(KXNET) — So you have the idea for a business and have the business plan. Great! Now, you have to register it with the state. But how does one go about doing that?

Every business that opens for the first time in North Dakota has to be registered in the state. First, you need to think of a name for your business and register its trade name with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office.

Michael Howe, the Secretary of State, says it’s important to register your trade name before you make any merchandise.

“I know people in the past that ran into some trouble when they registered their trade name and then start developing marketing materials,” stated Howe. “They’ll go in, register their name, and find out that the name’s already been taken. So that’s why we always advise that the first thing you should do is register your trade name with the state and make sure it’s available. And also get a receipt of that.”

Howe says in our state, there are 46 different business entities that you could register as — but the most popular is the LLC and Business Corporation models.

“A Business Corporation is formed with the purpose of generating profit for shareholders,” explained Howe. “An LLC is a combination of a partnership and a corporation, provides members with limited liability regardless of members’ participation in management, and can be taxed under flexible partnership rules.”

The process for getting a trade name is done online, and Howe says you usually receive a decision in about five to seven days — compared to the six to eight weeks during the height of the oil boom when everything was done on paper.

He says this means North Dakota is a great state to start a business in.

“We’ve got low tax structure and a stable regulatory environment,” said Howe. “I think we’ve got a very pro-business economic program out there.”

Howe says you should also know how you want to fund your business at this point in the process — because knowing how much everything will cost can make or break a venture.

Registering a trade name costs $25, and the price varies for registering a business in North Dakota depending on what entity you choose.