NC LLC Articles of Organization is required to form an LLC in North Carolina. It needs to be filed along with a cover sheet with the Secretary of State of North Carolina.

How To File the Articles of Organization

You can file the Articles of Organization either online or by mail. Here is what you need to know before you file:

  • If you file online, you must pay a $125 filing fee, and it takes between three and five business days for approval.
  • The cost to file by mail is the same, and it takes between four and six business days for approval.
  • You will need to download the documents from the North Carolina Secretary of State website and then sign them.
  • The fee may be paid with a check or money order if you file online; enclose it with the documents.
  • You may pay the fee with a credit or debit card if you file online; scan and upload the documents.
  • In order to upload your documents, you will need to create an online account at the North Carolina Secretary of State website. There is no cost to do this.
  • Expedited filing is available for an additional fee.
  • Your approved copy of the Articles of Organization will be sent to you by mail.

What to Include on the Articles of Organization Form

The Articles of Organization form is not complicated, but must include the following information:

  • Name of your LLC and its principal business address.
  • The duration that the LLC will remain active if it is set to dissolve after a certain date.
  • Name and address of the person organizing the LLC.
  • Registered agent's name and address.
  • Management type — manager-managed or member-managed
  • The contact email for the business
  • If the filing date and effective date are different, include the effective date.
  • Name and title of the applicant, and their signature with the day's date
  • Names and addresses of all members, along with their signatures

Terms Used in Articles of Organization

An LLC organizer is the individual who files the articles of organization with the Secretary of State. The organizer may be a member of the LLC but does not need to be.

A registered agent is a person who agrees to receive legal mail on the LLC's behalf, also referred to as “service of process.” It could also be a company that specializes in this service. Every LLC is required to have one. If the registered agent is an individual, they must be a North Carolina resident. A company serving as registered agent must be authorized to do business in the state. You may serve as your own registered agent, or it may also be anyone who works for or owns the company.

A principal office is the location where the LLC's business is transacted, or where documents and records are kept.

The LLC's Effective Date is the day when your LLC begins to exist as an official entity. It does not need to be the same date as the filing date. If your LLC is being formed between October and the end of the year, you can set January 1 as your LLC's effective date. That way, you won't need to pay extra taxes or file an annual report for that year.

An operating agreement is a document that lays out the LLC's operating procedures, ownership, and other important provisions related to running the business including how it will eventually close and dissolve. Although North Carolina does not require one to be filed, it's still a good idea to create one, especially if your LLC has multiple members.

Reporting Requirements for LLCs in North Carolina

North Carolina requires periodic filings for the LLC to remain in good standing. The most important one is the annual report, which needs to be filed with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is currently $200. This report is due by April 15 of every year. If you miss your deadline, North Carolina does not charge late fees. However, it will force your LLC to dissolve if you do not file within 60 days of the due date.

The IRS requires most multi-member LLCs to report the business's income. Even though LLCs are pass-through entities and do not pay their own income tax, the report is for informational purposes. North Carolina also requires multi-member LLCs to report their income. This may be submitted by mail, and there is an additional $18 fee if you choose to submit online.

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