Deciding that you want to apply for a Federal Firearms License (FFL) can mean a surge of excitement and anticipation. As a gun dealer, you will be able to serve your community by legally buying and selling firearms as an official gun shop.
Many people quickly lose that excitement once they see what the process of applying for one looks like. However, the license application process, daunting as it may seem, doesn’t have to be confusing.
Getting your FFL in North Dakota requires no extra state-level licensing, so it’s a relatively easy undertaking.
At Rocket FFL, we hope to make this process as easy as possible, eliminating as much hassle as we can from the process.
In this article, we will discuss:
- FFL Cost
- Steps to getting your FFL in North Dakota
- Federal Requirements for an FFL
- North Dakota State Requirements for an FFL
- North Dakota Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
- FAQs and additional resources
FFL Cost in North Dakota
How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in North Dakota costs between $30-$200 for the first 3 years that you are licensed.
When you fill out an FFL application with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), you choose from several license types.
Each of these license types varies in price due to the different functions they allow the federal firearms licensee to perform. This includes whether the licensee is just trying to sell a few handguns, incorporate gunsmithing, or handle NFA items, for example.
Depending on your preferred activities, you’ll need a different type of license for which the application fees range in price.
FFL License Cost by Type
To handle NFA items (such as silencers, short-barrel rifles, machine guns, destructive devices, etc.), you must pay additional costs in the form of an SOT license registration.
Steps to Getting Your FFL
To get your FFL in North Dakota, you need to:
- Ensure you meet the federal and state requirements for an FFL
- Choose your FFL type
- Take an FFL course
- Submit your FFL application forms
Step 1: Ensure You Meet FFL Federal Requirements
First, you need to make sure that you meet all Federal and state requirements. FFL dealers must satisfy all of the same federal requirements, regardless of the state their gun store is in (more details below).
Step 2: Choose Your FFL Type
Depending on what you are trying to do with your business, you will need to choose from several different types of FFLs. This is to ensure that you are appropriately licensed for any and all activities you may be performing.
Most gun dealers get either a Type 01 license (for most firearms dealers and gunsmiths) or a Type 07 license (for manufacturing). A Type 07 license lets you both manufacture and sell firearms.
To determine what type of FFL best suits your needs, check this out.
Some types of firearms and accessories require you to be an SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer). You’ll apply as an SOT after being assigned your FFL number. These requirements are from the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), later updated with Title II of the Gun Control Act.
You’ll need to be an SOT if you plan to sell these NFA items:
- Full-auto machine guns
- Short-barreled rifles (rifles with a barrel shorter than 16″ or an overall length under 26″)
- Short-barreled shotguns (shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18″ or an overall length under 26″)
- Destructive devices (grenades, mines, bombs, etc.)
- Any other weapons (pen guns, specific special handguns, etc.)
The table below describes each FFL License type and which SOT Class you’ll need to apply for after getting your FFL to sell NFA firearms and other items.
We cover all of the specifics of SOT classes and the NFA in our Get Your FFL Course.
Step 3: Take an FFL Course
Next, take an FFL course from a qualified instructor.
The logistics of getting your FFL License can be complicated. Gun laws on both a Federal and State level can make it a nightmare in some places.
This is why I developed a comprehensive course based on decades of research and work as an attorney in the firearms industry to help you get your FFL hassle-free.
The below course will not only cover getting your FFL, but it also covers everything you need to know to get your FFL in North Dakota.
I highly recommend that you get the FFL Course and SOT Course combo. For an extra $10, you can learn how to apply to buy and sell silencers and Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs) in addition to standard firearms covered by just your FFL.
Step 4: Submit Your FFL Application Forms
Finally, once you’ve made sure you meet all requirements (federal and state), verified the appropriate FFL type for your business, and taken the Rocket FFL course, you are ready to “pull the trigger” and apply for your FFL!
Once you submit all the forms required by the ATF, they will start the process by completing a background check through the NICS on all “responsible persons” for the business. A responsible person (RP) is the sole proprietor, a partner in the corporation, or will influence the business’s practices and policies.
Once all application paperwork is verified as correct, and all background checks are complete, the application is sent to a local ATF field office. An industry operations investigator (IOI) will set up an in-person interview with you to make sure all information is still correct and that you are following all state and local requirements.
After the interview, the IOI will make a recommendation to either approve or deny your FFL application. Assuming you passed, the ATF field office supervisor will then submit the approved application to the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC), and you will be the next owner of an FFL!
According to the ATF website, the entire process takes about 60 days from when a completed application was first received. However, depending on the state you are setting up in, the ATF may require multiple forms and extra steps during the process.
This may require multiple forms and extra steps depending on your location. However, if you took the Rocket FFL course, you’ll have every detail and access to all the necessary forms to quickly apply for your Federal Firearms License.
Federal Requirements for an FFL
The federal requirements for getting an FFL are the same for every state.
To get an FFL, the federal government requires that you:
- Are at least 21 years of age
- Are a US Citizen or legal permanent resident
- Are legally permitted to possess firearms and ammunition (no felony convictions, have not been a psychological patient or controlled substance user, etc.)
- Have a predetermined location for conducting FFL activities (this includes home-based FFLs)
- Have never violated the Gun Control Act (GCA) or related regulations
- Do not make any false statements/claims on your FFL application
Once you satisfy all of these requirements, you can then move on to the state-specific requirements.
North Dakota State Requirements for an FFL
North Dakota state requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:
- State licensing requirements
- Business registration requirements
North Dakota State Licensing Requirements
Fortunately, the state of North Dakota has no special licensing requirements or state laws for the FFL application process. This means that your FFL is all you’ll need to be able to buy and sell firearms, ammo, and anything else you may be licensed for.
However, if you move your FFL to another state, you may have state-level registration requirements in that state.
North Dakota Business Registration Requirements
Like in any other state, you’ll need to register your business with the State of North Dakota. This applies to all business types, firearms-related or not.
Even if your business is registered in another state (which we suggest in our Get Your FFL course), you’ll still need to have an official presence in North Dakota.
To register your FFL business in North Dakota, visit the official state website to find all the information you need to complete this step in the process.
North Dakota Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
Local zoning requirements are usually one of the biggest problems when applying for an FFL. Most importantly, you must ensure the location you use as a base of operations (often a home-based FFL) allows for a business.
It’s common to inquire about an FFL for a home-based firearms business and be told you can’t operate in a residential area. But business restrictions in certain regions are frequently due to a misunderstanding about business activities held there.
You may need to work with your zoning department to explain that your home-based FFL (the most common type of FFL) will not have retail traffic banned in most residential locations.
We cover this and more, including requirements for specific business hours, in our Get Your FFL course.
North Dakota FFL Summary
As you can see, getting your federal firearms license and becoming the newest North Dakota gun dealer is relatively simple and straightforward.
As long as you meet the Federal and State requirements, choose the appropriate license type, take our online course, and fill in the proper forms, you’ll be on your way to being the newest owner of a North Dakota FFL. You’ll be able to sell out of your home, in a dedicated storefront, or even at gun shows!
Keep in mind: Without our course, you may sink many hours into getting it right on your own.
With our course, you can fill out your forms and get through the process with confidence. Trust me — knowing that you are running your business safely and within all the confines of both federal and local laws will be a massive load off your mind.
So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!
FAQ for North Dakota FFL Licensing
How much does it cost to get an FFL in North Dakota?
An FFL in North Dakota costs anywhere from $30 to $200 for 3 years. For a full breakdown of the cost of an FFL, check here.
Do I need an FFL in North Dakota?
Yes! If you plan to sell, transfer, manufacture, or do anything else for profit involving firearms, you are legally required to have an active FFL.
Does North Dakota require extra licensing for FFLs?
No, there are no additional licensing requirements for FFLs in North Dakota.
Do I need to register a business for an FFL in North Dakota?
Yes, if you are forming a business for your FFL, it must be registered in North Dakota.
Can I get an FFL to save money on guns?
No, you should not get an FFL just to save money on guns. One of the main requirements for getting your FFL is “business intent,” meaning you intend to operate a firearms-related business.
However, you may wait to start your business until after you get your FFL number.
Extra Resources For Getting a North Dakota FFL
US Code § 923: Code § 923 covers federal regulations for the import, manufacture, and dealing of firearms and ammunition. This is the federal law that requires those operating firearms businesses to get an FFL.
US CFR § 478.47 – Issuance of license.: This code explains how a Federal Firearms License is issued, including who must assign the license number. It requires the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to qualify applicants based on a predetermined list of requirements and to issue Federal Firearms Licenses.
If a correctly submitted FFL application has been submitted on ATF Form 7, the Chief of the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (a department at the ATF) must issue the license and assign a serial number to the licensee.
Gun Control Act (GCA): The GCA of 1968 establishes stricter laws on the firearms industry than were already present in the NFA. New regulations regarding firearms offenses, firearms/ammunition sales to “prohibited persons,” and federal jurisdiction for “destructive devices” (bombs, grenades, mines, etc.) were created with the GCA.
Starting a Business in North Dakota: Need help finding out where to start with your new business? Check out this article from the North Dakota state government showing you how.
FFL Types: Use this guide to make sure that you choose the right type of Federal Firearms License for what you want to do.
Home-Based FFL: Don’t want to pay for a storefront but wish to operate as an FFL holder from your home? We explain how to do it from start to finish.