Starting an LLC may involve filing articles of organization with the state and establishing internal ground rules for how your business should operate. Establishing your credibility as a legal entity is a part of the plan.
Every North Dakota LLC is encouraged, but not required, to have an operating agreement to safeguard the company’s operations, from organization to dissolution. It ensures that all LLC members understand their roles and responsibilities. This page guides you in making a North Dakota operating agreement.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement Content
An operating agreement is a legal document detailing the LLC’s organizational structure and operational procedures. Topics not restricted to a single member or multi-member LLC will be covered. While these provisions might not influence day-to-day operations, they must be included for legal reasons.
- Ownership: The operating agreement details who the members are and how ownership is divided, be it a sole proprietorship or LLC. Sole proprietorship refers to a single person with total control over a business, also known as a single-member LLC. Multi-member LLC members can have either equal or varying ownership interests.
- Management: Your LLC could be member-managed or manager-managed. The former means members can decide regarding contracts with third parties; the latter means only designated managers can do so. Using “manager-managed” instead of “hands-on” can reduce administrative work. Management’s authority is also limited in the Operating Agreement.
- Voting: Define each owner’s voting rights and voting thresholds, such as a majority vote, supermajority vote, and unanimous consent. A variety of approvals are needed for each type of decision.
- Changes in Membership Structure: If someone leaves the company, how will roles and ownership be transferred? A member buyout and/or replacement procedure must be outlined in the LLC’s governing document.
- Contributions: All types of contributions are accepted. In order to fund their ownership interests, members will have to invest in the collective funds.
- Equity Splits: Determine equity for each member, taking into consideration things like their contributions, responsibilities, and fairness. Maintaining fairness in your equity split will help prevent future disagreements.
- Transfers: You may want to consider outlawing transfers of ownership interests without the consent of all owners. It’s always a good idea to include permitted transfers, such as first refusal, drag-along rights, tag-along rights, and estate planning transfers.
- Business Restrictions: To protect the privacy of the company, including confidentiality obligations. You may also ban the owners from owning competing businesses.
- Intellectual Property: Detail; the ownership of intellectual property created by members. Make sure all company-created intellectual property is owned by the company. You can find alternative ownership/license structures if necessary.
- Taxation: Determine how you will be taxed and plan accordingly. Remember, however, that you must file an LLC annual report and might be required a sales tax.
- Guaranteed Payments: Determine if any of the members should receive Guaranteed Payments, which are like a salary, particularly if your LLC is taxed as a partnership.
- Distribution & Dividends: Explain to all members how the funds will be allocated. A pass-through entity will impose tax distributions regardless of profit distributions.
- Dissolution: The LLC should be dissolved if all members elect to cease operations. It is important to identify how you will end your business in your operating agreement.
Note that the operating agreement, though not a legal requirement in most states, is vital in the operation of your LLC. Should your members have issues with the business, you can deal with it with guidance from the operating agreement.
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Developing an operating agreement could be tedious at times. Besides, since it deals with how your business operates, then it would be best to have professionals help you with it to make sure you get everything right. Getting help from registered agents would be your best bet. Here are three of our best LLC services that can provide you with registered agents to free you of worries:
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Importance of a North Dakota LLC Operating Agreement
North Dakota’s operating agreements are not required when there is an LLC exists. Most states require their businesses to draft an operating agreement to allow them to examine the business structure. In North Dakota, it is possible to skip this step while forming the LLC and it won’t attract any legal fines.
This step is essential to ensure that the LLC to be protected from any disputes or misunderstandings. Here are a few reasons why you should create an LLC agreement.
- To protect the business: The operating agreement defines the rules of an LLC. In other words, the rules are enforced by the government in case any members are unable to keep them in line. This arrangement could be used to protect the LLC from being subject to the rules of the government and to offer additional advantages.
- Making the LLC credible Investors will be able to judge the business’ professionalism when looking into it. Since the operating agreement demonstrates that the members are concerned about their company and are determined to ensure that compliance of all laws and regulations The LLC appears professional. This creates growth for the company by attracting investors
- For the LLC to be legal: LLCs have limited liability status. Operating agreements must clearly define this to ensure that the government does not misunderstand. Operating agreements are a way to show that they’re different.
- To resolve any conflicts that may result from decisions or distributions. The operating agreement has the processes, requirements, and rules for the employees of the business. If a task is required, the members can simply refer to the operating agreement to find specifics and then move forward.
- It allows the LLC to be flexible: Limited Liability Companies are required to be flexible, and that is the nature of their business. It is the operating agreement that allows the LLCs to be flexible. Operating agreements provide validation that allows the LLC to be free and that is the reason it is so important.
- For opening bank accounts for your company, you’ll require a copy of your operating agreement. This is why it’s difficult for a business to open bank accounts if they don’t have a copy of the operating agreement.
In order to clearly state the purpose of a business as well as its ownership interests, a written operating agreement is strongly advised in North Dakota.
You and other members of the LLC will be unable to reach any agreements if you do not have an operating agreement. Even worse, your LLC must follow the state’s default operating conditions.
It is required by law in California, New York, Maine, and Missouri, but it is not in North Dakota. Although it is not legally required, creating a written agreement is strongly advised. You may self-notarize and distribute the documents.