The North Carolina LLC application is easy to file and affordable to process, but you must pay the necessary fees and meet all formation and naming requirements. 

Filing Fees

There is a $125 filing fee required when submitting Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. You can expedite the processing services by paying a $200 fee for same-day and $100 for 24-hour processing. The usual time it takes to process is three to five business days.

Some people get confused with the naming requirements. You have to make sure the business name is distinguishable from all other LLCs. You can check for availability before filing by doing a name search. If you have more than one member, you might want to have an operating agreement among the members. If your LLC offers a professional service, you want to contact the appropriate North Carolina licensing board, which is required by the laws of the state. 

More Details About Naming an LLC

The first thing you want to do to form your limited liability company is come up with an original name that no other business in the state is using. One of the most critical naming guidelines is that the preferred title includes the words "limited liability company," "ltd. liability co.," "ltd. liability company," "LLC," or "L.L.C." 

You can reserve a name for up to 10 years by applying with the Secretary of State. You need to include $10 for filing when you mail in the application. It must contain the following information:

  • The name you want to reserve
  • Applicant's name and address
  • Entity type
  • State where the LLC will get formed
  • Authorized entity name, title, and signature

Information About Articles of Organization

You must file the Articles with the Secretary of State to create the LLC. You must include the following information:

  • LLC name
  • Principal office address
  • Duration
  • Names and addresses of the organizers who prepare and file the Articles of Organization. Each person must sign the documents
  • Name and address of the registered agent
  • Type of management, whether it is member-managed or manager-managed
  • Business email to receive notifications
  • The effective date can be the filing date or a date within 90 days after the filing day
  • Signature, date, and name of the applicant
  • Names, addresses, and signatures of every member

Should You Appoint a Registered Agent?

Each LLC in North Carolina must appoint a registered agent to receive service of process in the event of a lawsuit. The agent must be a resident of the state, and if you elect a business to be the registered agent, it must be authorized to conduct business in North Carolina. The agent must have a physical address located in the state. 

Enter Into an Operating Agreement and Get EIN

You are not required to have an operating agreement, but it is a legal document that governs the LLC, which the state recognizes. For tax purposes, if you have two or more members of the company, you need to get an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. The number acts as a social security number for the business, and the Internal Revenue Service uses it to identify the business entity. You can get the EIN by applying online or through the mail. 

Maintaining Your LLC

Whether you are a domestic or foreign limited liability company, you must file an annual report with the state. On or before April 15, you must submit the annual report every year your company is in existence. The filing fee is $200, and you can file online with the Secretary of State. There is not a late fee charged if you miss the filing deadline. However, the state will dissolve your LLC within 60 days if you do not file. 

The IRS considers LLCs as "pass-through" entities, and the company does not directly pay income tax. The Internal Revenue Service treats LLCs with more than one member as a partnership unless you choose taxation as a C corp or S corp. The state requires most LLCs with multiple members to report annual income. You will need to report your income to the IRS on Form 1065 for a Partnership Return if you are multi-member LLC. 

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