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Register a Foreign Corporation in North Carolina

To register a foreign corporation in North Carolina, you must file a North Carolina Certificate of Authority with the North Carolina Secretary of State, Corporations Division. You can submit this document by mail, in person, or online. The Certificate of Authority for a foreign North Carolina corporation costs $250 to file ($252 online). Below, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about how to file the Certificate of Authority and register a foreign corporation in North Carolina. Or, sign up for our North Carolina Foreign Corporation service, and we’ll handle your filing instead!

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Download the North Carolina Certificate of Authority. Fill out the form and submit it to the state.

Do It Yourself Online

Our free account and tools will walk you through registering your Foreign Corporation in North Carolina. All for free.

North Carolina Foreign Corporation

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Free Guide to Registering a Foreign Corporation in North Carolina

What does it cost to register a foreign corporation in North Carolina?

$250 for normal processing ($252 online).
$127 for non-profit.
$100 additional for 24 hour expedited processing.
$200 additional for same day expedited processing (if received before noon).

How long does it take for the state to process the North Carolina Certificate of Authority?

Normal Processing: 5-7 business days, plus additional time for mailing.
In Person Processing: 5-7 business days, unless paying for expedited processing.
Expedited Processing: 24 hour and same day processing is available.

How will I get verification of qualification back from North Carolina?

You will receive a Certificate of Authority by mail or email.

What forms do I file with North Carolina to qualify my out of State Corporation?

The Certificate of Authority form, a Certificate of Existence, and the filing fee are required.

Compliance with N.C. Gen Stat §  84-2.2:

An attorney licensed to practice law in the State of North Carolina has reviewed the blank template offered on our website to North Carolina consumers, including each and every part thereof that may appear in the completed document. The name and address of the reviewing attorney is kept on file by Northwest Registered Agent Service, Inc and will be provided to the consumer upon request.

The forms or templates provided by Northwest Registered Agent Service, Inc (“Northwest”) are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney.

Northwest does not disclaim any warranties or liability and does not limit the recovery of damages or other remedies by the consumer. Northwest does not require the consumer to agree to jurisdiction or venue in any state other than North Carolina for the resolution of disputes between the provider and the consumer.

Customer Satisfaction Process. We want our clients to be happy with our level of service. If you are not satisfied or have concerns regarding the level of our services provided please Contact Us and we will help find a resolution.

What do I need from my home state?

Certificate of Existence is required.

Does it need to be an original copy?


How current does the certificate need to be?

It needs to be current within 6 months of filing.

Will I need an North Carolina registered agent for my corporation?

Yes, when you hire Northwest as your NC registered agent, it’s a flat rate yearly price of $125 a year, you’ll have an online account that tracks your report due dates, which states your registered in, when your yearly service with us is up, and any documents we receive locally for you are uploaded into your account immediately for complete viewing. If or when you get served with a lawsuit, we can email up to 4 people and your attorney at the same time for real time complete viewing of a lawsuit. You’ll receive annual report reminders. It’s the same price every year, and there are no weird fees or cancellation fees.

You’ll also see all the pre-populated forms and specific filing instructions on the thank you page, in your online account, and they are emailed to you immediately upon signing up for 1 year of registered agent service.

Does the North Carolina registered agent need to sign the filing?


How can I file the North Carolina Certificate of Authority?

By mail, in person, or online. When placing orders in person, be sure to include the Cover Sheet for Corporate Filings form with your other documents.

What is the state agency that accepts the out of state registration?

North Carolina Secretary of State
Corporations Division
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
Phone: (919)807-2000

Do the signatures on the North Carolina corporation application need to be original?


Who has to sign the foreign corporation filing?

The chairman or officer of the board of directors or any officer of the NC corporationmust sign the form.

Are there any weird things about registering in North Carolina?

County filing or publication is not necessary, unless specifically required by the county in which your registered agent resides.

Are there ongoing North Carolina annual report and/or initial reporting requirements?

Annual reports in North Carolina are due 3.5 months after the close of your tax year, which is usually April 15th.

What are your fees?

You’ll need to have an North Carolina registered agent. We charge $125 a year to act as your registered agent in North Carolina. It’s a flat rate, once a year fee, and includes more than other registered agents. Here’s a little more about our registered agent service.

We charge a $100 one-time filing service fee if you would like us to obtain the certificates needed from your home state, and register your company in any state you choose. We have offices in every state and can act as your registered agent and make your filings for you in any state. If you would like to register with multiple states at once, we can usually drop our filing service fee down.

Additional Resources:

Taxes in North Carolina
How to Withdraw a Foreign Corporation in North Carolina
State by State Foreign Corporation Requirements

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