Engaging in commerce on the Navajo Nation can be very rewarding for your business, as the Navajo Nation can offer lower operating costs than are found in most metropolitan areas as well as access to labor and other resources. In order to conduct business activities on the Navajo nation, businesses are required to acquire a business license separate and apart from any business registration the business has with the state. Furthermore, even with the Navajo Nation business license, the business will be subject to additional Navajo Nation regulations, above and beyond applicable federal and state regulations. At C.J. Lee & Associates, P.C., we provide legal counsel to companies conducting business in the Navajo Nation, and can guide you through all steps of the registration process and advise you on all applicable Navajo Nation regulations.

Obtaining Your Navajo Nation Business License

Per the Navajo Nation Corporation Act Title 5, Chapter 19, you must register as a foreign (non-Native American owned) or domestic corporation in order to be granted the ability to conduct business on the Navajo Nation. Even if you are already incorporated with the state, you are considered a “foreign corporation” with regard to the Navajo Nation and must register as a foreign corporation. Registering as a foreign corporation requires the filing of two applications for Certificate of Authority, and two copies of your Articles of Incorporation, including amendments.

For those businesses that have not separately registered as a business under any state laws, they can register with the Navajo Nation as one of the following business entities: Domestic For Profit Corporation; Close Corporation; Nonprofit; or Agricultural Cooperative.

As a business registered with the Navajo Nation, that business is obligated to carry out the following duties:

  • File an Annual Report with the Navajo Nation
  • Communicate any changes in registered agents or company addresses to the Navajo Nation
  • Alert the Navajo Nation of any major restructuring or organizational changes

Business Restrictions Applicable to the Navajo Nation

A company with a Navajo Nation business license is subject to specific restrictions in how it conducts business in the Navajo Nation. For example, the Navajo Business Opportunity Act requires that any business issuing requests for bids must first consider Navajo-owned businesses and offer them first opportunity before a bid can be issued more broadly. Per the Navajo Business Procurement Act title 12, Chapter 15, failure to comply with applicable laws may result in your inability to obtain or renew a lease permit.

At C.J. Lee & Associates, P.C., our Navajo business law attorneys have the experience to help your business understand how to apply with all applicable labor, employment, and business law rules and regulations applicable to the Navajo nation at the federal, state, and tribal level. Call us now at 505-399-5022 for a consultation on how we can help your business thrive within the Navajo Nation.

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