Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in North Dakota (ND)

North Dakota has the 8th fastest growing population in the United States. They also offer the 11th lowest cost of living, and they have the highest early startup survival rate. Those odds sound pretty good for would-be entrepreneurs!

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Best Business Ideas for North Dakota

Let me guess: the odds are in your favor, but you don’t have any ideas for your small business. That’s ok! Here are some popular small business ideas for North Dakota:

  • Rage room
  • Flower shop
  • Motorcycle shop
  • Running store
  • Woodchipper detailing

Whatever type of store you decide to open, at the end of the day, you’re going to need a solid business plan.

Planning Processes

Drafting a business plan can be daunting, we get it. That’s why we have a step-by-step instruction guide to drafting up your business plan.

1. Playing the name game

Choose a name for your business that is straightforward and doesn’t leave your customers wondering what you do. While there are some rules and regulations for naming your business, don’t let that discourage you. For example, Whistle While You Work is an excellent name for your woodchipper detailing company.

2.  Conducting market research

It’s crucial to get to know your market. Do search engine optimization research. Hold focus groups. Conduct surveys. You may find out surprising things! Whistle While You Work found out it may not have the market it originally thought it would.

3.  Structuring your business

LLC, corporation, nonprofit, partnership, sole proprietorship. Which is best? It depends on what your goal is. Registering as an LLC has favorable tax treatment, while a nonprofit is funded by donations, as opposed to investors. Whistle While You Work would likely work best as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

Registering in North Dakota

Get all the info you need about your business. Get your business’ name, the employer identification number (EIN), get the name of your registered agent, and file those formation documents. Depending on the structure you choose, you may need different documents.

Congrats, Whistle While You Work, LLC is now an officially recognized business in the state of North Dakota!

Best Location for Your Business in North Dakota

Before you set up shop, it’s important to think of what your area has to offer. If you set up in your house, you may not have room for growth. If you want your business to get a lot of foot traffic, you may want to set up in a busy area, such as Fargo or Bismarck. Whistle While You Work thinks that they’ll have the best luck in Fargo. If you know, you know.

Banking and Accounting

It’s highly recommended that you open a separate account for your business. It not only protects your personal assets in the event you get sued, but if you open a separate credit line for your business, you’ll be able to establish credit. When you establish credit, you look better to lenders if you want to grow or expand your business. We recommend hiring a business accountant. They may be able to save your business thousands of dollars!

Ensure Your Business Is Insured

Business insurance is crucial to growing your small business in North Dakota. It’s a way to ensure your business avoids any unknown risks, like an employee stubbing their toe on the property, or a Nekota horse deciding it needs to have its woodchipper detailed this very instant, wait times be cursed. In North Dakota, any company with one or more employees has to be insured. Yes, this includes LLCs and corporate officers.

Permits and Licensing

It’s important to ensure your business has the proper permits and licensing. Depending on the type of business you are operating, you’ll need different permits. The best way to accomplish this is to search for the required licensing at a federal, state, and local level. The best way to determine which permits are needed at a local level is to call your local clerk and ask them directly. We recommend hiring a professional to help you through this step.

Hiring Employees

The hiring process is an exciting time for many small business owners. It’s a way to see your dreams coming to fruition. However, you’re going to want to ensure you’re doing it legally. This includes registering with IRS Employee Tax and reporting your new hires to the state of North Dakota. You’ll also need to ensure you register for North Dakota’s withholding tax and unemployment insurance tax. We strongly recommend starting a payroll, as well. It will ensure your employees are paid on time and it will help you to better manage your time.


Branding is fun for some, miserable for others. First, let’s start with the logo. Make sure your logo is representative of the brand, what you offer, and make sure it’s visually pleasing to your customer. Whistle While You Work thinks rustic colors with hip font works best to express what they do. You may decide muted, calming colors work best for your brand. There is plenty of software online that can help you if you’re stumped, too.

Branding also requires you to think about what your values are as a company. Do you believe there aren’t enough woodchipper customization options in the US? Do you think the idea of woodchipper customization is ridiculous, and people are getting out of control? This might seem like an odd example, but it’s necessary to make it clear to yourself as much as to your customer the values your company holds itself to and what it can offer to your customers. Do some personal reflection and truly embrace what your company believes in. Making sure these points strike home will ensure that your customers are in it for the long run.

Online Presence

In the day and age of social media, having an online presence for your brand is very important. While this can look like having a website and online store (if applicable), this also means needing Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok accounts. One of the best things you can do for your business is following trends on social media. It makes you look hip, in touch, and it will help your business flourish. Get creative!


Having an online presence is great, but what about marketing on those platforms? All legitimate businesses have a website. And if we’re being honest, the less legitimate ones do, too. Unfortunately, social media profiles are not a replacement for a website. Having a professional website makes your brand seem trustworthy, reliable, and it offers all-around better branding.

If this seems to be way too much, don’t worry! Companies like Ecwid help your store grow and succeed. They can help you create a beautiful, easy-to-navigate website while allowing you to market your products on other online platforms mentioned above. Ecwid even allows you to track your digital sales on a dashboard, where you can see your inventory. They’ll help make sure your business runs smoothly.

Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

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Start Selling Products & Services Online

You don’t have to worry about the office or warehouse if you choose to sell online. Save your time and money.

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Learn the basics

Starting an Online Store Business is Easy.
We’ll Show You.

So you’re ready to start selling online. Now the million-dollar question… where do you start?

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Read real stories

Get Yourself Ready
For Surprises

Check out our blog series all about starting an online store without prior experience. It‘s sort of like our own ecommerce reality show—starring Nicole.

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Find a product

Looking For Things
To Sell Online?

Discover best-selling products and how you can start selling them online and make money.

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Select sales channels

Catch Your Customers Where They Are

We’ll help you navigate through the market and find the most profitable channels.

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Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

Start Selling Online

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