Out-of-State Employers Working in North Dakota

Unlike other states, North Dakota law does not allow private insurers to underwrite workers’ compensation insurance in North Dakota. North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) is the sole provider and regulator of workers’ compensation in the state of North Dakota. You will want to be certain you have the proper workers’ compensation coverage in place before hiring workers based in North Dakota or before employees begin working in North Dakota.

Coverage Requirements for Out-of-State Employers

Any employer whose employment results in significant contacts with North Dakota, or enters into employment agreements in North Dakota shall acquire coverage with WSI.

An employer has significant contacts with North Dakota when:

  • Any employee earns or would have been expected to earn 25% or more of the employee’s gross annual wage or income from that employer for services rendered within North Dakota; or
  • 25% of the employer's gross annual payroll is payable to employees for services rendered in North Dakota
  • An employer hires an employee in this state for work in this state

If You Come into North Dakota and Hire Workers Here, WSI Coverage is Required

North Dakota Century Code § 65-04-33 states, “An employer may not employ any person, or receive the fruits of the labor of any person, in a hazardous employment as defined in this title, without first applying for Workforce Safety and Insurance coverage for the protection of employees by notifying the organization of the intended employment, the nature of the intended employment, and the estimated payroll expenditure for the coming 12-month period.”

Reciprocal Agreements for Out-of-State Employers Working in North Dakota

The significant contact test does not apply if your business has a reciprocal agreement in place between North Dakota and the state which the employees are based. If hiring workers in North Dakota, WSI coverage is required. North Dakota has reciprocal agreements, with certain restrictions, with the following seven states: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Employers need to contact WSI before assuming they have WSI coverage for their employees working in these states. Reciprocal agreements are available upon request.

In order for your business to have reciprocity with North Dakota, you must request the reciprocal agreement from the appropriate state. A petition will be sent to WSI for review. WSI will respond with confirmation or a denial letter. Reciprocal agreements are for a limited amount of time and must be monitored closely.

If you do not have significant contacts with North Dakota as defined above in coverage requirements for out-of-state employers, and you can provide proof that your workers’ compensation carrier from your home state extends coverage into North Dakota, you are not required to obtain a WSI policy. If you open a workers’ compensation policy with WSI, all payroll earned in North Dakota must be reported annually to WSI. Please see Obtaining Coverage.