What is a North Dakota Registered Agent?
A North Dakota Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail and notices on behalf of your North Dakota LLC.
Legal mail (called Service of Process) is sent if your LLC is involved in a lawsuit. Additionally, the state may send notices and reminders to your LLC’s Registered Agent.
North Dakota Registered Agents should be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm), Monday through Friday.
And the Registered Agent for your LLC in North Dakota must have a physical street address in North Dakota. PO Box addresses aren’t allowed.
Note: Most states use the term “Registered Agent”, but some use the terms “Resident Agent” or “Statutory Agent”. They all mean the same thing and we may use these terms interchangeably.
Does North Dakota require a Registered Agent?
Yes, North Dakota requires all LLCs to list a Registered Agent on their LLC formation paperwork. And they must keep a Registered Agent on file with the state for the life of the LLC.
Why do I need a Registered Agent in North Dakota?
The purpose of a Registered Agent is to accept Service of Process in case your business gets sued. And the court needs proof that your LLC received the legal documents.
Said another way, your LLC’s Registered Agent is a key component of how the court and legal systems work. By requiring all North Dakota LLCs to keep a Registered Agent on file with the state, the delivery of court documents can be properly tracked.
Who can be my Registered Agent in North Dakota?
You actually have 3 options for who can be your North Dakota Registered Agent:
- a friend or family member
- a Registered Agent Service
You can save money by being the Registered Agent for your LLC, but there are some risks.
What are the risks?
The risks of being your own North Dakota Registered Agent are:
- missing an important notice from the state
- administrative dissolution
- missing Service of Process (and potential legal consequences)
These issues are more likely to occur if you:
- move and forget to update your address with the state
- travel or leave town for extended periods of time
- don’t have a reliable address
- don’t keep up with your mail
We’ll explain a few of these risks below.
Missing an important notice from the state
Your business needs to promptly receive all important notices sent by the North Dakota Secretary of State or any other state agency.
Notices sent by state agencies often have actions that your LLC must take by a certain deadline. And in some cases, there are penalties and fees if you miss those deadlines.
If you are the Registered Agent for your LLC, and you move without updating your Registered Agent address, the Secretary of State can dissolve (shut down) your LLC.
To clarify, the state isn’t looking over your LLC every single day, so this potential administrative dissolution won’t automatically happen if you don’t update your Registered Agent information.
If someone sues your LLC, a process server will make multiple attempts to serve your LLC.
However, if they are unable to serve your LLC in person, Service of Process can be made another way (like through Certified Mail). This can mean the court notices and/or documents were “delivered” to you, even if you didn’t physically receive them.
Then the person suing your LLC can argue their case without you being there to defend your LLC. In these situations, the person suing your LLC usually wins and the court enters a default judgment against your business.
So should I be my own Registered Agent?
You certainly can. While there are risks of being your own Registered Agent in North Dakota, they don’t come up very often, and being your LLC’s noncommercial Registered Agent can save you money.
Having said that, hiring a professional Registered Agent Service can provide additional benefits, such as address privacy.
Registered Agent Information is Public Record in North Dakota
While you (or a friend or family member) can be your LLC’s Registered Agent, you may not want to have a home address listed on public record.
The information you enter in your Articles of Organization becomes public record with the Secretary of State.
Not only is this information searchable by the public, but other websites download the state’s records and republish them on their own website. Then things begin to spread as other public record websites take that same information and list it on their websites too (and the process repeats itself).
Pretty soon your address is listed on many websites and people can easily find it by doing a Google search.
If you’d like to keep your address off public records, we have a strategy for this.
How to keep your address off public records:
Many business owners in North Dakota start businesses from their homes. So you should be aware that the Registered Agent’s address on your LLC Articles of Organization gets listed on public records.
If you want to keep your address off public records, you can hire a North Dakota Registered Agent Service that will allow you to use their address throughout your Articles of Organization.
Northwest Registered Agent offers this unique service at no additional cost.
What’s the best North Dakota Registered Agent option to choose?
Choosing the best North Dakota Registered Agent option for your business depends on a few factors.
You can be your own Registered Agent in North Dakota if you:
- are a North Dakota resident, and
- have a physical address in North Dakota.
Why choose this option? This is a good option if you want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Registered Agent Service).
Friend or Family:
A friend or family member can be your North Dakota Registered Agent if they:
- are a North Dakota resident, and
- have a physical address in North Dakota
Why choose this option? This is a good option if you aren’t a resident of North Dakota, but want to save money.
Note: If your Registered Agent will be a you or someone you know, you/they should be comfortable with your/their address being listed on public records.
North Dakota Registered Agent Service (Commercial Registered Agent):
A Registered Agent Service is a company authorized to accept Service of Process for your LLC.
Registered Agent Services usually charge $100 to $300 per year. After they receive Service of Process, they’ll forward it to you or upload it to your online account.
Why choose this option? This is a good option if you:
- don’t live in North Dakota
- don’t have a friend or family member’s address to use
- won’t be available during normal business hours to receive mail, or
- don’t want your address on public records
If you’d like to hire a Registered Agent Service, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the service we use) for a few reasons:
- they’ve been in business for over 20 years
- their excellent customer service agents are LLC experts, and
- they let you use their address in your entire LLC filing (to keep yours off public record)
Special discounted pricing for LLC University readers
Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.
North Dakota Registered Agent FAQs
How much does a Registered Agent cost in North Dakota?
If you (or a friend or family member) will be your Registered Agent, there is no cost.
If you want to hire a Registered Agent Service, it will cost between $100 and $300 per year.
To learn how the top Registered Agent companies compare against each other, check out Best Registered Agent Services in North Dakota.
Can the Sole Member of an LLC be the Registered Agent?
Yes, the Sole Member of an LLC can be their own Registered Agent as long as they meet the state requirements listed above.
What do you think?
Can you take 10 seconds and rate this lesson?