This tutorial is meant to be a general overview of what filers can expect when submitting the required formation/registration documents as limited liability companies in North Carolina. In this state, there exists no online registration process, in that all representatives will need to download and print off the filing forms which correspond to their entity type. However, there is a method of submitting the documents, once completed, through the government online portal and thus expediting the filing process. Otherwise, applicants will be expected to file their paperwork through the mail with the attached certificates (if necessary) and filing fee of $125 (domestic) or $250 (foreign).

How to File

Step 1- Whether you’re forming a completely new business or you’re trying to expand your company as a foreign LLC, you will need to operate using a name that is unique to your entity alone. Performing a search of the Secretary of State name database can be done quite easily through the use of the Business Entity Search function. Also, you may find it useful to reserve your name prior to filing, a process which will cost $30 but ensures exclusivity for a period of 120 days after submission of the requisite paperwork.

Step 2- Once your name has been secured, you will be able to download the registration documents specific to your entity type. Click on the link below that corresponds with the kind of business you plan to, or currently, operate, to learn more.

Step 3- Now that the forms have been completed, you can proceed to pay the filing fee and consolidate all necessary certificates. This will mean certificates of good standing for those filing foreign businesses and certification from the appropriate licensing board for professional LLC applicants. You can pay the filing fee ($125 domestic and $250 foreign) online by credit card or by check if filing through the mail. When all forms have been consolidated, send the filing package to the below address for processing.

Corporations Division

PO Box 29622

Raleigh, NC 27626-0622


EIN– For domestic LLCs, it may be necessary to apply for an Employer Identification Number immediately after filing with the Secretary of State. This process is required if you plan to hire employees, open bank accounts, register for large business loans and otherwise handle the financials of your business while using the company name. The IRS uses the EIN as a way of keeping tabs on all legitimate, tax-paying entities. Consider it the corporate equivalent to the SSN. To learn more about the application process, click on the link found in the heading of this paragraph. Otherwise, simply start the application off Online or through the mail by completing the PDF Form SS-4.

Operating Agreement–  If you are currently doing business without the use of an operating agreement, you may want to consider drafting one. This will significantly increase the level of organization of the internal affairs of your LLC by setting out, in black and white, the various rules and regulations under which the members of your business will be required to operate. To learn more, and to gain access to our free templates in both MS Word and Adobe PDF, click on the heading of this paragraph.

Renewal–  In North Carolina, like in many states, it is required of most businesses that they renew each year with the Secretary of State. In this particular jurisdiction, that can be accomplished through the submission of an annual report. This will simply update the state offices of any changes in management, principle place of business, and the like, which may have occurred over the previous 12 months. The filing fees associated with the submission of your report amount to $200, payable online by e-Check, ACH or Credit Card. In order to successfully renew using their portal, you will be required to create an account with the Secretary of State’s website. Review this registration tutorial if you are experiencing any difficulties. If you’d prefer to send the report by mail, you must do so using the below address.

Annual Report Section

PO Box 29525 Raleigh,

NC 27626-0525

How to (Video)