Whether you’re starting a new LLC or updating the registered agent for your existing business, it’s important to choose the best North Dakota registered agent for your needs.
This article will help you to choose the registered agent that best fits your business, go over the basic functions of registered agents, and answer common questions about registered agents.
Best North Dakota Registered Agent Service
Northwest Registered Agent
When choosing a registered agent service, you want someone who understands the importance of staying compliant and being diligent about legal processes and paperwork. That’s why Northwest Registered Agent is our #1 registered agent service choice for North Dakota businesses.
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which offers everything that you need to form your LLC along with Registered Agent services. The company boasts over 20 years of operations helping small businesses start or grow.
Northwest has a 100% Error-Free Guarantee with outstanding customer support, exceptional services, and high prices to match. If data privacy and access to customer support are top on your list, the extra costs of working with Northwest Registered Agent may be well worth it for you and your business.
Recommended Registered Agent ServiceFor premium customer service and data security, Northwest Registered Agent is our #1 pick for registered agent service.
NorthWest Registered Agent ($39 + state fees)
What Does a North Dakota Registered Agent Do?
A registered agent does a few things for a company. Their main task is to be present when or if the company needs to receive tax or legal paperwork. These would be documents that can’t be sent to a mailbox or delivered to a front desk; rather, documents that must be handed directly to the person who represents the company.
A simple example would be a service of process, which is the delivery of legal documents in a lawsuit. These service documents must be delivered directly to the company’s representative – the registered agent – to ensure they are received.
This may seem like a small task, but the caveat that makes this a critical position is that the registered agent is required to be at the documented location to receive these papers during all “regular business hours.” This is the main reason that most people choose to use a registered agent service rather than operating as their own agent.
Other forms that your registered agent may receive on your behalf are:
- Tax forms
- Legal documents
- Official government correspondence
- Service of process
Another function of a registered agent is to file official documents with the state in which the LLC or corporation is established. In most states, businesses are required to file an annual report once per year to keep the business in “good standing” with the state.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in North Dakota?
The short answer is yes, you can be your own registered agent.
Whether or not that’s the best plan for you or your company is another question entirely. If you are looking to spend the absolute, bare minimum amount of money on your business, then being your own registered agent may not be a terrible choice. Still, even in that scenario, we don’t recommend it.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
There are only a few realistic options when it comes to whom you file as your registered agent:
- An attorney
- A registered agent service
As mentioned above, being your own agent has pitfalls and isn’t recommended. What’s more, an attorney in this position would be quite expensive and is generally only a viable option if you had them form your business for you.
So, that leaves you with the option of using a service. Here are the biggest benefits of using a professional registered agent service:
When you form an LLC or corporation, your formation data goes into a state database which is open and searchable to the public. The information in this database can include:
- Business name
- Formation date
- Registered agent name
- Registered agent address
While you can’t stop the state from publishing this information, you can retain the privacy of your name and your address by using a registered agent service. Since this information is public, marketing companies use these databases to gather information to market their products and services to business owners. Your mailbox will thank you for keeping your business address private.
Another major privacy benefit is having legal documents delivered to your agent and not you personally. If, for some reason, someone brings a lawsuit against your company, would you rather have your agent call you with these documents or have them served to you in front of your customers, clients, or employees?
Along with privacy, another of the main benefits of using a registered agent service is that they will help to keep your business in “good standing” with the state.
Some states require LLCs and corporations to file annual reports or other timely documents. While these generally aren’t difficult tasks, they are often easily forgotten or lost in the day-to-day work that your business hands you.
Your registered agent will send you reminders that this work needs to be completed, and some will even provide you with the proper documents to make your work even easier.
How Do I Elect a Registered Agent in North Dakota?
All North Dakota businesses are required to name and maintain a registered agent within the state. A business’s registered agent functions as the primary and official contact for the business.
Your business’s registered agent should be comfortable receiving official documents and able to do so. It’s generally wise to choose an agent who’s organized, and one that’s available during business hours and willing to sign upon delivery if that’s required. Your registered agent also must have a North Dakota street address (i.e., not a P.O. Box).
North Dakota was the first state to adopt the Model Registered Agents Act, which streamlines the process of naming a registered agent for all businesses. Regardless of whether you’re starting an LLC or another type of business, you’ll name the registered agent when filing the Articles of Organization.
An LLC formation service can file Articles of Organization for you, and thus take care of naming an agent. You can alternatively go through the process yourself.
Should you decide to file articles and name an agent yourself, North Dakota now requires completing the process online:
- Access the appropriate form from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s FirstStop online filing system. There are three distinct forms for domestic (in-state) LLCs: Business LLC Articles of Organization, Professional LLC Articles of Organization, and Farm/Ranch LLC Articles of Organization (and Initial Farm Report). All of these can be found under Forms > Business > Limited Liability Companies.
- Complete the appropriate form, providing the required registered agent information in Article 2. You’ll need your agent’s name and address.
- Pay the North Dakota LLC filing fee of $135 when you submit the document. The fee is payable by credit or debit card.
How Do I Change My LLC’s Registered Agent in North Dakota?
Should you ever want to change your LLC’s registered agent, you are responsible for notifying the North Dakota Secretary of State. The process is simple and usually only takes a few minutes, provided you have the necessary information.
File Registered Agent/Office Statement of Change
The best and easiest way is to provide this information online. Log in to your LLC’s account on First Stop. An account would’ve been created when you initially filed Articles of Organization. Click “Update Registered Agent.” Search for your LLC by name, and then select “File Amendment.” The amendment you want to file is “Registered Agent/Office Statement of Change.”
Complete and submit the form through the portal. The filing fee is $10 when you upload the form, which is payable via credit or debit card.
Recommended Registered Agent ServiceWe recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which offers their North Dakota registered agent service free for one year along with your LLC formation ($39 + state fees).
NorthWest Registered Agent ($39 + state fees)
North Dakota Secretary of State Contact Information
State of North Dakota
Secretary of State
600 E Boulevard Ave., Dept. 108
Bismarck, ND 58505-0500
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Phone: (701) 328-4284
North Dakota Registered Agent FAQ
Who can be a North Dakota registered agent?
Anybody who meets the necessary requirements can act as your registered agent. These requirements include:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have a physical street address in the state of North Dakota
- Must be available during typical work hours (i.e., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday)
Is a statutory agent the same as a registered agent?
Yes. Some states refer to registered agents as statutory agents. Other names for registered agents include resident agent and agent for service of process.
Can I be my own registered agent?
While you can be your own registered agent, it comes with a lot of responsibility. This could take you away from the parts of your business that you enjoy the most. It can also be stressful trying to keep up with all compliance requirements, and your information will also be available on the public record.
Can I get a free registered agent?
Yes, as long as they meet all of the necessary requirements and follow the state’s guidelines. It can lead to trouble if you use someone that doesn’t follow all rules and regulations.
Many LLC formation services offer free registered agent services with their packages for a certain amount of time.
Why do I need a registered agent?
All states require that LLCs have a registered agent. Businesses need registered agents because there needs to be a point of contact for every business, for legal processes, communication, and staying in compliance.
Check out StateRequirement’s guide on why you need an LLC registered agent.
How do I choose a registered agent?
The best registered agent or service will be responsible, helpful, and honest. They should have a track record of being on time and working with other influential businesses.
How much does a registered agent service cost?
A registered agent service can cost as low as $99/year for some services, but others may charge considerably more depending on what services they offer.
Information on this page is not to be considered legal or tax advice. Data was gathered from a multitude of sources and most recently updated in May 2022.
Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.
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