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Frequently Asked
Questions About
Starting a North
Carolina LLC

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Way to go — you're thinking of starting an LLC in the beautiful state of North Carolina! Known for its numerous state parks with massive mountains and amazing arts and culture, North Carolina is also known for pioneering aviation in the US. When you're forming your LLC in North Carolina, there's no doubt that you'll have a lot of questions. We've gathered many of the most frequently asked questions to help you lay the foundation for your North Carolina LLC. From registering your company with the state of North Carolina, to business licenses and corporate franchise taxes, we’ve got you covered. We’ve answered these questions below and linked extensively to our guides, tools and other services, which makes everything streamlined and simple.

How Do I Decide What the Best Legal Structure Is for My Business?

There are several different options when it comes to starting a business in North Carolina. From a legal perspective, there are three main types of North Carolina for-profit business entities: LLCs, S Corporations or C Corporations. For many entrepreneurs, Bizee believes an LLC provides the right mix of liability protection and ease of administration.

How Do I Decide What the Best Legal Structure Is for My Business?

In order to form an LLC in the state of North Carolina, there are some minimum requirements you must meet. These are a completed set of Articles of Organization, a business name and a fee you pay to the North Carolina Secretary of State. We recommend taking some other steps before formally starting your LLC:

After you’ve formed your North Carolina LLC, you will also need to review your business license requirements, understand ongoing filing needs, set up a separate business bank account and get an accountant.

How Do I Register a Company in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, you register a business by completing and filing your Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State. You will need to gather pertinent information about your business, fill out the form and send it to the Secretary of State with your filing fee. This will officially form your LLC in North Carolina.

You can file your Articles of Organization on the Secretary of State website or mail it in. Alternatively, Bizee can guide you through every step of the process by getting details from you and filing the form on your behalf — for free! There’s no additional charge for our basic LLC filing service, so all you need to do is pay the North Carolina state filing fee.

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Business Formation

How Much Does It Cost to Form a North Carolina LLC?

At the time of writing the fee charged by the North Carolina Secretary of State is $125. You can always check the latest Wyoming filing fees here. You can also pay an additional $100 or $200 for expedited filing through Bizee, which will create your LLC faster. The amount of the expedited fee is dependent on how quickly you want your filing processed. Some LLC filing services do charge you extra to prepare and submit your filing documents, but at Bizee, we do this for free — so you only pay the state fee.

How Long Does It Take to Form an LLC in North Carolina?

Once you’ve gathered all of your information together and filed your Articles of Organization (or had Bizee do it for you), it can take 3-5 business days for the North Carolina Secretary of State to legally create your LLC. If you pay an additional $100 or $200 expedited fee, your LLC can be formed in as few as 24 hours or the same day, respectively.

How Do I Perform a North Carolina Business Search?

The name of your North Carolina LLC needs to be unique, so you’ll need to check if it's already been claimed by another business. You can do that via the North Carolina Secretary of State website, or by using our fast and simple Business Name Search tool.

Is Your Business Name Available in Your State?

Find out using Bizee’s Business Name Search Tool.

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Business Name Search Tool

Trying to Come Up With a Creative Business Name?

Try Bizee’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas.

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Business Name Generator

How Do I Register a Business Name in North Carolina?

There are a few ways to register your North Carolina LLC name.

  • If you’re forming a new business and your business name is unique in North Carolina and meets state naming rules, you simply include it in your Articles of Organization.
  • If you want to change the legal name of your business, file an Amendment of Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
  • If you just want to do business under a different name, file an Assumed Business Name Certificate with your local register or deeds office, or we can do that on your behalf.

If you want to prevent people from using your business name across the U.S., you can file a trademark for the name. We can help.

What Are North Carolina Articles of Incorporation?

In several other states, the formal documents that you file to form a corporation or LLC might be known as Articles of Incorporation. In North Carolina, this document is called your Articles of Organization, and it performs the same functions as the Articles of Incorporation.

Does North Carolina Have Series LLCs?

No, the State of North Carolina does not permit the formation of a Series LLC. A Series LLC is a special type of LLC where you create one “overall” business and then have individual, series LLCs within it, each counted as separate legal entities.

Do I Need a Registered Agent for My North Carolina LLC?

Yes, all legal business entities in North Carolina, including LLCs, must have a Registered Agent at all times. When you use Bizee for your filing, we provide a free North Carolina Registered Agent service for the first year.

Have Bizee Act as Your Registered Agent for Only $119 a Year

Or get your first year free when you incorporate your business through us.

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Registered Agent

How Do I Change a Registered Agent in North Carolina?

If you wish to change your North Carolina Registered Agent you can do so by filing a Statement of Change with the Secretary of State. Here at Bizee, we provide a free North Carolina Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us. If you’ve been using a different Registered Agent and want to switch to us, we’ll file the Statement of Change on your behalf.

Need to Change Your Registered Agent?

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Registered Agent

How Do I Perform a North Carolina Registered Agent Search?

If you need to know the Registered Agent of a specific North Carolina business, you can perform a North Carolina Registered Agent search within the state's business database.

What North Carolina Business Taxes Do I Need to Pay?

As an LLC, any business profits you earn will be reported on your personal 1040 filing and reported and taxed as “pass-through” income. You will typically need to pay:

  • Self-employment or payroll tax on all business profits
  • Federal income tax on profits after you meet your tax-free allowance
  • Sales tax for selling taxable products and services

What Businesses Need to Pay North Carolina Sales Tax?

North Carolina charges a 4.75 percent state sales and use tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods. You may also need to pay sales tax if you provide a taxable service, or additional sales tax if you sell or provide certain products or services. You can find a full list of NC sales and use tax rates here.

How Do I Get a North Carolina Sales Tax ID?

You will need to register as a sales tax vendor with the North Carolina Department of Revenue. You can complete this process online.

How Do I Calculate North Carolina Sales Tax?

The base rate for North Carolina sales tax is 4.75 percent, and there may be additional sales tax depending on your region, county or city. Once you know your overall sales tax amount, calculate the value of all your taxable products and services. Then, multiply that by your sales tax rate to understand how much you will need to pay.

When Is North Carolina Sales Tax Due?

Once your LLC’s sales tax registration with North Carolina Department of Revenue is approved, you will receive instructions on how often you must file a sales tax return and pay sales taxes. Returns and payments may be due monthly, quarterly or annually.

What Do I Need to Know About North Carolina Franchise Tax?

Some businesses will need to pay a corporate franchise tax in North Carolina, however it does not apply to LLCs unless your LLC is treated as a C Corporation for tax purposes.

Do I Need a License to Do Business in North Carolina?

If you're forming a business in North Carolina you'll likely need a business license of some kind in order to operate. The types of business licenses you need will vary depending on your type of business, industry, location and various other factors. We can research the types of business licenses you might need for you.

We hope you’ve found this North Carolina LLC FAQ useful. If you’ve used our services and have a question that isn’t answered here, let us know and we’d be happy to help.

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