How to Form an LLC in North Carolina


In this guide, we’ll help you learn how to form an LLC in North Carolina. We’ll walk you through the steps of forming an LLC and tell you what documents you need to file with the Secretary of State’s office.

Choose a name for your LLC.

The name of your LLC should be descriptive and unique—don’t use the words “incorporated,” “corporation,” or “limited” in it. North Carolina law will not allow you to name your business with a name that is too similar to the names of other companies already registered with the Secretary of State.

If you have a legal name, it’s usually best to use that as one part of your LLC’s name (for example: John Doe & Associates, Inc.). If you don’t have a legal name, but want something similar to what would be on your business card or website, keep it short and easy to spell (for example: JDA Consulting).

File your Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State.

You can file your Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State online. You’ll need to submit a filing fee and provide information such as the name and address of your LLC, its registered agent, and an authorized signature for your business. The North Carolina Secretary of State recommends that you also include a copy of any documents filed with the IRS or other federal agencies related to tax status or federal identification numbers.[5]

You may also submit your Articles of Organization by mail, but it may take longer than filing electronically.[6]

When you have submitted all necessary documents and paid all applicable fees, your Secretary will register your LLC within 15 days.[7]

Create an operating agreement for your LLC.

An operating agreement is a contract between the members of an LLC. It helps to define their rights, responsibilities and relationships. While it’s not required in every state, it’s recommended that you create one for your business. You can create one before or after your LLC is formed, but if you’re unsure which option to choose, talk with an attorney about what would work best for your situation. The operating agreement can be created by the members themselves or by an attorney who specializes in forming businesses like LLCs. The more details about how much power each partner has over decision-making will help ensure that there are no misunderstandings later on down the road when things go wrong within the company itself (or between partners).

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

You need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to start your LLC. This is a nine-digit number that the IRS issues to businesses, including LLCs. Your EIN acts as the identifying number for your business and it’s different than your Social Security number that you use for tax purposes and other purposes. You’ll need it when you file taxes or register with your state government.

To get your EIN immediately, visit this IRS website at You’ll be prompted through a series of questions about your business: its legal name, address, type of business activity performed, etc., which will all help them determine if they should issue an EIN right away or wait until they’ve verified all the information in their system with yours later on down the road if necessary (a process known as back up withholding). Once approved for an EIN by one entity within their organization (such as Small Business Self Employed), there’s no need to go back unless something changes significantly about how much money comes in from various sources!

Open a business bank account and get a credit card.

If you’ve read the previous sections on business entities and licenses, you know that an LLC is one of the most popular types of companies in North Carolina. You may have even decided that an LLC is your best option when it comes to forming your business. If so, congratulations! But before you can incorporate your new venture as an LLC, there are a few more steps you’ll need to take.

First things first: opening a business bank account. This is crucial for any small business owner—and it’s made even more important by the fact that many state laws require all money earned by businesses be deposited into specific accounts held at local banks with which they’re registered. It’s also important because having separate bank accounts for personal and business transactions allows you stay organized and keep track of exactly how much money has been spent (or received) from each source over time.

That being said, not all banks are created equal when it comes to working with small businesses like yours…and picking the wrong one could be disastrous for both parties involved! Read on for some helpful tips about choosing which type of bank account makes sense for your company…then go ahead and open up those doors so we can get this party started!

Follow tax laws and comply with local permits and licenses.

As an LLC, you’ll be required to pay federal and state income taxes. You’ll also have other tax obligations, like paying sales tax on your business purchases and property taxes for the office space you lease.

Once your business is established, it’s important to stay up-to-date on local laws and regulations. For example, if your business requires a permit or license to operate in North Carolina (e.g., a liquor license), you’ll want to make sure that you’ve met all requirements with the appropriate government agencies before launching operations.

You’ve got this!

There you have it! You’ve successfully formed an LLC in North Carolina and are on your way to establishing a profitable business. The next step is to form bylaws for your company, which will outline important rules about how decisions get made, who’s responsible for what tasks, and more. You can learn more about that here in our guide on how to write LLC bylaws. The same goes for setting up your tax accounts—a crucial step if you want to be successful with the IRS. We’ve got everything covered from start to finish with our guides on how to start and run a small business in North Carolina:


You’ve successfully formed your LLC! Now that you have everything set up, you can begin operating as a business. It’s important to remember that LLCs are not the only type of business in North Carolina and other states, so if you want to do something different with your company then be sure check out all the options available before deciding on an LLC or other entity formation.

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