Register a Company in North Carolina
If you want to register a company in North Carolina, you’ll have to follow the steps that can be found on the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website.3 min read
If you want to register a company in North Carolina, you’ll have to ensure that you follow the necessary steps that can be found on the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website. Below are the steps you should take when registering your North Carolina business:
- Plan your idea
- Form your company
- Obtain an Employer identification Number (EIN)
- Obtain licensing and permits
- Employee requirements
Plan Your Idea
Not all future business owners know what they want to do. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs don’t know what type of business they want to run, but only know that they want to become business owners. That’s why it is important to really know what kind of business you want to operate before forming it. Also, what type of legal business structure do you want to create? This is also crucial since there are different laws regarding North Carolina businesses, including corporations, LLCs, sole proprietorships, and partnerships.
Form Your Company
Once you have identified what type of business you want to create, you’ll have to form your company by completing the necessary requirements. For example, for an LLC, you’ll have to file the Articles of Organization. If you want to create a North Carolina corporation, then you’ll have to file the Articles of Incorporation, issues shares of stock, and hire a board of directors.
Obtain an EIN
Next, you should obtain an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. This number is used to identify your company. Keep in mind, however, that not all businesses in the state are required to obtain this number. If you intend to operate a sole proprietorship with no employees, then you won’t necessarily need this number. However, if you plan on hiring employees for any type of business, then you’ll have to get an EIN. Moreover, most financial institutions require an EIN in order to open a business bank account. A business bank account is important so that you don’t co-mingle personal and business assets. The reason for keeping such assets separate is because most entities provide that their owners cannot be held personally liable for the debts of the business. However, if you co-mingle your assets together, a plaintiff might be able to pierce the corporate veil and hold you personally liable by showing that you treat your business as an extension of yourself, since you don’t separate your business assets with your personal accounts.
Obtain Licensing and Permits
Depending on what type of company you operate, you might need to obtain certain licenses and permits before operating within the State of North Carolina. Be sure to visit North Carolina’s Business Development website to find out what permits you might need. You can also contact the local Chamber of Commerce to ask what other licensing might be required.
For example, if you operate in any one of the following industries, you will need additional licensing and permits:
- Alcoholic beverages
- General contractor
- Funeral services
- Real estate
- Child care
Additional licenses that might be required include privilege, occupational, and other miscellaneous licenses, which are all given out at the county level. Specifically, a privilege license is required for all for-profit companies that are located in a city. Some cities also have zoning requirements depending on where the physical business is located.
If you have one or more employees, you’ll need to obtain employer insurance. Furthermore, having employees will generate additional tax requirements due to the fact that you might want to offer health insurance and unemployment insurance. The state actually requires all North Carolina businesses to contribute to an unemployment compensation fund, which will benefit eligible employees if they need it.
You’ll also need to register for employee withholding tax through the Department of Revenue. If you have at least one employee who works 20 or more weeks within any given year or makes at least $1,500 in a calendar quarter, then you must withhold taxes from the employee’s paycheck.
You might also need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, particularly if you have 3 or more employees.
In addition to the above potential requirements, you should ensure the following when hiring new employees:
- Confirm that the employee is legally allowed to work in the U.S.
- Report all new employees to the state
- Print and place compliance posters throughout the workplace
- Pay employees no less than the state’s minimum wage
If you need help registering a company in North Carolina, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.