How to Start an LLC in North Carolina in 2022: Free Guide

For most people wanting to start a business, the quickest and easiest approach is to set up a limited liability company (LLC) in North Carolina. It is a form of business entity suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. You get all the benefits and protections that larger North Carolina corporations have, but with far fewer restrictions and regulations.

It combines the limited liability of a corporation with the flexibility and informality of a partnership or sole proprietorship. An LLC should be considered by any business owner who wishes to limit their liability for business debts and lawsuits. The processes for forming an LLC in North Carolina are outlined below.

North Carolina LLC Filing Requirements and Overall Cost

Online LLC Filing Fees in North Carolina

The $125 price to file your articles of incorporation online with the North Carolina LLC Secretary of State is the most expensive part of incorporating an LLC.

North Carolina Annual Report Fee

LLCs must file an annual report with the Secretary of State in North Carolina. This form is available on the North Carolina Secretary of State website. It must be filed by April 15.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC

If you currently have an LLC established in another state and want to expand your business in North Carolina, you will need to register it as a foreign LLC. The cost of forming a foreign LLC in North Carolina is $250.

Fees for a registered agent

You can be your registered agent in North Carolina LLCs, but hiring a registered agent helps keep your business compliant and reminds you of critical filing deadlines, so you don’t pay any fees. late fines. Registered agent fees start at $39 for the first year.

Annual report requirements

The Secretary of State in most states, including North Carolina, requires companies to file an annual report (or other periodic report). A $200 fee must be paid when filing your annual report. It is also possible to submit it online.

Other expenses

There are a few additional costs associated with setting up an LLC:

  • By completing a Business Name Reservation Request (Form BE-03) and paying the $30 application fee, you can reserve your name up to 120 days before you set up your LLC.
  • Registration of a Foreign LLC Name File an Application for Registration of a Business Entity Name by a Foreign Entity (Form BE-13) and pay the $10 filing fee to reserve your name until completion of the calendar year.
  • The “Doing Business As” (DBA) name involves creating a different name from your legal LLC business name, filing a Deemed Business Name Certificate, and paying the $26 filing fee.

The 2 Best LLC Services


Zen Business is one of the best LLC services, as well as the most economical training and registered agent packages available due to competitive technology and pricing commitment.

For a fixed annual price of $149, you will receive a company formation, registered agent service, operating agreement template, risk-free accounting valuation, bank resolution template, and access to their worry-free compliance.

They provide everything you need from an LLC formation service, including assistance in drafting your company’s articles of association and full-service registered agent services.

North West

Their brand promise is “We’re just not embarrassing”, and they deliver on it. Northwest Registered Agents may be a smaller company than some competitors, but they also have greater industry expertise.

They also include a free year of registered agent service, reducing your start-up costs. Compared to our best option, Zen Business, Northwest is a company that prioritizes exceptional customer service.

They provide your corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) with a North Carolina mailing address, accept process service (from a process server), mail, and documents on behalf of your LLC during business hours. normal office, scan ALL your mail (not just legal documents).

Upload it to an online portal that you can access with an online account and send yourself compliance alerts for things like your annual report to keep you in good standing with North Carolina.

5 Basic Steps to Starting an LLC in North Carolina 2022

Choose a Name for Your Delivery Service, LLC

Your LLC name must be distinct from the names of other registered companies with the North Carolina Secretary of State. The North Carolina Secretary of State Business Names Database can be used to check name availability.

By filing a Business Entity Name Reservation Request with the North Carolina Secretary of State, you can reserve a name for 120 days. The request must be sent by post. The cost of deposit is $30. You can choose to register your LLC’s name as a federal or state trademark, although it is not required.

Choose your registered agent

For process service, each LLC must have a registered agent in North Carolina. This is a person or company that agrees to take legal papers on behalf of the LLC if it is sued. A resident of North Carolina or a business entity licensed to do so in North Carolina can serve as a registered agent. A physical address in North Carolina is required for the registered agent.

Organization Status File

A North Carolina LLC is formed by filing articles of incorporation with the Business Registration Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State. The following must be included in North Carolina articles:

  • The name of the LLC
  • Each person who signs the items name and address
  • Name and address of the registered agent of the LLC
  • The main address of the main office and telephone number of the LLC (or a checkbox indicating that there is no main office)
  • LLC email address (optional)
  • If the Articles are not effective immediately upon filing, they will come into effect on the date the Articles come into effect.
  • The signature of a member, the organizer or his representative

Create an LLC operating agreement for a delivery service

In North Carolina, an LLC operating agreement is not required, although it is highly recommended. The Operating Agreement is the basic document that sets out the rights, powers, responsibilities, liabilities and obligations of the members to each other and to the LLC. The Operating Agreement is a private agreement that has not been filed with the Secretary of State.

If an existing or newly created LLC fails to adopt an operating agreement, the LLC’s current articles of incorporation, articles of association, or operating agreement, and its member control or limited liability company agreement, will serve as an operating agreement.

Obtaining an EIN (Employer Identification Number)

To identify your business to the IRS, you will need an EIN (Employer Identification Number). When filing and paying taxes, as well as submitting payroll information and payments for your employees, you use this number. To open a business bank account, you will need an EIN.

Important Steps After Forming an LLC in North Carolina

Separate your personal and business assets

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your assets (such as your home, car, and other possessions) are put at risk if your North Carolina LLC is sued. We then speak of piercing the corporate veil in business law.

In North Carolina, you can start protecting your LLC by doing the following:

Obtaining a corporate credit card

  • Helps categorize and separate all business expenses for tax purposes at the end of the year.
  • Helps develop your business credit score, which is a necessary step to getting a line of credit or a business loan in the future.

Open a business current account

  • Separates your personal assets from your business assets, which is necessary for the protection of personal assets.
  • It simplifies accounting and tax reporting.

Obtain trade assurance

Business insurance lets you control risk while you focus on growing your business.

Create a website for your business

Creating a website is an important step in establishing credibility for your business. Every business needs a website. Even if you think your business is too small or operates in an offline industry, if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on a significant portion of potential consumers and money.

Launch a press release

Press releases are one of the easiest and most effective ways to publicize your business. They are also one of the most cost effective solutions because they do the following:

  • First, it generates publicity. Second, create an online presence for your business.
  • Third, improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) to attract more visitors.
  • Are a one-time effort and a financial investment
  • Have long term benefits

Final Thoughts

In North Carolina, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are inexpensive and simple to set up. However, North Carolina, like other states, has several specific LLC requirements. Interested parties must file the appropriate documents with the Secretary of State, pay the required fees, and comply with all naming and formation criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should I set up a limited liability company (LLC)?

If you have just started your business or have been working as a sole proprietor for a while, you might consider forming an LLC.

How do I know if the name I want for my LLC is available?

It is essential that the name of your LLC stand out from the names of other businesses registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State. To make sure your preferred name is available, you can use the North Carolina Secretary of State website to perform a free name search.

Is my North Carolina LLC required to have an operating agreement?

Operating agreements are not required in North Carolina for LLCs, although they are strongly recommended.

In North Carolina, can I form a professional LLC?

If you want to organize an LLC in North Carolina and provide a licensed professional service, you will need to do so as a Professional Limited Liability Company LLC (PLLC).

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