Incorporate in North Carolina or Form an LLC in NC

North Carolina is the home of the Tar Heels, has access to the eastern seaboard, and the Dry Falls( which aren't dry at all...LOL).  The state is also home to thousands of new businesses each year, and home to millions of people.  Bank America, Bayer, and Duke Energy are based out of North Carolina.  These are major corporations who choose to call this state home, which should be encouraging to a new business owner.  If you've been to the state you realize just how beautiful and special this state is.  With that said, let's talk about how to form an LLC in North Carolina.  You can also choose to incorporate in North Carolina, and we will mention some of the differences down below.

Form an LLC in North Carolina

The first time you form a business or LLC it will be very exciting and a bit stressful.  This is where you file paperwork with the appropriate state agency, pay a fee, and ultimately get an approval letter.  To know what you are doing, and feel confident that you are following the right procedure will reduce your stress level and make you feel more at ease.  This is the purpose of this page, to help you file an LLC in North Carolina, or to find a service provider who can help you with the process.  Here are the basic steps to form an LLC in North Carolina:

  1. First you'll ned the name of the LLC.  It must include the initials “LLC” or the words “Limited Liability Company”.
  2. Next, you'll need the name of the Organizer, the person who is executing the Articles of Organization.
  3. Then, you need the name and street address of the initial registered agent.
  4. You also need both the mailing address and the street address if they are different.
  5. Finally, you will need to provide an email address.
  6. You will need a list of company officials including their business address.

These are the basics for your filing as provided by the Secretary of State, but more can be done for advanced filings.  If you feel you need more, then you will need to speak with an attorney or CPA in your state.  View the sample PDF to form an LLC in North Carolina.

Incorporate in North Carolina

The second major type of entity that you can file in the state, would be to incorporate in North Carolina.  The corporation filing is sometimes less popular than the LLC because of the double taxation that can happen with a corp.  The issue of double taxation is where the incorporation must pay taxes on both the original income earned, then the shareholders will get taxed when they receive distributions in the form of dividends.  

Here are a couple of the common reasons that people incorporate:

  • limited liability protection - this will keep your personal assets separate from your business assets.  Thus if you get sued or have creditors they will be seeking damages from your corporation and not your personal assets.
  • two entity types - you can form a C corporation or an S corporation.  Thes have different tax treatment.  The S corporation is a pass through entity which means that the income from your business will flow directly to the owners tax returns.  The C corporation will be taxed as a stand alone entity, similar to a real person, and is responsible for paying its' own taxes.  The C corporation can be subject to double taxation more often than the S corporation.

Naming a Corporation in North Carolina

The corporate name must include a corporate ending of corporation, company, limited, incorporated, corp., co., ltd., or inc.  

North Carolina Secretary of State Links:
Secretary of State Address :
North Carolina Division Corporations
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
Secretary of State Phone :
(919) 814-5400
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