Person stamps forms

There are a number of local, state and federal programs available to assist your business with issues related to forms, licenses, patents, permits and other regulatory issues.

Incentive Certification Forms

Primary Sector Certification

Most of the state's economic development tools and incentives are targeted toward primary sector businesses. In fact, legislation for several of these incentives specifies that a business must be 'certified' as a primary sector business by the director of the Economic Development & Finance Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Certification does not guarantee receipt of any incentive, but being certified as a primary sector business can be an important first step in the process.

Primary Sector Certification - SFN52998

Tourism Primary Sector Certification - SFN62300


"Primary sector business" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or association certified by the department of commerce division of economic development and finance which through the employment of knowledge or labor adds value to a product, process, or service which results in the creation of new wealth.
“New wealth” means revenues generated by a business in this state through the sale of products or services to:

  1. Customers outside of this state; or
  2. Customers in this state if the products or services were previously unavailable or difficult to obtain from a business in this state.

"Production agriculture” means the production of crops and livestock on or near a farm as part of the regular farm enterprise directed by a farm operator and the farm operator’s partners.  The term does not include an investor-owned livestock feeding or milking operation located apart from a farm headquarters which is managed by employees.

Programs and incentives that may require certification include:

Research & Development Company Certification - SFN58638

A business must be certified as a "qualified research and development company" before a taxpayer can elect to sell, transfer, or assign all or part of its unused Research and Experimental Expenditure Tax Credit.

Seed Capital Investment Tax Credit - SFN58662

A taxpayer is entitled to a credit against state income tax liability if they make a qualified investment in a "qualified business" for the Seed Capital Tax Credit.

Agricultural Business Investment Tax Credit - SFN58663

A taxpayer is entitled to a credit against state income tax liability if there is a qualified investment in a "qualified business" for the Agricultural Business Tax Credit.

Angel Fund Certification - SFN59140

To be eligible for the Angel Investor Tax Credit, an angel fund must be certified by the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Criteria for certification can be found in the certification form, as well as in N.D.C.C. 57-38-01.26 at  

Effective July 1, 2017, angel funds must meet new conditions to become certified and for investors to receive the Angel Investor Tax Credit against their income tax liability.  Applications for certification must be approved prior to a fund investing in a qualified business for which investors intend to submit claims for a tax credit.


Qualified Business for Angel Investor Tax Credit - SFN61292

Recent legislative changes also include criteria for investments into an in-state or out-of-state “qualified business”. These businesses must  be certified by the North Dakota Department of Commerce prior to receiving investment dollars from a certified angel fund.

Safe-Harbor Application for a Life Science Animal-Use Certified Company - SFN59163

Use this form only for application for a life science animal-use certified company in the state of North Dakota by the North Dakota Department of Commerce Division of Economic Development and Finance as defined in N.D.C.C. 54-34.3-16. 

Business Forms & Licenses

Generally every business must comply with some form of government regulation, and locating the correct forms will make that process much easier.

Several North Dakota agencies have worked together to place forms online for easy access. You'll find forms for Sales and Use Tax, Workers' Compensation Insurance, State Unemployment Insurance, State Income Tax Withholding and others.

Site Location Requirements

Patents & Trademarks

Protecting your patents and trademarks means protecting your profitability and your company's image and identity. While trademark registration is not required in North Dakota, a trademark may be registered with the Secretary of State to establish exclusive right to the trademark in North Dakota. We can help you research current patents and trademarks, search the Patent and Trademark Depository, and register a new trademark with the State of North Dakota.

The United States Commissioner of Patents & Trademarks registers patents.

The Center for Innovation offers comprehensive, hands-on assistance to technology entrepreneurs, innovators, and manufacturers interested in starting new ventures, commercializing new products, and licensing new technologies. They can assist with patent and trademark searches through the Patent and Trademark Depository and the Chester Fritz Library.

Property Tax Exemption

The IRS provides forms and publications needed for accurate federal tax information and regulations.

ND Attorney General
The Licensing Section of the Criminal and Regulatory Division is responsible for regulating the licenses of alcoholic beverage retailers, tobacco product dealers, transient merchants, coin-operated amusement devices operators, fair boards, polygraph operators, charitable gaming operators, gaming manufacturers and distributors, and wholesale fireworks distributors. 

ND Department of Health
Information about air quality permits is available from the Health Department. Information related to other environmental issues such as waste management and water quality is also available.

ND Department of Labor
The Labor Department is responsible for the enforcement of labor and employment discrimination laws. 

ND Securities Department
The North Dakota Securities Department regulates the offer and sale of securities and enforces compliance with our state's securities laws. It is responsible for registration of securities offerings, registration of franchises, investigation of consumer complaints, and investor education. 

ND Water Commission
The Water Commission provides information on water resource activities that require a permit from the State of North Dakota. This includes information related to the processes required to apply for a water permit, drainage permit or related construction permit. 

North Dakota Secretary of State
The Office of the Secretary of State licenses contractors and charitable organizations, records trademarks and trade names, files and records articles of incorporation, and files and records articles of organization from domestic and foreign limited liability companies. 

Occupational Health and Safety Consultation

The North Dakota Department of Health, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, is offering employers free and confidential health and safety consultation services. The OSHA Consultation Program is designed for employers who are concerned about employee safety and health and who wish to make certain their businesses comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.