Professional Employer Organizations

After October 1, 2007, a person may not provide, advertise, or otherwise hold itself out as providing professional employer services unless the person has obtained a Professional Employer Organization License from the Secretary of State. A person engaged in the business of providing professional employer services shall obtain a license regardless of its use of the term or conducting business as a "professional employer organization", "staff leasing company", "registered staff leasing company", "employee leasing company", "administrative employer", or any other name. The 60th Legislative Assembly adopted the licensing requirement with Senate Bill Number 2036.

According to North Dakota Century Code, ยง 43-55-01, subsection 8, a professional employer organization is defined as "a person engaged in the business of providing professional employer services. The term does not include an arrangement through which a person that does not have as its principal business activity the practice of entering a professional employer arrangement and does not hold itself out as a professional employer organization and that shares an employee with a commonly owned company within the meaning of section 414(b) and (c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; an independent contractor arrangement through which a person assumes responsibility for a product produced or a service performed by the person or the person's agents and retains and exercises primary direction and control over the work performed by an individual whose services are supplied under the arrangement; or the provision of temporary help services."

The applicant for a professional employer organization must continuously have its business entity properly registered with the Secretary of State to obtain and maintain a license. If the applicant is a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership, or limited liability limited partnership organized under laws other than those of North Dakota, it must obtain a Certificate of Authority from the Secretary of State to transact business in North Dakota. An applicant that is a sole proprietor using a trade name must file a Trade Name Registration with the Secretary of State. A general partnership using a fictitious name must file a Partnership Fictitious Name Certificate with the Secretary of State. For business registration forms visit business structures, or contact the Secretary of State.


  • $1000 for Initial License
  • $500 for License Renewal