North Dakota Business Name Search

Creating a distinctive name is pivotal to a business’s success. Not only will it attract clients, but it’ll need to go through several legal procedures before gaining the seal of approval. Our North Dakota business name search guide can help you feel more confident starting this process.

This guide will answer every question you may have about preparing a business name, checking its availability, filing it correctly, and following North Dakota’s rules and regulations.

Generate Business Name Ideas

Creating a shortlist containing a variety of different ideas is a productive step in your North Dakota business name search. A broad list comprising several options will help you avoid returning to square one if a competitor has already registered the name you wanted to submit. 

If you’re stuck for new ideas, you can insert keywords into the North Dakota business name generator that accurately describe the State or industry you’re setting up in.

We also advise you to conclude which business structure suits your model best, as knowing this information beforehand will streamline the registration process.

How To Search Available Names In North Dakota

Conduct a North Dakota business record search provided by the Secretary of State to check the availability of your preferred business name. Start your search by typing the business’s name or the eight-digit system ID number, if you’re looking for the details of a specific business. 

If there’s a match, the database will display results containing the entity’s full name, system ID number, type (such as an LLC, Contractor, or Limited Partnership), status, and any legal documents.

Your business name is likely available if the database cannot locate similar results. However, it’s still important to remember that the Secretary of State reserves the final approval of your proposal.

How Do I Register A Business Name In North Dakota?

The business structure you’re looking to establish can significantly impact the route you take to register your business name. All registration goes to the State of North Dakota. As with many states, limited liability companies (LLC) and corporation owners need to file articles of organization or incorporation to the Secretary of State. 

As a general partnership, you’ll need to consider whether you’re using a fictitious name, in which case, you’ll need to gain certification.

It’s essential to purchase a matching domain name at the time of registration. You can conduct an instant availability check using our business name generator

North Dakota Business Name Registration Policies And Procedures

We urge you to create several North Dakota business name options because, by law, the Secretary of State can only approve names that are totally unique to your entity. Throughout your availability check, try to stay mindful of terms that sound or look similar to your own. 

Distinguishable features include:

  • Using acronyms to abbreviate the same word combination featured in a competitor’s name
  • Adding the business’s status to the end of a taken title
  • Using phonetic spelling that sounds parallel to your competitor’s when spoken aloud

It’s important to take your North Dakota business name search one step at a time. The State instructs you not to make any official investments, sign property contracts or produce signage until your proposed name is completely filed and registered.

If you’re confident you have a distinguishable name but have not yet finalized your business structure, you may file a Reserve Name Application form. Your reservation will then last for one year.

North Dakota Business Registration Office

You can visit North Dakota’s Registration Office website or contact it directly using the details below:

Email:File a query using the online comment box on the ‘Contact Us’ page.
Hours:Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday: Closed

How To Use An Online Portal To Register Business Names In North Dakota

Head to North Dakota’s FirstStop site, where you can register and manage your business’s legal files. If you haven’t already, it’s best to make a free FirstStop account, as you’ll need these details to complete the North Dakota business name registration forms. 

Click on ‘Start a New Business’ under the ‘Business’ tab. You’ll then answer a series of questions about your business’s structure and location to ensure you receive the correct forms. All completed forms will go to the Secretary of State for approval. Registration and renewal are also available on the FistStop online portal, along with upcoming deadlines you may want to note.

How Costly Is It To Register Business Names In North Dakota

The Secretary of State breaks down costs based on the business entity you’re submitting, meaning your total expenditure can vary depending on your niche. 

You’ll receive a $5 charge for obtaining a Search of Records. It then costs around $10 to reserve a North Dakota business name. Trade, franchise, and sole proprietorship names will incur an additional $25 registration fee. You can expect to pay $100-$135 to file business registration forms that feature an available name. 

Purchasing a domain name incurs a further expense which you’ll pay monthly or annually to your domain name provider.

Why Should I Register A Business Name In North Dakota

It’s a legal requirement to register every North Dakota business name if you want to establish a fully functioning company. Legal registration will also allow you to obtain the licenses, permits, and certifications necessary to operate in your field. 

External members that could be crucial to your North Dakota business are more likely to view your entity as trustworthy once you’re registered. Depending on your business model, holding a registered business also increases the chances of investors offering funds. You’ll also need the details of a filed business to open a business bank account and finalize contracts with vendors.

Legalities aside, you can receive a wealth of benefits for filing a North Dakota business name. Initiatives include tax exemptions on sales tax for goods like electricity, groceries, inventory items such as stationery or materials, and flexible profit distribution to help startup LLCs.

Support For Registering A Business Name In North Dakota 

North Dakota’s Secretary of State website is an excellent easy-to-navigate resource that clearly explains the criteria for creating a North Dakota business name. 

Utilize the on-site search bar to refine your search toward the business structure you plan to launch. You can also call or email the Secretary of State directly to get answers to more specific queries from an agent.


Your North Dakota business name search starts with an online availability check, which involves searching for identical or similar names to the ones you want to use. By law, you’ll need to register a name that’s entirely unique to you. You can complete registration using the FirstStop site provided by the State of North Dakota. 

If you found this article helpful and are looking to expand into other states, you can view our list of US states and find answers on registering a business name in those regions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You can register your business name via the official state portal of the North Dakota Government.

Useful information:

– There are different procedures for the registration of specific business structures (sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, etc.): follow the respective link to choose the right option.

– Corporations that use a trade name will also have to go through a trade name registration process.

– Before a name is registered, the secretary of state will have to rule out whether it’s deceptively similar to a business title already on record.

To register your business name, you’ll have to do the following:

– Fill out and file all of the required forms.

– Obtain the license required for certain types of business entities (alcoholic beverage license, gaming license, tobacco, contractor license, etc.).

– Pay the 25-dollar fee for trade name registration (if applicable).

– Do a franchise name registration (if applicable).

Upon the completion of the registration, it will be valid for a period of five years. After that, you will have to go through a renewal process.

North Dakota has pretty strict requirements in terms of what’s permissible in the realm of business name registration.

Your business name cannot be the same and it cannot be deceptively similar to the name of another limited liability company, corporation or partnership. It’s up to the secretary of state to determine whether your name is deceptively similar, which will result in a rejection of your application.

In North Dakota, trade name registration affords exclusive rights to the title, meaning no other business can file a similar name.

It’s in your best interest to seek for an original and distinguishable business entity name. Do a brainstorming session to come up with an idea that’s relevant and that hasn’t been registered by someone else.

If you’re still unable to find a business name that suits you, try using our business name generator to get unique name ideas (click here to find our business name generator).

The North Dakota Secretary of State stores a database of business records you can browse. Type the name or system ID number into the search bar and run a check. You can refine your search results only to show active entities. Filters also allow you to click ‘starts with’ or ‘contains’ if you’re unsure of the full title.

FirstStop by the State of North Dakota is still the best place to look up LLCs in that region. Click on ‘Business Records Search’ or ‘Archived Business Records’ to find active and inactive LLCs. All you need is the name of the LLC you’re seeking.


Matija Kolaric

Matija Kolaric

Amazing content is the core of what we do. With more than 5 years of experience in branding, name development, and business, Matija helps create and manage content production.

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