You’ll need to submit a NC LLC Application if you want to form a North Carolina Limited Liability Company. LLCs operating in North Carolina is easy to form and affordable to maintain. You’ll be required to file certain forms, pay the fees, and meet all of the specific naming and formation requirements of the State.

Articles of Organization

This is the main document that you will need to file with the Secretary of State. It includes the following information:

  • Business Name
  • Principal place of business
  • Duration of the LLC (if applicable)
  • Name and address of responsible party (the person drafting the document)
  • Name and address of registered agent
  • How the LLC will be managed (manager-managed vs. member-managed)
  • Business e-mail
  • The date in which the LLC will become effective (if not immediately)
  • Signature of responsible party, all members, registered agent, and date in which the document was drafted

Once you have completed filling out this document, you will need to submit it with a $125 filing fee. If you choose to have the processing time expedited, you’ll have to pay a fee of $200 for 24-hour processing.

Other Steps for Formation

While the Articles of Organization is the main document that you will need to file with the North Carolina Secretary of State, there are some other steps that you must take in order to properly form your LLC. Before you even file your Articles of Organization, you will need to choose an appropriate business name and find a registered agent.

Business Name Search

Be sure to choose a name that is unlike any other name being used in the State of North Carolina. If you choose an identical or similar business name, then your Articles of Organization will be rejected, and you will be required to choose a new name. As with almost every other state, the State of North Carolina requires that your business end in the LLC designator. Furthermore, certain words are prohibited. For example, words like Attorney, Doctor, Bank, University, etc. cannot be used. Likewise, words like Secret Service, ICE, FBI, and other government terms cannot be used. While this might seem pretty straightforward and understandable, there are additional terms that are prohibited. Therefore, you should review the name requirements on the North Carolina Secretary of State website before choosing a name.

When choosing a business name, you might want to consider registering it as a federal or state trademark, or even creating an e-mail with the company name.

Once you have chosen a business name, you can reserve that name for up to 10 years (unlike most other states that only offer a name to be reserved for up to 120 days). The fee for reserving your business name if $10, and you can file it by mail.

Registered Agent

You’ll have to choose a registered agent for your NC LLC. The registered agent must be a person or corporation that resides or is authorized to conduct business in the state. If you operate a single-member LLC, and you reside in NC, then you can act as the registered agent. Further, if you operate a multi-member LLC, then you can elect one of the member’s to act as the registered agent, so long as he or she resides in the state. The agent will accept legal documents on the LLC’s behalf.

Additional Requirements After Filing the Articles of Organization

After you’ve chosen a business name, obtained a registered agent, and filed the Articles of Organization, you will need to finish forming your LLC by obtaining an EIN (if necessary), open a business bank account, and draft the operating agreement.

If you operate a multi-member LLC, then you will be required to obtain an EIN from the IRS. There is no fee for requesting an EIN, and can be done easily by either applying online or mailing in the request form. Additionally, most financial institutions require an EIN in order to open a business bank account.

It is highly recommended to draft an operating agreement. This document is a legal document that outlines the policies and procedures of the LLC. While it is not required in the State of North Carolina, it is important and crucial so to avoid any potential legal disputes amongst members.

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