North Dakota Annual Reporting

You did it. Your North Dakota LLC is officially up and running, ready to take on challenges, roll in the profits, and change the world.

There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in your business journey. After starting your LLC, it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and expectations. After all, as a new business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate.

But the state does too. They need to keep updated records on thousands of businesses so that they can effectively reach out with any important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.

In North Dakota, an LLC’s annual report serves to keep the state’s records up-to-date regarding the business activities within its borders. Unsure how to go about it? Never even heard of it? No worries at all. That’s why we’re here. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

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What Is the North Dakota Annual Report? Why Is It Important?

Consider an annual report the state’s yearly checkup on your LLC. It’s similar to a census in that its purpose is to collect the necessary contact and structural information about each North Dakota business.

Each state has its own annual reporting requirements, and some don’t even require them. But in most states, you’re required to submit one per year that includes your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC, you should plan on submitting an annual report.

Don’t be intimidated, but it’s not something you want to take lightly. This is how the state updates your LLC’s record with the most recent information. They need to know how to reach you with important information about your business status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.

For example, if you change your registered agent, or your current agent resigns, you’ll need to keep the state informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in North Dakota might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, being administratively dissolved.

Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. If the Secretary of State has the most updated data on record, people can find your business by performing a name search.

How Much Does the North Dakota LLC Annual Report Fee Cost?

If you’re putting together a budget for all your LLC’s costs – like formation costs, name reservation fees, and initial operating expenses – it’s important to include annual filings like this one, just so that there are no surprises.

Costs vary from state to state. Some are free while others can be several hundred dollars. In North Dakota, LLCs pay $50 per report, which won’t break the bank but is significant enough to note in your yearly budget.

Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in North Dakota

Your North Dakota LLC will need to file one report per year, and you must submit it by November 15th. However, you don’t need to file an annual report in the same calendar year that you form your business.

Let’s say that you file your Articles of Organization to start your LLC on June 25, 2021. Your first report would be due by November 15, 2022.

What Happens if You Don’t File?

You might be thinking, “that sounds like a pain. How bad could it be if I just fly under the radar?” The short answer: don’t try it. Failing to file your annual report can yield some serious consequences.

If you forget the November 15 deadline, your annual report will incur a $50 late fee, so you’ll need to pay $100 total when you file. Fail to file within six months of the due date and the state will administratively dissolve your business. In this case, your LLC would need to file for reinstatement within one year, which costs $135 plus the $100 annual report.

 

Required Information

Now that we’ve nailed down the rules and regulations, let’s talk about the annual report itself. You’ll need the following information to complete it:

  • LLC name
  • The jurisdiction where the LLC was formed
  • Business activities
  • Principal executive office address (cannot be a P.O. box)
  • Whether the LLC is managed by members, managers, or a board
  • Names and addresses for each member, manager, or board member

For the sake of expediency, have all this information ready before you begin the filing process. This way, you can fly right through it.

Filing Options

The easiest and most popular way to file North Dakota’s annual report is through the Secretary of State’s FirstStop filing portal. To do so, you’ll first need an account that’s linked to your LLC. If you originally formed your business online, no sweat – you already have a linked account. However, if you formed your LLC by mail, fax, etc., you will need to create one.

Here’s how: From the FirstStop page, click “Login” at the top right and then select “Personal Account.” Enter the required information, confirm your account, and you’re good to go.

Now you’ll need to link your account to the correct LLC by requesting a PIN. Search for your business here, and when you find it, click the “Request Access” button. Then choose “Request PIN.” From here, the Secretary of State will mail a PIN to your business address. Once you have it, log in to your FirstStop account, search for your business, click “Request Access,” and enter your PIN. Phew, you’re done. This process might take several days, so don’t start it right before November 15th.

Prefer mail? Postal submission is also a possibility, but you’ll still need to fill out the Annual Report through FirstStop. Then, when you’re finished, you can print and mail it, along with your payment, to:

Secretary of State

State of North Dakota

600 E Boulevard Avenue, Dept 108

Bismarck, ND 58505-0500

Does the State Send Reminders?

Reminders are always nice. They help you stay on top of your business requirements and ensure that you won’t fall out of good standing.

The Secretary of State’s office does its part to help you remember your annual report filing by mailing a reminder to your registered agent 60 days before the due date. Even so, we think it’s wise to set up your own reminders closer to the deadline, just to make sure. Jot a note in your planner or set an alarm on your phone, whatever will best ensure that you don’t forget.

 

Conclusion

There you have it, everything you need to know about North Dakota’s reporting requirements. Follow this guide to a T and your LLC will be prepared to operate smoothly and in good standing long into the future.

And remember, if at any point it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. A good LLC service like ZenBusiness (or LegalZoom) can be a valuable resource, taking care of all the little details, so you can focus on growing your business.


Frequently Asked Questions

About Filing the North Dakota LLC Annual Report

Should I use an annual report service, hire an attorney, or prepare and file my own reports?

This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to keep track of your due dates and complete the entire report on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to prepare and file your annual reports.

You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to prepare and file your annual reports, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.

I’ve heard the most about LegalZoom. Are they the best annual report service?

LegalZoom is the most well-known of all business services companies, thanks to its long track record and extensive advertising campaigns. That said, all of that brand power comes at a cost, as LegalZoom’s pricing and features don’t always compare advantageously to its competitors. While we do appreciate LegalZoom’s annual report filing service, it isn’t our top choice.

When is my annual report due each year?

It doesn’t matter when you originally formed your North Dakota LLC, as they all have the exact same filing due date of November 15.

Does North Dakota require LLCs to file initial reports?

In some states, LLCs are also required to file initial reports. These reports are typically quite similar to annual reports, with the difference being that an initial report either accompanies your formation documents or follows their filing within a couple of months.

North Dakota does not require initial reports from LLCs. Instead, this state gathers all of the information it needs for your first year-plus in business from your Articles of Organization filing.

What if I need more time to complete my annual report?

North Dakota does not offer extensions for LLC annual report filings. If you miss the November 15 deadline, the state will immediately assess an additional $50 fee on your LLC. However, it does give you a chance to catch up on your missing report before administratively dissolving your business, as the state gives you a full six months before taking this step.

Where can I find more official information about North Dakota’s LLC annual reporting requirements?

We found two great sources of official state info. The first is the “Annual Report” page on the Secretary of State’s website, while the other is the entry about LLC annual reports in the state’s code.

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