document.
Unless you have fewer than three shareholders (or no shares have been issued by your corporation), you will need three directors for your North Dakota corporation (at least three). Remember that, unless it is stated in your articles, your bylaws should include the number of directors you’ll have and their limits. You will also need to fill three officer positions: President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Choose one person for all of these roles, if you wish.
Your corporate bylaws can be amended, if necessary, in a formal meeting of your directors and shareholders. File an amendment with the state if you want to alter your articles. Times and methods of meetings, as well as such things as powers of directors, are set forth in the bylaws, in accordance with relevant provisions of North Dakota law. Minutes must be kept of meetings.
It's a good idea to have a Corporate Records Book for your new corporation. SunDoc offers you a Corporate Records Book in our Corporate Kit. These are extremely useful kits, which include things like a corporate seal embosser, stock certificates, and meeting minutes. It will be customized to the state of North Dakota.
Within your Corporate Records Book, you'll be able to store your all of your important company documents, including meeting minutes, stock papers, bylaws, and more. See our Corporate Kit page to learn more.
Every North Dakota corporation is required to have a registered agent, a company or individual reliably available at a known address during business hours, for legal and other communications from the state. This is another service provided by SunDoc to help you outsource your company routine. For full information, see our article: What is a Registered Agent? Why Do I Need One?
The name you submit to the state in your articles of incorporation must be clearly available for you to use in the State of North Dakota according to the records of the Secretary of State. If not, your filing will be rejected. The name cannot be such as to mislead the public in some way, or resemble another so closely as to lead to deception. There are other statutory requirements also.
Both to comply with the law, and of course for your own best branding, you should spend some effort developing your company name. You can conduct searches for open names, or have SunDoc check name availability or reserve your corporation name for you.
You can apply for your EIN by submitting Form SS4 to the IRS, at no charge. SunDoc can apply for this on your behalf also. See our EIN page.
If you plan on structuring your corporation as an S Corporation, you will want to be sure to read our article on C Corporation vs. S Corporation. The article provides general information between the two corporate tax structures.
To talk to a live voice for immediate assistance call us toll-free during business hours at 1-888-595-2747.
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Kylene, Tressa & Sheila ROCK !!! We sent a name reservation last week and within 10 minutes the name reservation was completed. The next day we sent in a rush order and within 24 hours the entity was created !! Wow !! Thank You & you gals ROCK !!
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