Forming an LLC in North Carolina

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

There are many choices to make when you're starting a business, including the business structure itself. One popular type of legal structure for small businesses is the limited liability company (LLC), which can be described as a hybrid of a sole proprietorship or general partnership and a corporation. While the process for forming an LLC is outlined in each state's laws, all states require forms to be filed with the appropriate government agency.

Some states additionally require an LLC to have an operating agreement, but not North Carolina. It's still a good idea to have an operating agreement, however, since it outlines, in writing, the internal affairs of an LLC.

Requirements for Forming a North Carolina LLC

You form an LLC in North Carolina by filing the Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State. The Articles of Organization must be submitted by all LLC's organizers and include the following information:

  • The LLC's name;
  • The name and address of each person executing the Articles and their role in the LLC (i.e. member, organizer, or both);
  • The Registered Office and Registered Agent's street and mailing address (if they're different); and
  • The physical and mailing address of the LLC's principal office (if it already exists when the Articles are filed).

For your convenience, FindLaw offers a North Carolina LLC Formation Package, with all the forms needed to start your LLC in the state. It's important to note that all LLCs in North Carolina are required to file an annual report with the North Carolina Secretary of State and to pay a filing fee.

Forming an LLC in North Carolina: The Basics

Although most states have similar procedures for forming LLCs, it's important to look up the exact procedure in your state. The following table provides an overview of the required steps for forming an LLC in North Carolina and links to relevant statutes and government agencies.

Statute(s) North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 57D. North Carolina Limited Liability Company Act
Step-by-Step Process of Forming an LLC

Forming an LLC in North Carolina requires the following steps:

  1. Choose a name that includes "limited liability company" or LLC/L.L.C. and isn't taken by another business in the state.
  2. File Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State and pay the required filing fee.
  3. Appoint a registered agent*, which will be the person or business who accepts a service of process if the LLC is sued.
  4. Comply with North Carolina business tax requirements.

*The registered agent must have a physical address in North Carolina.

State Agency in Charge of LLC Formation

The North Carolina Secretary of State is the government entity in charge of business organizations in the state.

Related Statute(s)

North Carolina General Statutes:

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Forming an LLC in North Carolina: Related Resources

For additional information and resources related to this topic, please click on the links listed below.

Get Professional Legal Help to Start Your North Carolina LLC

Even though the information and links above provide a clear to guide to starting an LLC, nothing beats the peace of mind you'll get by having an experienced professional review your paperwork. So, if you need help starting your LLC in North Carolina or have questions, it's a good idea to speak with an experienced business organizations attorney near you.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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