How to form an LLC in North Carolina:

You form North Carolina LLCs by filing articles of organization with the NC SOS.

What is required to file North Carolina LLC Articles of Organization?

To form a North Carolina LLC, you file North Carolina LLC articles of organization. You may file online, in person, or by mail. The North Carolina articles of organization cost $125 to the North Carolina Secretary of State.

These LLC articles can be basic or complicated. We custom draft your North Carolina LLC articles of organization when you hire Northwest to do your North Carolina LLC registration, but if you’d like to save some money, you could just hire us as your NC registered agent, and then we supply you all the correct forms to file and filing instructions in your online account immediately. The basic requirements are:

  • The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it (do a free business name search to be sure your name is available).
  • New North Carolina LLCs name must be different than already registered North Carolina companies.
  • Duration of the North Carolina LLC is perpetual unless you state a dissolution date.
  • The purpose of the North Carolina limited liability company.
  • The North Carolina registered agent and the physical address.
  • The NC LLC principal office address, if you have one.
  • The names and addresses of the LLC organizer. NC LLC organizer may be a member but doesn’t have to be.
  • If the LLC is to be member-managed or manager-managed.
  • The articles are effective when filed, unless you specify a different date.
  • The North Carolina organizer must sign.

North Carolina does not require original signatures on filings. If you include the SOS filing coversheet, you can choose pick-up, mail, or email as your method of return. Otherwise, the North Carolina LLC paperwork will be mailed to the person who made the filing.

If you want to form a corporation instead, see our North Carolina corporation page for more information.

What’s the actual process to start a North Carolina LLC?

  1. North Carolina LLC registration is started when you file the articles of organization for a North Carolina LLC with the Secretary of State.
  2. You obtain a federal tax ID number with the IRS after you have confirmation from North Carolina that the LLC is completely filed.
  3. You should be able to open a North Carolina LLC bank account with these first two items.
  4. You register your North Carolina LLC with the NC Department of Revenue or the NC Department of Labor if you’re going to withhold sales tax or have employees. 
  5. North Carolina doesn’t have a general business license that ensures statewide compliance. Some businesses are subject to state license requirements while others are not. We provide links and information in your online account to help you determine your NC license obligations.
  6. Get any NC state occupational licenses required for your business.
  7. Get any local city or county licenses and permits for your business.
  8. If you’re going to have an office or shop, you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location. 

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? You can save some money:

If you want to form a North Carolina limited liability company yourself, you can just hire us as your North Carolina annual report notifications)  and the support of a professional North Carolina LLC agent service.