North Dakota LLC Name Search

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

North Dakota LLC Name Search

One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your North Dakota LLC.

Checking the LLC name availability in North Dakota is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other North Dakota businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.

Our North Dakota LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in North Dakota, and how to reserve and register your business name.

Interested in forming an LLC? We recommend using an LLC formation service in order to ensure that you do not accidentally file your business name incorrectly and have your application denied.

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How to Search for a North Dakota LLC Name

Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in North Dakota.

Step 1: Follow the North Dakota LLC Naming Guidelines

Your LLC name must comply with all of North Dakota’s LLC naming regulations, as outlined below:

  • Your chosen name must include the term “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (L.L.C. or LLC).
  • Your name must not contain any words that could lead to confusion with a government agency (CIA, FDA, State Department, Treasury, etc.).
  • Certain restricted words (e.g., University, Bank, Attorney, etc.) might require additional documentation, and a licensed professional may have to be a member of the LLC.

Selecting a name is just one of the several requirements when forming an LLC. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.

Have a Professional Handle your Filing

More than 72% our readers form their LLC using a professional filing service. Our recommended service provider is:

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Step 2: Look Up North Dakota LLC Name Search Availability

The next step is to conduct a North Dakota LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in North Dakota.

  • LLC Name Search: Search the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Business Search to check if your chosen business name is available. There is no fee when searching. You may also try typing your business or trademark on any search engine to check businesses with similar names. This will also ensure your trademark is unique, meets the state’s requirements, and frees you from any legal hassles in the future.
  • Domain Name Search: If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name. Having a URL that matches your business name is important since this is how your potential and existing clients can find your business.

To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.

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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.

Step 3: Reserve Your North Dakota LLC Name

To reserve a business name prior to filing your LLC Articles of Organization, you must reserve a business name. The fee for filing a name reservation is $10.

You can reserve a business name for up to 12 months by submitting a Reserved Name Application. The application can only be submitted online and requires that you create an account with North Dakota Online Services.

Should you not form an LLC within one year, you can renew the name reservation for another 12 months. File the same Reserved Name Application, and pay the same $10 fee. There is no limit to the number of renewals that are allowed.

Using a North Dakota DBA for Your LLC 

In North Dakota, a DBA (“doing business as”) name is called a trade name or fictitious name. A North Dakota trade name or fictitious name permits you to use a name other than your LLC’s legal one.

If you wish to keep your LLC’s legal name but operate under something else, you can create a trade name or fictitious name for your LLC. Filing can be done online through the North Dakota Secretary of State’s FirstStop, or by mailing the Trade Name Registration or Franchise Name Disclosure (Form SFN 13401)The fee for a trade name in North Dakota is $25.

LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.

Step 4: Register a North Dakota LLC Trade or Service Mark

You can also conduct a federal trademark database to see whether someone or another business already has your name “marked.”

Assuming your name isn’t already marked, you can apply for a trade or service mark.

If you apply for a mark with the North Dakota Secretary of State, you’ll distinguish your LLC’s goods or services from others’. You’ll also issue a notice that other businesses in the state shouldn’t use your mark for their marketing purposes.

Many business owners decide to register a trademark or service mark for these reasons. To register with the North Dakota Secretary of State, file the Trademark/Service Mark Registration online. The fee for a North Dakota trade/service mark is $25.

Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in North Dakota, check out the steps on how to form a North Dakota LLC.

North Dakota Secretary of State Contact Information

Mailing Address

Business Division
North Dakota Secretary of State
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 108
Bismarck, ND 58505-0500

Physical Address

Business Division
North Dakota Secretary of State
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 108
Bismarck, ND 58505-0500

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Phone: (701) 328-4284 / (800) 352-0867 (ext. 328-4284)

North Dakota LLC Name Search FAQ

Why do I need to do a North Dakota LLC name search?

When forming a North Dakota LLC, you will be required to choose a name. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the North Dakota Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the North Dakota Secretary of State Business Search. There is no fee, nor limit on the number of searches.

How do I check if an LLC name is taken in North Dakota?

You can use the North Dakota Business Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the North Dakota Secretary of State Business Services via phone at (701) 328-4284 or email at should you need assistance or have a specific question.

Can I renew a North Dakota LLC name reservation?

Yes. You can renew business name reservations for 12 months at a time, and you can renew as many times as you need. You can renew a name reservation by filing a new application during the 30-day period before the expiration of your last name reservation. Complete and submit the Reserved Name Application online.

Is the North Dakota Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?

No. While you can search for free, there is a $10 fee to submit a North Dakota Reserved Name Application. The reservation is good for one year.

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