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Sample North Dakota Business License

North Dakota Business License

Are you excited to start your new business in North Dakota? Do you need well-researched information about business licensing in the state? You are in the right place as here you will learn about laws and regulations of ND licensure, the registration of your business, local and state-specific requirements, and more.

Do you need a business license in North Dakota?

The requirements of business licenses and permits in North Dakota depend on the occupation and location. ND licensing process is regulated by:

  • Secretary of State: Regulating the contractor’s works
  • Attorney General: Regulating the sales of alcoholic beverages and gambling

There are several occupations that require licensing in North Dakota no matter where the business is located. Here are listed some of the works that need licensing in order to legally operate in the state:

  • Bakeries
  • Salons
  • Asbestos abatement
  • Hunting guides
  • And more

How do I register a business in North Dakota?

There is no general business license in North Dakota that will apply for every area of the business in the state. Instead, the requirements of registering your business will vary due to the local rules of licensing. We will discuss the licensure requirements in the largest cities of ND separately.


You may need a business license to run your business in the city of Fargo depending on the occupation. HVAC, plumbers need to obtain an occupational license, while kennels, pawnbrokers, second-hand dealers, and individuals working in the transportation business should hold a business license. To acquire more information check out Fargo Auditor’s Office webpage


To operate your business in Bismarck, the city requires obtaining permits or business licenses if your business performs food service, alcohol selling, gaming, or other types of works. The full list of Bismarck licenses and permits can be found here.

Grand Forks

If your business is in bakery, you must hold a state license and city business license in Grand Forks, ND. There are several local licenses that are mandatory in order to operate your business in Grand Forks. Such licenses or permits include mobile food vendors, bed & breakfast, bakeries, and many others. You must be registered with the city if your business is e.g. in towing services, bowling alleys, etc. The full list of licenses/permits and application form can be obtained on Grand Forks Finance and Administrative Department.

How do I get a local business license in North Dakota?

As soon as you decide on your business idea you must determine the type of license(s) or permits you will need. The application of business licensing in North Dakota can be online, in person, or via mail by submitting the required materials. Although the local rules of obtaining an ND business license may differ from city to city there are general steps to consider prior to the license application.

  • Choose a business structure: You can register your business as LLC, corporation, partnership, or any other type of legal entity
  • Form your business: You must decide your business name, assign a registered agent, file your business with the state, get an EIN
  • Obtain proper insurance

Can you run a business without a business license in North Dakota?

Depending on the local governance or the nature of your business you may need a license/permit or registration with the city to operate your business in North Dakota. Here is the list of professions or occupations that require licensing:

  • Accountants
  • Attorneys
  • Engineers
  • Dentists
  • Physicians
  • And more

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.

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