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Start a Business in North Carolina

Starting a business in North Carolina is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the North Carolina Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.

One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."

Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your North Carolina business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.

All You Need

Hire us to start your North Carolina LLC or corporation and get all the tools you need to start fast:

  • NC registered agent service

  • NC business forms

  • Online client account

  • Easy access to all our business services & answers to your business questions

Start Your Business the Right Way

As your registered agent, when we start your business, we give you what other filing services can’t:

  • Privacy by Default®
  • Business address
  • Free mail forwarding
  • Lifetime support from local Corporate Guides®

Start Your North Carolina Business

$225 + State Fees
Rated 4.7 / 5 stars by 123 clients on Google

How to Start a Business in North Carolina

1
Articles

You file articles of incorporation for a North Carolina corporation or articles of organization for a North Carolina LLC with the NC Secretary of State.

2
Federal Tax ID

You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of North Carolina showing your approved North Carolina business.

3
Bank Account

Once you have completed these two steps, opening a business banking account under your new North Carolina business name should be easy.

4
Department of Revenue

You register your North Carolina LLC with the NC Department of Revenue or the NC Department of Labor if you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax.

5
Trade License

North Carolina general business licensing 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. Get any NC state occupational licenses and permits required for your business.

6
Local License

Get any local city or county licenses for your business.

7
Zoning

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.

8
Get Going

If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.

Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer? You Can Save Some Money:

If you want to start a business in North Carolina yourself, you can just hire us as your North Carolina registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the North Carolina LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a North Carolina corporation or form a North Carolina LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional North Carolina registered agent service.

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.

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North Carolina LLC vs Corporation

The corporation business structure is very appealing for anyone seeking to build a large, growing company with the option of attracting investors. LLCs, on the other hand, are more suited for small business owners who want to take advantage of the flexible management options and minimal annual upkeep.

What about North Carolina? Any pros and cons for a North Carolina LLC vs corporation?

In terms of start up costs, there aren’t any major advantages to starting a North Carolina LLC versus a North Carolina corporation. The filing fee for the Articles of Incorporation and Articles of Organization is $127. In addition, both entities are required to file an annual report each year with the North Carolina Secretary of State. However, corporations will pay significantly less than LLCs—$20 compared to $202.

During tax season, traditional corporations will pay more in taxes than an LLC; however, neither entity will get hit particularly hard. For example, the North Carolina corporate income tax is a low flat rate—2.5%. Also, the corporate franchise tax is $1.50 per $1000 of the corporation’s net worth (min. $200). The personal income rate is fixed at 5.25%—making the burden of taxes slightly less for LLCs that keep their default tax status.

North Carolina LLCs have strong protection against creditors. Anyone seeking money owed can obtain a charging order putting a lien on the debtor’s funds and assets; however, creditors are not allowed to order the LLC to make distributions. Definitely something to consider when starting a North Carolina LLC.

If you want a corporation, you file North Carolina Articles of Incorporation:

The North Carolina articles of incorporation cost $125 with the North Carolina Secretary of State. We file your North Carolina articles of incorporation when you hire Northwest to start your North Carolina business.

The basic requirements of North Carolina corporations are:

  • An incorporating North Carolina ending such as Inc, corporation, or incorporated
  • The amount of North Carolina corporation shares you would like to authorize
  • The class of the shares
  • The NC corporations principal office address
  • The date you would like the NC incorporation to be effective
  • The name, address, and signature of the North Carolina incorporator(s)
  • The registered agent of the proposed North Carolina corporation

North Carolina does not require original signatures on new NC corporation filings. If you include the SOS filing coversheet, you can have the documents picked up, mailed, or emailed. If not, the document will be mailed to the address of the person who filed the documents.

Start Your North Carolina Business!

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If you want a LLC, you file North Carolina Articles of Organization:

To form a North Carolina limited liability company, file articles of organization and pay the $125 filing fee.

The basic requirements of North Carolina LLC filings are:

  • The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it.
  • 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 new NC LLC filings. If you include the NC SOS filing coversheet, you can choose to have your document returned by pick-up, email, or mail. If you don’t include the coversheet the document will be mailed to the person who filed the articles.

Do Business The Right Way