How to Start an LLC in North Carolina: Step By Step Guide

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Are you looking forward to owning an LLC in North Carolina, and are you looking for the best guide to start? Stop scrolling and read this!

The state of North Carolina offers various opportunities for tax credits and exemptions for businesses, providing that your LLC meets the specific criteria. 

So, if you are looking for the best guide on how to start an LLC in North Carolina that meets the criteria, here is the step-by-step guide on how to start an LLC in North Carolina.

It contains all you need to know about starting your LLC without hassles. 

How to Start an LLC in North Carolina in Simple Steps

Here are the most straightforward steps to start your LLC in North Carolina without stress. 

  • Choose a name for your North Carolina LLC
  • Appoint a registered agent for your LLC
  • File Articles of Organization
  • Prepare an operating agreement for your North Carolina LLC
  • Get an EIN & comply with tax & other regulatory requirements
  • File annual reports with the North Carolina Secretary of State

Choose a Name for your North Carolina LLC

You’ll first need a name for your LLC to make it original and stand out.

However, the name must be one that’s not used by any other formed business or incorporated in the state. 

Also, you’ll need to follow a few naming rules listed below:

  • Your business name must include limited liability company” or its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.). 
  • Ensure that your name is distinguishable from a North Carolina limited liability company, corporation, limited partnership, or registered limited liability partnership business name. 
  • Ensure the name you desire isn’t already taken by doing a Business Entity Search on the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website.
  • Your business name cannot contain words used to name a government agency (i.e., State Department, CIA, FBI, Treasury, etc.)
  • Also, it can’t contain certain restricted words like bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union, etc.
  • Ensure to Reserve the name once you find the availability: You must complete the Name Reservation Request for Domestic Entities form at least two weeks before registration or reserve your business name when completing the online LLC registration.
  • Consider if the URL is available: Check online to see if your business name is known as a web domain. If it is, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.

Meanwhile, the application must be filed by mail for a filing fee of $30.

Appoint a Registered Agent for Your LLC

All LLCs in North Carolina must have an agent for the service of process in the state. 

A registered agent is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept legal papers on the LLC’s behalf if someone sues the company. 

Meanwhile, the agent may be a North Carolina resident, or a business entity approved to do business in North Carolina. 

Also, they must have a physical street address in North Carolina.

File Articles of Organization

You must create an article of organization for North Carolina LLC with the North Carolina Secretary of State, Business Registration Division. 

  • This article must contain:
  • The LLC’s name
  • The name and address of each person signing the articles
  • The name and address of the LLC’s registered agent
  • The LLC’s address and phone number of the LLC’s principal office
  • The LLC’s email address (optional)
  • The effective date of the Articles, and
  • The signature of a member, the organizer, or their representative.

However, you can file the articles online or by mail for $125.

Prepare an Operating Agreement for your North Carolina LLC

An operating agreement is a primary document that ascertains the rights, powers, duties, liabilities, and obligations of the members among themselves and to the LLC. 

Moreover, the agreement is an internal document and is not filed with the Secretary of State.

However, If an existing or newly created LLC does not have an operating agreement, its existing articles of organization, bylaws, and/or its member control or limited liability company agreement will altogether become its operating agreement.

Get an EIN & Comply With Other Tax & Regulatory Requirements

For an LLC in North Carolina, you need Additional tax and regulatory requirements may apply to your LLC. 

They include:

Employer’s Identification Number

You need to obtain an IRS EIN if your LLC has more than one member.

Even if it has no employees or you form a one-member LLC, you must obtain it if you elect to have it taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship. 

Meanwhile, You can get an EIN by completing an online EIN application for no filing fee. 

Business Licenses

You may need to obtain local and state business licenses or permits for your LLC depending on the location. 

Meanwhile, for local licenses, you may need to check with the clerk for the city where the LLC’s primary place of business is located (or county if it is in an unincorporated area). 

However, you may need to check state boards and commissions’ websites for States licenses. 

Department of Revenue

You need to register with the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) if you have employees or will be selling goods and collecting sales tax.

As such, you’ll need to register with the For many taxes.

You can also register online at the DOR website. 

File Annual Reports With the North Carolina Secretary of State

All LLCs in North Carolina must file an annual report with the North Carolina Secretary of State. 

The annual reports are due for the year in which they are filed.

As such, if you form an LLC on or before April 15th, you must file your first annual report by the end of the same year you formed the company. 

However, If you start after April 15th, you will not have to file an annual report until April 15 of the next calendar year.

Furthermore, You can file this annual report online at the Secretary of State Online Annual Report Editor or by mail. 

The online filing fee is $202, while $200 is for mail filings.

Final Thoughts on How to Start an LLC in North Carolina

To start an LLC in North Carolina, you need to Choose a name for your North Carolina LLC.

You also have to Appoint a registered agent for your LLC and File Articles of Organization.

More so, you have to Prepare an operating agreement for your North Carolina LLC.

Then Get an EIN & comply with tax & other regulatory requirements and File annual reports with the North Carolina Secretary of State

However, if you find these processes daunting, you can choose to seek professional services at a cost. 

We hope you find the article on how to start an LLC in North Carolina helpful.

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