North Dakota is a great state to set up your business. It’s one of the best business environments in the US. If you plan on setting up a business in the State of North Dakota, one of the foremost requirements of the state government is having a registered agent.
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent can be a business or an individual appointed to receive legal documents for your company. These legal documents include tax notices, subpoenas, lawsuits, and others.
All companies doing business in the state of North Dakota must have a registered agent to ensure tracking of all legal mail sent within the state. To become a registered agent in the state of North Dakota, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be able to receive mail during business hours at an office
- Be present to receive the legal mail intended for the business you represent
- Have a physical address within North Dakota. Note that making use of a P.O Box is not allowed.
Registered Agent in North Dakota, who can work as one?
A person must meet certain requirements before he/she can work as a registered agent in North Dakota. These requirements are made by the Secretary of the State of North Dakota.
- A registered agent can be an employee of the company or third parties such as lawyers and registered agent service companies that is a resident or an organization that is located in North Dakota and has a valid street address in North Dakota. Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) cannot be their registered agents. However, if you are a resident and of legal age (more than 18) in North Dakota, you are allowed to register as your business’s registered agent in a case whereby you have a start-up business or you are a small business entrepreneur.
- If you are a business owner based outside North Dakota, you must first have the authorization to do business.
Changing your Registered Agent in North Dakota
If you have decided to shift to another agency or entity to represent your company in North Dakota, maybe because your previous registered agent moved out of the state, no longer wants the responsibility, or he left your company for another. Changing registered agents is easy, all you need to do is follow the following steps, as outlined by the Department of the State of North Dakota:
- Go to the Secretary of the State of North Dakota Registered Agent webpage and look for the Non-Commercial and Commercial Registered Agent Statement of Change form.
- The Statement of Change form will require information such as the name of your business, the Federal Identification Number of your Business, the name and address of your new registered agent, an authorization signature from the new registered agent as his/her consent, the address of the person who is filing the form.
The form must be correctly filled, note that there’s a fee of 10 dollars must be paid for the document to be processed. The payment can be made through a card or a check that is made payable to the North Dakota “Secretary of State”. You’ll be required to put down your card information in the form if you’re paying with a card. The document and the check will then be mailed to the address:
Secretary of State
State of North Dakota
600 E Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 108
PO Box 5513
Bismarck ND 58506-5513.
You can also choose to fax the forms and the payment, if you’re using the fax, you are to fax to (701) 328-0106.
You can also change your Registered Agent in the State of North Dakota by making a change to your Articles of Organization through the FirstStop Online filing system. You can learn more about making changes to your Article of Organization here.
You have to know that you cannot change your registered agent in the State of North Dakota by just making changes to your annual report. You can only follow the process explained above.
Should I Get a Professional Registered Agent Service Company?
Getting a professional registered agent company can reduce a lot of effort and time for any business owner. There are numerous benefits to it whether you are an established company or a small business owner. Some of these benefits are:
- Making use of their address instead of your home address, especially if you don’t have an office yet. This detail will be included in public records.
- Registered Agent processes paperwork for you
- Notify you immediately if you receive any new legal mail
- Notify you of mandatory filing of North Dakota annual reports
- Help you to avoid penalties for delayed filings
- Assist you with forms and instructions needed to set up your business
- If you operate a small business out of state, they fill in as your local contact in the state.
Several agencies offer registered agent services in North Dakota. However, you have to be careful in finding a trustworthy agent to handle your business.
Advantages of Using a North Dakota Business Address vs. Personal Address
- A business address minimizes exposure of your home address as public information
- Some city municipalities may not allow using home addresses as business offices
- Using your personal address can probably link you to business liabilities
- Using a business address can help you separate business and personal transactions
Having a registered agent is your gateway to setting up a business in the state of North Dakota. Doing it yourself is possible, but it can eat up a lot of your time, money, and energy. It is better to get a registered agent service and use the resources to build your business instead. Let them help you do business hassle-free in North Dakota.