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Last updated September 1, 2021

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North Carolina LLC
Articles of Organization

Quick Start Guide
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in North Carolina.

Detailed Lessons:

 

North Carolina LLC Costs:
North Carolina LLC filing fee: $125 (one-time fee)
North Carolina LLC annual report fee: $200 per year

Need help?
Hire a professional to form your NC LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

★ Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom

How do I form an LLC in North Carolina?

Filing the Articles of Organization creates a North Carolina LLC. In this lesson we will walk you through the process.

You must file an official document called the Articles of Organization to form a North Carolina LLC. This lesson will walk you through the process.

North Carolina LLC Secretary of State Corporations Division
(North Carolina Secretary of State, Corporations Division Building)

North Carolina LLC filing fee ($125)

The North Carolina LLC filing fee (the fee to create a North Carolina LLC) is $125. This is a one-time fee.

Note: The “LLC filing fee” is the same thing as the “Articles of Organization fee”. The Articles of Organization are the document that, once approved by the Secretary of State’s office, creates your North Carolina LLC.

LLC University® prior lessons:

Before filing the Articles of Organization for your North Carolina LLC, make sure you have read these two lessons:

North Carolina LLC filing methods

You can file your North Carolina LLC Articles of Organization by mail or online.

The filing fee is $125 for both methods.

If you form your LLC by mail, it will be approved in 10-15 days (this accounts for mail time). Your approval will be mailed to you.

If you form your LLC online, it will be approved in 7-10 business days. And your approval will be emailed to you.

Note: Filing times may take longer due to the current global situation and government delays. For the most up-to-date LLC processing times, check how long does it take to get an LLC in North Carolina.

LLC University® recommendation:

We recommend the online filing because it’s easier to complete and has a faster approval time.

Need to save time? Hire a professional to form your NC LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

How do I file a North Carolina LLC by mail?

If you want to file the Articles of Organization by mail (instead of online), you will need to:

  • Go to: North Carolina Secretary of State: Business Forms
  • In the first menu, select the Division “Business Registration
  • In the second menu for which forms, select “Business Entities Common
  • From the documents listed below, click “Cover Sheet for Corporate Filings” (PDF will download)
  • Back at the top of the page, in the second menu for which forms, change your selection to “Limited Liability Companies
  • Below, click “Articles of Organization” (PDF will download)
  • Prepare a check or money order for the $125 filing fee and make it payable to “Secretary of State”
  • Send your completed Cover Sheet, Articles of Organization, and filing fee to:
    North Carolina Secretary of State
    PO Box 29622
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

Mail filing video instructions:

North Carolina LLC - Formation Documents

Video Transcript:

The following information is provided for educational purposes only and in no way constitutes legal, tax, or financial advice. For legal, tax, or financial advice specific to your business needs, we encourage you to consult with a licensed attorney and/or CPA in your State. The following information is copyright protected. No part of this lesson may be redistributed, copied, modified or adapted without prior written consent of the author. A Limited Liability Company is a hybrid between a Corporation and a Partnership. An LLC protects your assets in the event of a lawsuit. In order to form your LLC, you must file LLC Formation Documents and pay the State filing fee. Once your documents are approved and sent back to you, your LLC is now in existence and authorized to do business in the State. Before completing your LLC Formation Documents, you need to have 2 things completed. First, make sure you have watched the Lesson on researching your LLC’s name. Your desired LLC name must be available for use before you proceed. Second, make sure your have watched the Lesson on Registered Agent and that you’ve made your selection. Now, let’s discuss your LLC Formation Documents. The name of the LLC Formation Documents for the State of North Carolina are called the Articles of Organization and the Cover Sheet. These documents are not complicated and contains basic information, including listing your Registered Office and Registered Agent. They will also require you to list your LLC’s name and the names and addresses of your LLC’s members. We will walk you through the details of the Articles of Organization in just a couple minutes and we will make sure you get it filled out correctly. Once your Articles of Organization and Cover Sheet are complete, you will need to mail them to the State along with the filing fee. You will find the filing fee amount, the accepted forms of payment and the address where to mail your documents to below this video. You will also be able to download both the Articles of Organization and the Cover Sheet. Just look below this video and you’ll see the download links. Once you mail your Articles of Organization and your Cover Sheet along with the filing fee, the State will review and process your documents. If there are any issues with your filing, the State will notify you by mail or email telling you what corrections need to be made. The State will laos hold your filing fee until they receive your corrected documents. If there are no issues with your filing, your LLC will be approved in 7-10 days. Once your LLC is approved, you will receive back a Certified Copy by mail or email. This confirms your LLC is now a legally formed business in the State of North Carolina. Please keep the Certified Copy of your Articles of Organization with your business records. Do not order your EIN (also known as your Federal Tax ID Number) or start to use your LLC for any business purposes until you’ve received this approval. Once your LLC is approved, paperwork with the State is not over. As part of the ongoing requirements for your LLC, North Carolina requires that you file an Annual Report and pay a yearly fee. Also, depending on your type of business, you’ll be required to file State taxes every year. We will discuss these items in later Lessons. We are now ready to fill out the Articles of Organization and the Cover Sheet. You can download these documents below this video. Let’s get started. Let’s first take a look at the Cover Sheet, since this is a simpler document and it’s just 1 page. Please note that this form can be filled out on the computer, or it can be printed and filled out by hand. If you fill it out by hand, please use blue or black ink. Also, make sure to print these documents on white paper that is letter-sized (that’s your standard 8-and-a-half-by-11 inches). Also, I have a professional version of Adobe Acrobat with lots of functionality. You likely have the free version of Adobe Reader. However, you should still be able to type inside the document, but if you have any issues, again simply print out the document, and then fill it out by hand. Also, 1 more important thing to take note of. Below this video, you will the most up-to-date mailing address and filing fee information. At the time of this recording, the mailing address that you see in this video may be outdated, so please use the address that we have listed below this video. All right, let’s get started. In the 1st section Under “Personal Name”, you’re going to list your name. I’m going to be using dummy information just as an example. I filled in “John Doe”. Next, you’re going to enter your phone number. Under “Business Name”, you’re going to put the name of your LLC. Remember to include the designator “LLC” or “L.L.C.”. Here’s my sample company: “ABC Widgets”. You’ll notice here I’ve used a comma. A comma is optional, so you can leave 1 in if you’d like, or you can leave it out if you prefer. Next, you’re going to end your mailing address on 2 lines. Next, you’re going to enter your email address and your fax number if you have 1. For this example, I’m not going to include the fax since email is fine. Under “Customer Reference Number”, you can leave this blank as its not applicable. Next, we have a “Check One” for 2 different sections here. The first is about the speed of your filing. The regular process here is what I’m going to go with, which is 7-10 days. However, if you need an expedited filing and you need your LLC approved quicker than that, you can do a “24-Hour Guarantee”, or a “Same Day Guarantee” for an additional $100 or an additional $200. Again, For this example, and what most people usually do is just go with the regular process (7-10 days is fine). In the next section, we’re going to select how we would like to receive our Certified Copy of the Articles of Organization (that’s the approval of the LLC). In this case, I’m going to select “E-Notification” to be notified at this email address. However, if you like to receive it by mail, just go ahead and check off “Mail to above”. Again, I’m going to check off “E-Notification”. “Special Notes”, you can leave blank unless you have something specific you need to mention to the State. However, in this example, I do not. And then in the next section under “FILINGS ONLY” and “ORDERS ONLY”, these you can leave blank. These for the State and they will fill that out when they receive this document. Again, pretty simple: you’re just going to list your name, your phone number, the name of the LLC, your physical mailing address, your email address and then check at which speed you’d like your LLC approved, and then how you’d like that approval (whether by mail or by email). You’re going to print this document out. You don’t need to sign it; simply just print it out and we’re going to include this with the Articles of Organization. All right let’s shift gears and let’s take a look at the Articles of Organization. Okay, here we are in the Articles of Organization. This is a 3-page PDF document. Page 1 has instructions, and pages 2 and 3 are the actual form. Feel free to read through the instructions if you’d like, but we’ve already covered this information in the video. All right, let’s scroll down to page 2 and let’s start filling this document out. Some of the boxes are red and that means that they’re required. 1st section, you’re going to list the name of your LLC. Let me first zoom this document in a little bit so you can see it better. There we go. I’m going to list the LLC in this example: “ABC Widgets”. Again, same thing as the Cover Sheet. Make sure to include the designator “LLC” or “L.L.C.” , and the comma is optional. Make sure you capitalize the words in your business the way you’d like it to appear. Next, in section 2, we’re going to list the name and address of each person executing these Articles of Organization. Also it says “State whether each person is executing these articles of organization in the capacity of a member and organizer or both”. In this case, if you’re forming your LLC yourself, you’re going to be the member and you’re going to be the organizer. Also, if you’re a Multi-Member LLC with 2 or more members, each of those members we also recommend that you list them as an organizer as well. Important thing to note here is that each person that’s listed also needs to sign this document. Again, we recommend that all members fill their name and their address, and they all sign the document as a member and an organizer. For this example, let’s say that this is a Multi-Member LLC with John Doe and Mary Doe. I’m going fill in their name and address in Section 2. Don’t worry that the 1st box has a larger font, and the 2nd one (it’s just the way they formatted the boxes, they didn’t make sure that the correct font size … it’s not important). All right, No. 3, (“the name of the initial registered agent”). So if you are representing your LLC and you’re going to be the Registered Agent, you’re going to put your name here. Or if it’s a friend or family member, you’re going to list their name and their address in Section 4. Actually, this is 1 important thing to make note of: Nos. 3, 4 and 5 are all related to your LLC’s Registered Agent. Let’s see how this document would look if John Doe is going to be the Registered Agent for the LLC. Let’s fill his name in, in Section 3. Then, we’re going to list the street address and county of the initial Registered Agent Office. In this case, it’s the same address where John and Mary live as this is a street address (remember, no PO boxes allowed). Okay, I filled in John’s street address here and listed the county where it’s located. No. 5, again this is related to the Registered Agent. It says “The mailing address, if different from the street address, of the initial registered agent office is”. Now, just a warning: this document is a little bit confusing because as you scroll down further there’s also a No. 6 which asks for the Principal Address, and then down here there’s another Mailing Address section. It can get a little confusing so, bear with me, I’ll try to make this clear as possible. No. 5 is most likely going to be left blank. It’s basically saying even though you’ve listed a street address here, if you want to get your mail somewhere else, please list that address here. If that’s the case for you, it’s kind of rare. If it is, feel free to include that additional address here. If you don’t need it, just leave it blank. So here’s how this document going to look if you, or a friend, or family member represent the LLC and you have a street address in North Carolina. Now, if you don’t have a street address in North Carolina or you don’t want to be the Registered Agent for your LLC, let’s say that you hired Northwest Registered Agent, we’ll quickly fill out Sections 3 and 4 and show you what that would look like. Okay, here’s Sections 3 and 4 filled out with Northwest Registered Agent’s information. We have their company name here, and their street address in Raleigh, North Carolina which is in Wake County. Again, this is how your document’s going to look if you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, or it may just have your name and your address, or a friend or family member’s name and address. I’m going to revert back to John Doe as the Registered Agent and we’ll continue on with this document. All right, moving onwards: again, No. 5, the mailing address, if different than the street address in 4 in this example, I’m going to leave this blank as it does not apply. Okay, No. 6 has to do with what’s called your “Principal office information”. You’re going to select either “a” or “b”. “a” states “The limited liability company has a principal office”, and then we would fill that information. And here, if we scroll down to page 3 (which is the 2nd page of the Articles), you can also check off “b” if you do not have a Principal Office. Let’s explain that a little bit. Scroll back up to No. 6. Now, let’s say that you’re the Registered Agent for your LLC and the Street Address that you listed here is also the Principal Office Address of your business. In that case, you’re going to check off “a”, and then under “The principal office telephone number”, you’re going list your phone number here. And then under “street address”, you’re going to include the address, city, state and zip, and the county. Again, it’s going to be identical to No. 4. Then under here, this is where this document gets a little confusing. Again, bear with me. Here it says “The mailing address, if different, from the street address above for the principal office”. Again, the mailing address is only going to be used if you cannot or do not want to get mail at this address; You can list an alternative address. Again, it’s a little bit overkill, so most likely you’re just going list the phone number and Principal Office Address here which is also going to be the Mailing Address and the county, and you can leave this Mailing Address section blank. Now, having said that, if you don’t have a storefront, or an office, or brick-and-mortar location, or you don’t want to list a Principal Office Address, you can also just come down here and simply check off “b”. If that’s the case, let me uncheck “a” and we’re just going to say to the State that we don’t have a Principal Office Address. The address that you have on file here (whether it’s ourselves as the Registered Agent of the LLC or its a Commercial Registered Agent), that address is good enough; they can send their mail to you their. All right, hopefully that covers the Address section. We can move onward on this document. Let’s say For this example, we’re just going to check off “the limited liability company does not have a principal office address”. No. 7 is most likely not going to be applicable. It states if there are additional provisions that they’re attached to this filing. Again most of our customers don’t need to attach additional provisions, so you can disregard No. 7. No. 8 says “Please provide a business email address”, and again this is optional, but we do recommend it if you want to get notified. What that means, is if you read this paragraph down here it says “The State will email the business automatically whenever a document is filed”. The email address that you provide here will not be viewable on the website so it’s private. In this case, I recommend it, so I’m going list the email address for John Doe. Next, No. 9 (“The articles will be effective upon filing unless a future date is specified”). Now, so long as it’s not in the months of November or December, we recommend leaving this section blank. What that means is simply that your LLC goes into existence on the date that it is received and approved from the State. Having said that, again if this is November or December and you don’t really need the business open at the end of this year, we recommend that you fill in Section 9 and put a date in January, or you simply just wait and you file these documents in the month of January. The reason being, is that if you don’t need your business open in November or December and it’s approved in those months, you’re going to owe a tax return most likely for those few months, and it’s a little bit tedious and just an extra headache, and you know, costs you don’t have to pay with a tax professional or a CPA. So again, if it’s not November or it’s not December, or you don’t care about the fact that you have to file taxes and you need to open your business right away, just leave this blank. And again, that just simply means that your LLC is effective on the date it is received by the State. Do note that you cannot date this more than 90 days out. Basically, your cut-off is October 1st, meaning you can’t file this in August and make it effective in January. Hopefully that makes sense. Again, you cannot change the effective date to more than 90 days out from the date of your filing. For this example, No. 9, we’re just going to leave blank. We’re going let this business become effective when it’s approved by the State. Next, in the date section, we’re first going to list the day of the month. Let’s say it’s the fifth, and let’s say it’s March, and let’s say it’s 2015. Pretty simple. Next, in the signature box, again remember in Section 2, it says that all names that are listed in Section 2 must sign this document. So first, this box here is going to be for John Doe. It may look a little bit confusing at first since there’s an extra line at the top, and then the signature line, and then it says “Type or Print the Name and Title”. This section is going to be blank here most likely. This is only if a business is doing this filing, and since you’re filing directly, we’re going to ignore that. So, under here, you’re going to list your name and then put “, Member and Organizer”. I’m going to fill in John Doe as an example. There we go. Now, after I print out this document, “John Doe” or myself in this example is going to sign here on this line. Again, that 1st line’s going to be left blank. Now because this is a Multi-Member LLC, just for this example. Having said that, if you’re a Single-Member LLC, you’re just going to have to sign right there and list your “name, Member and Organizer. Now in this case, I’m going to go down here and this is for additional Members and Organizers. In this case, I’m going to list Mary Doe and write “Member and Organizer”. All right, and once I print this document out, Mary’s going to sign here, John’s going to sign here, they’re going to include this document with the Cover Sheet and filing fee, send it off to the State and wait 7-10 days for their LLC to be approved. Let’s just do a quick run-through to make sure we have all the sections here. Again, page 1 is Instructions. Here we go: page 2, Section 1 (“name of the LLC”), Section 2 (“the names and addresses of all the members which are also going to be the organizers”), Section 3 and 4 is the name and address of the Registered Agent and their Registered Office, the street address located in the State of North Carolina. In this case, John Doe is going to be the Registered Agent for the LLC and we listed his address. If you’re hiring a Commercial Registered Agent, we’ll put the business name here and their address here. No. 5, again, most likely going to be left blank (I don’t think you need a different mailing address from the street address), but use 1 if you want to receive mail elsewhere if you’re representing the LLC as the Registered Agent. Section 6 is if you have a Principal Office location such as a storefront, brick-and-mortar office, etcetera. If that’s the case, you check off “a”, fill in your address here and also include your phone number, or if you don’t have a Principal Office Address, you can just check off “b”. Again, this section down here (“the mailing address, if different than the street address, for the principal office”), most likely you’re going to leave that blank. No. 7, you can disregard. No. 8, fill in your email address. No. 9 (“the effective date upon filing”), again future-date this if it’s maybe the end of October, November, December. You can list January 1st of the following year. or if you’re for filing, you know, January into October, you can just leave it as is (and by leave it as is, I mean you can leave it blank). Next, you’re to list the day of the month, the month and then the last two numbers of the year. Put your “name, Member and Organizer”, and if you have more members, please list their names, as well as “Member, Organizer” below. Print this document out, all the members sign where it says “Signature”, email this along with a Cover Sheet and the filing fee, and then you wait 7-10 days for your LLC to be approved. Once your LLC is approved, you can then proceed to the Next Lesson. And that concludes this video.

How do I file a North Carolina LLC Online?

First, you will need to create an online account with the North Carolina Secretary of State:

Next, follow the instructions below to file your Articles of Organization online.

Has this entity been created in another state or country?

If you are forming a new North Carolina LLC, select “No“.

If you are registering an out-of-state LLC as a Foreign LLC in North Carolina, select “Yes“.

Choose which type of entity you want to create or register to do business in North Carolina:

Select “Limited Liability Company“.

Name Availability

Enter your desired North Carolina LLC name, using your preferred capitalization. For example, if your desired LLC name is “cummings typewriters LLC” (and not “Cummings Typewriters LLC“), make sure you enter “cummings typewriters LLC” here.

Make sure to include the designator at the end of the name. As per Section 55D-20 of North Carolina LLC Act, the designators you can use are:

  • LLC (most common)
  • L.L.C.
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company

Comma in LLC name: You can use a comma in your North Carolina LLC name or you can leave it out. For example, “Bayside Bicycles, LLC” and “Bayside Bicycles LLC” are both acceptable.

Registered Agent Information

If you or someone you know will be your LLC’s Registered Agent:

Select the option that says “you or a company not in the list will be the Registered Agent” and go to the next page.

Enter your Registered Agent’s email address.

Is the Registered Agent a business entity?:

If your LLC’s Registered Agent is a company (and not a Commercial Registered Agent), select “Yes” and enter the company’s name. Most people will select “No“, because it is not common to have a company (other than a Commercial Registered Agent) as your LLC’s Registered Agent.

If you select “No“, enter the Registered Agent’s first and last name.

Then on the next page, enter the address of the Registered Agent. If the Registered Agent’s physical and mailing address are the same, check the box at the bottom. If the Registered Agent has a mailing address that is different from their physical address, then don’t check the box.

If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent:

Select the Commercial Registered Agent’s name from the list and continue to the next page.

Principal Office Information

The Principal Office is the place where the actual business is conducted or a place where you keep your LLC’s business records.

A Principal Office address can be an actual office, a virtual office, a home address, a storefront, a warehouse, etc.

Does the business entity have a principal office?

Note: The reason the state gives you the option to say that you don’t have a Principal Office is in case your business is planning to lease space. The state allows you to skip the Principal Office address during LLC formation. However, you must enter a Principal Office address when you file your first North Carolina LLC Annual Report.

If your LLC has a Principal Office, select “Yes” and:

  • Enter a phone number for your business (can be a work phone, home phone, or cell phone, VOIP phone, etc.)
  • On the next page, enter the Principal Office address.

Organizers

The Organizer is the person submitting the Articles of Organization to the state and signing the Articles of Organization.

Note: Your LLC only needs one Organizer to submit the Articles of Organization. As mentioned in the article linked above, simply being an LLC Organizer doesn’t mean that person owns the LLC. The LLC Members (owners) are listed in the North Carolina LLC Operating Agreement.

Click “Add Entity/Individual“.

Is this party a commercial entity?

Select “Yes” if the LLC Organizer is a company. Select “No” if the LLC Organizer is a person. Most people select “No“.

Enter the Organizer’s information and click “Save“. And then continue to the next page.

Company Officials (optional)

Note: Whether or not Company Officials are entered here, they won’t be signing the Articles of Organization.

In North Carolina, you do not have to list the LLC Members in the Articles of Organization (it’s optional). LLC Members are listed in the LLC Operating Agreement.

However, you may have a problem when you try to open a bank account for your LLC. Some bankers don’t know this and they get confused when the LLC Members aren’t on the Articles of Organization. The Secretary of State decided to help with this confusion, so they added this Company Officials section. It allows people forming an LLC to list the Members on the Articles of Organization.

Again though, it’s optional. And we have another solution if you want to keep the LLC Members private and still have an easy time when dealing with the bank.

If you prefer to have all the Members listed publicly:

Enter the Members in the Company Officials section.

If you want Member privacy:

  • Leave the Company Officials section blank.
  • Have the LLC Member(s) sign the LLC Operating Agreement, which is a private document (not on public records).
  • Have the LLC Organizer(s) sign a Statement of LLC Organizer. This is also a private document in which the Organizer also lists the LLC Member(s).
  • Read our LLC bank account page.
  • Call the bank before you go to a branch location and ask to speak to the branch manager or a business specialist. Tell them you want to open a bank account for your LLC. Explain to them that LLC Members don’t have to be listed in the Articles of Organization in North Carolina. And tell them you have the LLC Operating Agreement and a Statement of LLC Organizer.
  • Ask the banker for their email address and ask if they will review your paperwork before you arrive. This can save you a lot of time.

Registration Options

Attach, as a PDF, any other provisions which the business entity elects to include (optional):

If your LLC has special rules, those can be included in an attachment and uploaded here.

Most people don’t include an attachment unless they have been instructed to by their attorney.

Please provide a business email address (optional):

The email address entered here is kept private.

The state will use this email address to notify you of any documents that are filed for your LLC. It’s a security feature to prevent “business identity theft”. We recommend entering your email address here.

You can use any email address that you own. It doesn’t have to be a business email address. You can just use your primary email address.

Please indicate when you want the document to become effective:

An LLC Effective Date is the date your LLC officially comes into existence. Think of it as the day your LLC is “born”.

If you would like your LLC to come into existence on the date it is approved by the North Carolina Secretary of State, then select “Effective upon filing” from the drop down menu.

However, if you want your LLC to come into existence on a future date, then select “Effective on a future date“. Then select the date from the calendar. The date can’t be more than 90 days from the date of filing.

Note: You can’t back-date your filing.

Tip if you’re forming your LLC later in the year:

If you’re forming your LLC later in the year (October, November or December) and you don’t need your LLC open right away, we recommend using January 1st of the next year as an effective date.

This will save you $200 by pushing your LLC’s first Annual Report due date more than a year ahead. And depending on how your LLC is taxed, this can also push your tax filing due date more than a year ahead.

For example: Let’s pretend it’s currently November 2022 and you’re filing your LLC. If you don’t need to use the LLC right away, you can use an effective date for your filing of January 1, 2023. This means your 1st Annual Report is due by April 15, 2024 (instead of April 15, 2023). And depending on how your LLC is taxed, your tax filings are now due in March or April of 2024 (and not 2023).

Signature Page

The date the document was executed:

From the calendar, select today’s date (regardless of what date you used for the effective date). “Document” here means the Articles of Organization.

Executing Signature(s):

Who needs to sign the document?

  • Only the person(s) listed in the Organizers section need to sign.
  • If you listed any Company Officials, they don’t sign the document.

From the drop down lists, select the person(s) you entered in the Organizer section and then click “Next“.

You will only be using the blank field to the right if the “person” from the drop down is a company. If that’s the case, then you would enter the name and title of the individual signing on behalf of the company.

Most people forming their own LLC list themselves as the Organizer, so they will just be selecting themselves from the list on the left (and leaving the field on the right blank).

Review

A PDF preview of your online filing will show up in this section. Review the information you’ve entered and check for any typos.

If you need to make changes, click the “Previous” button and go back to the section where changes are needed.

If everything looks good, click “Next” to proceed.

Business email address to send receipt of filing:

Your email address will likely be auto-filled. You can leave it as-is or enter a different email address. This email address is where your North Carolina LLC approval documents will be sent.

Would you like your document to be expedited?

If you are comfortable with the usual approval time (and don’t want to pay extra), select “None” from the first drop down menu. This means you will just pay the standard filing fee of $125 and your LLC will be approved in 7-10 business days.

If you want your LLC approved faster, you can select “24 Hours (+$100)“. This will cost $225 total ($125 filing fee + $100 expedited fee). After the state receives your Articles of Organization, they will review and process it within 24 hours. If you pay for an expedited filing, you will have your LLC approval in about 2-3 business days.

If filing on behalf of a client, you may enter their Customer Reference Number here:

Leave this section blank. It doesn’t apply to people forming their own LLCs. It’s sometimes used by filing companies or law firms.

Fees and Payment

This section shows the total payment required for your filing. There is a small additional fee added for online filings.

You can pay with a credit card, debit card, or by ACH. Enter your payment information, click “Submit“, and finalize your payment to the state.

Congratulations! Your LLC Articles of Organization have been successfully submitted to the state. Now you just need to wait for approval.

North Carolina LLC Approval (online filing):

Your North Carolina LLC will be approved in 7-10 business days (regular filing) or 2-3 business days (expedited filing).

After your LLC is approved, you will receive an email with your stamped and approved Articles of Organization. You will also receive a Cover Letter confirming your filing. The stamped and approved Articles of Organization are your LLC’s official approval document.

Make sure to keep these documents in a safe place. We recommend making a physical copy as well as storing an electronic copy on your computer.

Congratulations on your new LLC!

Next Step: LLC Operating Agreement

Once you’ve filed your Articles of Organization and your North Carolina LLC has been approved, you can then proceed to the next lesson: North Carolina LLC Operating Agreement.

North Carolina Secretary of State Contact Info

If you have any questions, you can contact the North Carolina Secretary of State at ​​919-814-5400.

Their hours are Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm Eastern Time.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

26 comments on “North Carolina Filing Forms”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. I don’t want my name listed on the NC website or on the documentation uploaded to the website; where or in what capacity should I list my name? Or should I just leave it off completely? thanks

    • Hey William, if you prefer privacy for your North Carolina LLC, then you really don’t want your name anywhere on the Articles of Organization. Some states require that owners (“members“) be listed, but North Carolina does not. The two things you’ll need to do are as follows: 1. Have a friend or family member organize your LLC. Or hire a filing company to do this (and let them know not to list your name on the Articles of Organization). The Organizer’s name will appear in #2 and #10 of your Articles of Organization. 2. Have a friend or family member act as your North Carolina Registered Agent. Their name/address will appear in #3, #4, and possible in #5 and #6 (if allowed). If you also want address privacy, I recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent. They’ll let you use their mailing address throughout your entire Articles of Organization. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any followup questions.

  2. I am really struggling with the address section. I was going to list a PO Box for the business address of an online company that I am starting. I am not entirely sure yet if I can list the physical address for my home to run a home based business since I am renting. The lease is a little vague on this issue. Well, now I’m reading that I will eventually need to put a physical address. So, I would have to put my physical address as the street address and then the PO Box for the mailing address. But my question is will the street address be listed as public record that I am running the business out of my home or will records show the PO Box I have listed.

    • Hi Alicia, I feel you… the address part can certainly require a lot of strategic thinking and planning. It’s common. I understand the situation about the lease… it’s likely a “short-term address” and not reliable to use. Yes, the street address will be public record. Everything on the Articles of Organization will be public record (except for the principal office telephone number). Here’s something to consider. If you hire Northwest Registered Agent as your Registered Agent, they’ll let you use their physical address throughout your filing for privacy and reliability. Whatever mail they receive for you, they just scan and upload to your online dashboard. So you could use their address in #2, 4, 6, and 8. Hope that helps.

  3. I’ve filed and paid online my Articles of Organization Limited Liability at https://www.sosnc.gov/online_services/business_registration/upload_a_filing on 2/22/2018 (NC state)
    I haven’t received any E-notification filing or approval from them yet (today is March 3rd).
    I’ve requested order status a few days ago and haven’t received any reply either.
    When I check my submissions it shows filing and invoice numbers and I can download them. It seems everything is done correctly but it’s been 7 business day already.
    Should I call them on Monday or wait for a couple of more days?
    Will they email me if they reject the name or if any information was missing?
    Thank you beforehand

    • Hi Richard, thank you for the details. I would certainly call the Secretary of State’s office either Monday or sometime next week. Either way, whether accepted or rejected, the state’s office will send you the proper correspondence. I wouldn’t worry too much though… they likely just got a little busy. Hope that helps :)

  4. Our North Carolina LLC would like to withdraw a member and add a new member. I found a statement in an answer provided in the Questions about changing the Articles that noted that the names of the initial organizers cannot be changed. What do we do?

  5. Hi Matt…I am in the process of filling the Articles of Organization form but I do not see the Cover Sheet document within the file. Is that no longer needed since you posted this instructional video?

    Thanks,

    Maria

    • Hi Maria, the Cover Sheet is not a part of the Articles of Organization PDF file, but rather, it’s a separate document. Please look above on this page for a section titled “Download the Cover Sheet for Corporate Filings”. Hope that helps.

  6. Hello Matt,
    I had a North Carolina administratively dissolved. Is there any way to pay the back charges and return it to active status?

    Great site–thanks, George

  7. Your a very secure individual to share this information. Which could be intimidating for new venturer’s. You explained it so easy that a midle school teen could grasp. I was apprehensive going in because in DC the process is very complicated. Thank you so much for wanting to help.

    Kim Barnes

    • Hi Kim, thank you for your nice comment :) Yes, D.C. is a quirky place to form an LLC lol! Glad you found the site helpful!

  8. Thanks for the awesome guide! Very helpful. I’ve completed a cover sheet and articles of organization for NC, and have just 1 question. About addresses, of course. I am starting an LLC as organizer-member, and I will be the only member, working out of my home. I am temporarily renting, and would rather not have to change any addresses with the SOS down the road when I buy another house and move. I got a PMB at a UPS Store, and am using that in every address on the cover sheet and articles of organization, except for 2 places – the registered agent address, for which I used Northwest, and the street office of the principal office, for which I used my apartment. I’ve seen you and others state you can use other addresses here, but frankly, it seems that is breaking the instructions given on page 1 from the SOS. Should that be a concern, or am I over-worrying about that? Thank you again, so much! Without your guide, I’d have a lot more questions.

  9. Hi,

    I am looking to do a single/Sole member LLC. Is this the same process as a regular one member LLC? I have found a Sole Member Operating Agreement online. Is there an official site with this document on it in NC?

    • Hi Starlett, yes, the process is the same. In fact, a one member LLC is the same thing as a Single-Member LLC. Single-Member LLC is just the more official term. The government of North Carolina doesn’t provide an Operating Agreement. They just provide the Articles of Organization, the document that forms the LLC. You can download an Operating Agreement template from our site if you’d like: North Carolina LLC Operating Agreement. Hope that helps.

  10. Awesome website.. made a nerve racking experience smooth as silk.. Great documentation! Thank You!

    • Thanks so much Ron! We’re so happy to hear that. You’re very welcome :)

  11. Appreciate all the information on the website.

    I am in the process of setting up an LLC with a partner for a vacation rental and we prefer not to have our names and addresses publicly available. How can we avoid this?

    On form L01 will we both be classed as member and organizers?

    Is the Business address on the form where all correspondence is sent or the address of the rental property?

    Which address must be listed as the Principal Office on the form?

    How do we start an LLC without any of our private information being public record and available online?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Brit, you’re very welcome. Most correspondence is sent to the principal office address (or the principal office mailing address). On the North Carolina LLC Articles of Organization, Members are not required to be listed (see “Listing of Company Officials” section). If you want privacy, it would be best to hire a company to be your Registered Agent and also file the LLC for you (since they’ll sign as the LLC Organizer). Some Registered Agents will also let you use their address throughout the filing for more privacy. If you’re interested in that, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent. However, a North Carolina LLC can only be private for approximately its first year, since when you go to file the North Carolina LLC Annual Report, you’ll be required to list the Company Official(s), which would be LLC Member(s) or Manager(s). One way around this is to form an LLC in a state where no Members are required to be listed on the filing documents (Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation) as well as the Annual Report forms. Hope that helps.

  12. Hello Matt,

    Just wanted to send you a quick note of thanks for all of the helpful information you’ve put out there.

    I’ve filed for our LLC and am looking forward to the future. Wish us luck (and profits)!

    Take care,
    John Kirkand

    • Hey John! You’re very welcome :) I hope your business is a massive success! I always say: It’s not a matter of “if”, just a matter of “when”. Just stay the course ;)

  13. Hello! While this information has been extremely helpful, the online filing instructions need to be updated. There is nowhere to upload the Articles of Organization and all of the information has to be manually input. Thank you.

    • Hi Stephanie, you’re very welcome. We will be updating this lesson this week to reflect the Secretary of State’s updates to the online filing. Thank you :)

  14. Your website was a tremendous resource. Thank you so much for the safety net for those of us wading into this for the first time!

    Btw, the State of North Carolina registration can now be done entirely online. No need to print/scan anymore.

    • Hi Steve, you are very welcome! Thank you for the kind words :) We will be updating this page shortly to reflect the new online filing process. Thank you.

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