The following general requirements need to be addressed by most new businesses. Other specific requirements may also apply.
North Dakota Secretary of State - www.nd.gov/sos - 1.800.352.0867
- Trade Name Registration - any person, corporation or limited liability company that uses a name other than the owner's or the true name of the organization is required to register their trade name (SFN 13401). A Fictitious Name Certificate must be submitted by a general or limited partnership (SFN 7006).
- A North Dakota corporation or limited liability company (LLC) must file articles of incorporation or organization to acquire corporate or limited liability status.
- A North Dakota Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or a Limited Liability Limited Partnership (LLLP) must register to acquire limited liability status. Forms are not prescribed; however, filings must be formatted as prescribed by North Dakota Century Code, Chapters 45-10.1 and 45-23.
- Out-of-state owned businesses must register with the Secretary of State prior to transacting business in North Dakota.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - www.irs.gov/smallbiz - 1.800.829.1040
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) - also known as a federal tax identification number, it is used to identify a business entity. It is required if the business is formed as a partnership, corporation, LLC, or if the business has employees. You may apply for an EIN by telephone (1.800.829.4933), fax, mail or online. (Form SS-4)
- Federal Income Tax - income taxes will be levied by the federal government on the earnings of any business. (Schedule C for proprietors; Form 1065 for partnerships; Form 1120 for corporations; or 1120-S for S corporations)
- Federal Self-Employment Tax - if you are self-employed, your Social Security and Medicare contribution is made through the federal self-employment tax. (Schedule SE, Form 1040)
- Employee's Withholding - to know how much income tax to withhold from employee's wages, each new employee should complete an "Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate" (Form W-4). A W-4 remains in effect until the employee gives you a new one.
- Employment Taxes - business owners are required to withhold federal income taxes from employee wages. Social security and Medicare taxes pay for benefits that workers and families receive under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA); you withhold part of these taxes from employee's wages and you pay a matching amount yourself. These taxes are reported on the "Employers Quarterly Federal Tax Return." (Form 941)
- Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) - pays unemployment compensation to workers who lose their jobs. It is paid from the business owner's funds (employees do not pay this tax or have it withheld from their pay) and reported on "Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax return. (Form 940 or 940-EZ)
North Dakota State Tax Department - www.nd.gov/tax - 1.877.328.7088
- Sales & Use Tax - any business making taxable sales of tangible personal property or certain services to the end user is required to hold a North Dakota sales and use tax permit. (Sales/Use Tax Permit and Income Tax Withholding Application)
- State Income Tax Reporting - income taxes will be levied by the State on the earnings of any business.
- State Income Tax Withholding - an employer is required to withhold state income tax from wages paid to an employee if the employee performs services within North Dakota and wages are subject to federal income tax. "Income Tax Withholding Return" (Form 306) must be filed for each quarter. "ND Transmittal of Wage & Tax Statements" (Form W-2) must be filed on or before February 28 following the close of the calendar year. "Application to Register for ND Income Tax Withholding" (Form 301) must be completed in advance of withholding.
Business License Information - www.nd.gov/businessreg/license/index.html
- There are many types of licenses, both state and local as well as professional. Depending on what you do and where you plan to operate, your business will be required to have various state and/or municipal licenses or permits.
City and County Auditors
- Contact the city auditor for information on business licenses or permits and zoning ordinances apply to businesses within city limits. Contact the county auditor for permits and zoning ordinances applying to businesses outside city limits.
- It is prudent for any business to purchase a number of basic types of insurance. For information on liability, life, hazard, theft, business interruption and other insurance, contact your local insurance agent or broker.
Social Security Administration - www.ssa.gov - 1.800.722.1213
- Wage Reporting - after the calendar year is over, you must furnish copies of Form W-2 "Wage and Tax Statement" to each employee to whom you paid wages during the year. You must also send copies to the Social Security Administration.
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service - www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis - 1.800.357.2099
- Employment Eligibility Verification - business owners must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States through a Form I-9.
North Dakota Department of Labor - www.nd.gov/labor/ - 1.800.582.8032
- You should become familiar with North Dakota's labor laws which address items such as breaks, overtime, and deductions from pay.
- There are nine state and federal posters which North Dakota employers must post in an area readily accessible to all employees. All nine posters can be downloaded from www.nd.gov/labor/publications/posters.html.
Job Service of North Dakota - www.jobsnd.com - 1.800.732.9787
- Unemployment Insurance - businesses are required to provide unemployment insurance coverage for their employees if they meet certain criteria. A "Report to Determine Liability" (SFN 41216) must be filed within 20 days after first employing workers.
North Dakota Workers Compensation - www.workforcesafety.com - 1.800.777.5033
- Worker's Compensation Insurance - with certain exceptions, workers' compensation insurance must be carried to provide protection to employees injured in on-the-job accidents. Contact North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance to request an "Application for Insurance" (SFN 5556).
North Dakota Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division - www.nd.gov/dhs/services/childsupport/ - 1.800.755.8530
- New Hire Reporting Requirement - businesses must report each new hire within 20 days from the individual's first day of work (SFN 1018).
U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) - www.osha.gov - 1.800.473.7419
- All businesses with employees are required to comply with state and federal regulations regarding the protection of employees. OSHA outlines specific health and safety standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor.
GS1 US - www.gs1us.org - 973.435.3870
- GS1 US (not a government agency) assigns a manufacturer's ID code for the purposes of bar coding. Many stores require bar coding on the packaged products they sell.
Protecting Your Idea
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office - www.uspto.gov - 1.800.786.9199
- Trademarks are names or symbols used in any commerce that is subject to regulation by state government or the U.S. Congress. Federally registered trademarks may conflict with and supersede state registered business and product names. Businesses are encouraged to check for conflicts with federal trademarks.
North Dakota Secretary of State - www.nd.gov/sos - 1.800.352-0867 (84284)
- Any organization that has adopted a trademark or service mark may register that mark with the Secretary of State.
U.S. Copyright Office - www.copyright.gov - 202.707.5959
- Copyrights protect the thoughts and ideas of authors, composers, and artists.
UND Patent and Trademark Depository Library - www.library.und.edu/coll/patents/services.jsp - 701.777.4888
- For information, forms or to submit a patent, trademark, or copyright search request, contact the UND Patent and Trademark Depository Library:
Room 130A, 1st Floor, West
Chester Fritz Library
University Avenue and Centennial Drive
Grand Forks, ND