#28 North Dakota

From the Governor

“We’re committed to creating an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation and helping communities reach their fullest potential to make our state an even more vibrant, healthy place to live.” —Gov. Doug Burgum

Unmanned Development

The Peace Garden State is hitting new heights in manned and unmanned aviation. Northrop Grumman recently announced an expansion of its facilities at Grand Sky to support the Global Hawk UAS. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is also expanding the size of its Flight Test and Training Center to support sensor testing, training and other development activities.

Key Contacts

Dept. of Commerce

Michelle Kommer, Commissioner
1600 E. Century Ave., Suite 2
P.O. Box 2057
Bismarck, ND 58503

Key Incentives

Workforce Recruitment Credit: Offers a credit of 5% of the compensation paid during the first 12 months to an employee placed in a “hard-to-fill” position where the salary is at least 125% of the state average wage.

New/Expanding Business Income Tax Exemption: Offers an income tax exemption for up to five years for a primary sector or tourism business that adds value to products or processes in the state.

Property Tax Exemption: Offers an exemption on property tax for up to five years for new or expanding businesses, agriculture or projects on property leased from a government entity.

Renaissance Zone Program: Offers state and local tax incentives for up to five years for businesses that purchase, rehabilitate or develop properties in designated areas.


North Dakota Department of Commerce, Economic Development and Finance Division: business.nd.gov

Economic Development Association of North Dakota: ednd.org

Bismarck-Mandan Development Association: bmda.org

Williston Economic Development: willistondevelopment.com

Greater Fargo/Moorhead Economic Development Corp.: gfmedc.com

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Grand Sky, the first and only commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) research and development park in the U.S., recently announced federal approval for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight operations for large UAS. State officials and those in the industry say it’s already attracting interest from manufacturers that will further position the state as a leader in the UAS industry.

Big Deals

  • Northrop Grumman announced in July 2017 a $3.2 million investment and 30 new jobs at an expansion of its operations in Grand Forks.
  • Dakota Specialty Milling announced in June 2018 a $15 million expansion at its mill and the creation of 30 new jobs.
  • BioMass Solution LLC broke ground in August 2018 on an 80,000-square-foot refinery in Grand Forks.
  • Körber Medipak Systems moved its headquarters from Florida to Fargo in April 2018.
  • General Atomics announced in August 2018 it will expand its Flight Test and Training Center at the Grand Sky Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) aviation and business park.

Big Companies

John Deere
ComDel Innovation
MBI Energy Services

C-Suite Testimonials

“The positive business climate and strong state support, including the programs within the North Dakota Department of Commerce, played a significant role in our decision to expand in Fargo.” —Peter Matthaei, CEO, Dakota Specialty Milling

“BioMass Solution chose Grand Forks for a number of reasons. It’s a great central hub with a lot of ag processing and great infrastructure that makes it ideal for transportation and logistics. There is a strong university and workforce reputation.” —Keshav Rajpal, Principal, BioMass Solution

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