The Northern Forum seeks to strengthen connections among all Northerners, particularly decision-makers. Membership is available to regional and sub-regional governments, municipalities (where there is no regional entity) businesses, non-profit and non-governmental organizations.
Member regions are represented by their Governor, Premier, President or highest executive, or his/her duly mandated delegate, and have the right to attend all Northern Forum meetings and vote during such meetings.
Inter-regional activities are strongly supported by the Northern Forum as a tool to increase cooperation and understanding between regions. The friendships, links and connections created during the visits of delegations from one region to another are extremely important to build healthy international relations.
While the Northern Forum's activities are broadly based, the organization clearly recognizes that economic development is a key issue throughout the North. Thus, in addition to broadening its membership base among regional governments, the Northern Forum is actively seeking new members from the commercial sector, since sustainable Northern economic structures cannot be developed without the support of the business community. Consequently the Forum offers a range of business memberships, including those for associations such as Chambers of Commerce.
Business Partners are entitled attend all open Northern Forum meetings, where they can meet with regional government officials and other Northern Forum members to discuss business, trade and other challenges and opportunities. The Northern Forum's databases, publications, and other resources are also made available to members. Regional member officials will expedite the development of contacts with Northern Forum Business Partners on projects proposed within their regions. Business Partners can also use the office of the Northern Forum Secretariat when in Anchorage to conduct their business.
The First Northern Business Conference was held in 1999 in Rovaniemi, Finland in conjunction with the 4th Northern Forum General Assembly, and now the Northern Forum regularly hosts Trade and Business Summits during its meetings, so that all the regions are exposed to each other's business and trade potential. This initiative is giving significant results, with large contracts being signed between Northern Forum Business Partners and an increasing number of regions.
According to the Board of Governors decision upon the Northern Forum Resolution 163, the membership dues are as follows:
Approve the following gradation of the membership dues for the regions:
- For the regions with population less than 100,000 people: USD 5000 (Five thousand US Dollars)
- For the regions with population from 100,000 to 200,000 people: USD 9,000 (Nine thousand US Dollars)
- For the regions with population from 200,000 to 300,000 people: USD 13,000 (Thirteen thousand US Dollars)
- For the regions with population from 300,000 to 400,000 people: USD 17,000 (Seventeen thousand US Dollars)
- For the regions with population from 400,000 to 500,000 people: USD 21,000 (Twenty one thousand US Dollars)
- For the regions with population more than 500,000 people: USD 25,000 (Twenty five thousand US Dollars)
Approve the following gradation of the yearly membership dues for business partners:
- For the companies with less than 50 employees: USD 1,000 (One thousand US Dollars)
- For the companies with 51 to 100 employees: USD 2,500 (Two thousand five hundred US Dollars)
- For the companies with more than 100 employees: USD 5,000 (Five thousand US Dollars)
- For the companies acting as a Sponsoring partner: USD 10,000 (Ten thousand US Dollars) or more