Apply For A Business License North Dakota - ND

Do I need a business license to operate in North Dakota?

Whether your business is operating as a partnership, corporation, or a proprietorship, all businesses are subject to different types of legal and tax requirements. There is no general state business license in North Dakota, but there are several types of specialty licenses required by the state. Each city or county may have its own business licensing requirements.

Who issues the licenses?

In North Dakota, you first need to find out where you need to obtain your license. Generally, there are three different places to be licensed. However, most likely your business will fall under one of these:

1. Licensing obtained by the state. These would include things like: notary public, charitable solicitation services, contractors, professional fundraisers (you would also need to register your business with the Secretary of State if you are a business entity, like a corporation or LLC).

2. Licensing obtained by the Attorney General. These would include tobacco, amusement games, and alcoholic beverage sales.

3. Other directories and licensing information. If your business doesn’t fall under other licensing, visit to find information on over a hundred different specialties with related licenses needed to operate (i.e., barbershop, bakery, etc.).

4. By visiting the state website at you will find a list of hundreds of types of businesses with the associated licensing requirements.

Will I need a city or county business license?

Most cities in North Dakota do not require or have a city license for most businesses. However, there are a few that do need additional permits or forms through the city. Please contact your local city or county in which you operate to find out if you are required additional forms/permits.

What other city or county required licensing is there?

There are separate applications and requirements for the following businesses (but not limited to):

  • Dance halls
  • Alcohol sales
  • Automotive services stations
  • Click the link to your city below to apply for a business license

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    This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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