Obtaining a business license is not the same as forming an LLC or other legal entity for your business. A business license is generally required if you own and operate...
For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, see the article How to Form an LLC.
Learn about North Carolina LLC formation, including information on Registered Agents, naming rules, business licenses, and more.
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Are you looking to create an LLC in North Carolina? You came to the right place!
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Our services go beyond just creating your North Carolina LLC. We will handle everything from writing your business plan to creating your LLC, licensing, branding, website, and marketing.
A limited liability company (LLC) offers many benefits to small businesses, including liability protection and tax advantages.
A Limited Liability Company LLC must be formed in North Carolina by filing a Certificate of Formation with the North Carolina Secretary of State and paying the $125 filing fee.
However, you’ll first need to choose a name and registered agent for your North Carolina LLC. The formation of an LLC may take up to 7-10 business days if you file online (or 3-4 weeks if you file by mail).
An LLC can be easily formed in North Carolina. Our step-by-step guide on How to Start an LLC in North Carolina will help you get started today Find out more about LLCs and their benefits in our What is an LLC guide.
Creating an LLC in North Carolina requires you to choose a business name before you can file a Certificate of Formation. Be sure that your business name complies with the North Carolina naming requirements and can be searched by potential customers.
See a complete list of North Carolina’ naming rules here.
Check URL availability: You are likely to need a web page even if you don’t think you do. Buying your domain name now will at least give you the option of having one in the future. It’s a good idea to check the URL availability before finalizing your North Carolina LLC name.
North Carolina allows you to register up to five different DBA names. The name of the person or company that is operating under the DBA name. This is your name or the name of your corporation, partnership, or LLC.
By filing an Application to Reserve a Business Entity Name with the North Carolina Secretary of State, you can reserve a name for 120 days. The application must be sent through the mail. The cost of filing is $30.
An LLC stands for a Limited Liability Company. A simple business structure that is more flexible and offers many of the same benefits as a traditional corporation. For more information, see "What is a Limited Liability Company?".
Your next step in forming an LLC in North Carolina is to choose a Registered Agent, an individual or company authorized to receive legal and state mail on your behalf.
All North Carolina LLCs must have a registered agent. Please include your registered agent’s name and address on your Certificate of Formation.
To comply with North Carolina law, your LLC’s registered agent must be a resident or business entity that maintains a physical address in North Carolina. The “registered address” cannot be a P.O. box. It must be a real physical address that can be visited in person.
Learn more about North Carolina Registered Agents by reading our full guide.
A Registered Agent must be a North Carolina resident or a corporation authorised to do business in North Carolina, such as a registered agent service. You have the option of electing someone from your company, including yourself.
The North Carolina Secretary of State website allows you to fill out and submit a Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent form online.
Wise Business Plans offers a free year of registered agent service when forming an LLC in North Carolina.
To create a North Carolina LLC, you will need to file Form L-01 – Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Division of Corporations. You may apply online, by mail, or in person.
When filing an LLC in North Carolina online, you have two options:
For an additional $100, 24-hour processing is available.
For an additional $200, same-day processing is available (must be received by noon).
You will receive a duplicate form back from the state once it receives your documents.
If you choose one of our business formation services, we can handle this step for you.
The following information is typically required to create a Certificate of Formation:
Foreign LLCs: LLCs that are based in another state but intend to conduct business in North Carolina must complete a form called the Qualification of Foreign LLC.
The cost of forming a foreign LLC in North Carolina is $250. An Application for Certificate of Authority for Limited Liability Company can be used to register a foreign LLC in North Carolina (Form L-09).
The 1st option is:
Online filing of Form L-01 with the North Carolina Secretary of State
The 2nd option is:
File by Mail or via PDF Upload
There is a state filing fee of $125 payable to the North Carolina Department of State. (nonrefundable)
Address to Mail
The Secretary of State
Business Registration Division
P.O. Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626
An LLC managed by its members (owners) assumes all daily responsibilities. LLCs managed by managers elected by their members are known as manager-managed LLCs. The manager of your LLC will be able to perform a wide range of tasks, from hiring staff to opening bank accounts.
A domestic LLC is a company that is registered as an LLC in North Carolina. A foreign LLC is a type of entity that has a physical presence in another state.
Upon filing your Certificate of Formation, the secretary of state will review it. As soon as the Certificate of Formation is approved, the LLC becomes a legal entity.
An operating agreement is a legally-binding document that sets out how your LLC will operate, from the voting process to mergers.
Operating agreements are not required in North Carolina, but they are an essential part of your business.
Written operating agreements are helpful for different reasons, including resolving disputes over financial agreements and other potential litigation.
The LLC declaration can prove that your LLC is a separate entity, which can help preserve your limited liability.
An operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the possibility of future conflict.
The operating agreement should detail the LLC’s overall business purpose and other important matters, such as how the company will be taxed and how new members will be accepted. Legal agreements can clarify several important concerns, such as:
In North Carolina, you can include just about anything in your operating agreement, as long as it doesn’t violate the state law or the Certificate of Formation.
A single-member LLC operating agreement in North Carolina is a legal document that, once created, establishes a clear separation between the owner and the business itself. This state does not require members to file this document in order to be able to conduct business in the state.
Operating agreements are not required in North Carolina, but they are highly recommended. An operating agreement will help protect your limited liability status, prevent financial and managerial misunderstandings, and ensure that you, not state law, determine the rules that govern your business.
Basically, an employer identification number (EIN) is a social security number for your LLC in North Carolina.
To identify your LLC for tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service assigns a nine-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for your EIN either by mail or online.
An EIN is used for the following purposes:
Getting an EIN number is easy and free, There are two ways to get an EIN number in North Carolina.
The 1st option is:
Apply online for an EIN from the IRS
The 2nd option is:
Get an EIN by Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Yes, An EIN is required for any LLC with employees or more than one member. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires this.
When you apply for an EIN, you will be informed of the various tax classification options available to you. The default tax status is chosen by the majority of LLCs.
Some LLCs, on the other hand, can reduce their federal tax liability by electing the S corporation (S corp) status.
An EIN can be obtained without an SSN. Fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application.
Get the easiest and fastest North Carolina LLC formation online with Wise business Plans.
Your personal assets (such as your home, car, and other valuables) may be at risk when your North Carolina LLC is sued if they are mixed with your business accounts.
Here are some steps you can take to protect your LLC in North Carolina:
If you have decided that a North Carolina LLC will be a good choice for your business in North Carolina, your next step is to create a business plan (although it is not required), so that you have a roadmap for what you will do and how you will accomplish it.
Do you need help creating a business plan? Check out these six free, proven business plan examples from different industries to help you write your own.
As soon as your LLC is officially formed, you should open a business bank account. Why? Keeping separate bank accounts will help you maintain the legal distinction between the LLC and you (the owner).
Because LLCs are limited liability companies, creditors and litigants can’t take your assets.
It is essential for small business owners to partner with the right bank.
Recommended: Check out our business bank account page to learn which banks offer the best business check accounts, ATM access, interest-bearing accounts, and online and mobile banking options for businesses.
You can manage risks and grow your LLC with business insurance. Here are the most common types:
A website is an important step in legitimizing your business. It is essential for all businesses in north carolina. You are missing out on a large percentage of potential customers and revenue if you don’t have a website, even if your business is too small or in an offline industry.
More than 90% of consumers begin their search for products and services online. If you don’t have a website that is ready to welcome your customers, then they will simply find your competitors.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
Recommended: If you want to enhance your conversion rates and maximize revenue in order to help expand your business and meet objectives, you should always hire a professional business website design company to build your business website.
Wise Business Plans is a leading web design company, We have created over 2000 + websites across 20 countries for our clients but we are physically based in 7 major cities in the United States including Alabama web design, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Iowa, Michigan and San Diego.
The North Carolina Secretary of State charges $125 for filing Articles of Organization. In order to reserve your LLC name prior to filing the articles of organization, you will need to file a name reservation application for $30.
If you file online, you can get an LLC in North Carolina in 7-10 business days (or 3-4 weeks if you file by mail). If you need your North Carolina LLC processing faster, you can pay for expedited services.
To dissolve a North Carolina LLC, submit form L-07, Articles of Dissolution of Limited Liability Company, to the North Carolina Secretary of State's Corporations Division (SOS).
You must file form L-17, Limited Liability Company Amendment of Articles of Organization, with the North Carolina Secretary of State, Corporations Division SOS, to amend a North Carolina LLC's articles of organisation. The amendment can be submitted by mail, in person, or online.