How To Fill Out The North Carolina Articles of Organization
Are you looking to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in North Carolina? If so, you may be wondering what information and documents are required for the process.
I’ll go over everything you need to know about filing an Articles of Organization with the state of North Carolina. Not only will we discuss the forms and steps necessary for filing, but also provide other important resources that can help make forming your company as easy as possible.
The North Carolina Articles of Organization is the official document filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State, Business Registration Division to establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC). After the filing is approved by the state, the business can officially begin operating and register for the necessary business licenses and permits.
To file the North Carolina Articles of Organization, you will need to submit the completed L-01 LLC Articles of Organization form to the North Carolina Secretary of State. The form can be downloaded and sent by mail or filed online.
Zenbusiness and IncFile are running a special where you only pay state fees for your LLC formation!
Let’s go over how to fill out the LLC Articles of Organization in North Carolina. To get started, visit the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website and create an account.
Once your account has been set up, you will have a couple of options to select before starting on forming your LLC.
First, you are asked if the entity has been created in another state or country. In this example, we are assuming you are starting a new LLC and would choose “No.” If the LLC was initially formed in another state and you want to physically do business in North Carolina, you would select “Yes” to register as a foreign entity.
Next, you will choose what type of entity you want to register. Here we will select “Limited Liability Company” and then click “Next.”
You may notice another LLC called a Professional Limited Liability Company. Businesses that require occupational licensing in North Carolina, such as accountants, architects, veterinarians, etc., can file for a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC) instead of an LLC. Filing for a PLLC is very similar to that of an LLC.
Step 1: Pick a Name for the LLC
The first step in filling out the North Carolina Operating Agreement is to pick a business name.
There are a couple of requirements when choosing a North Carolina LLC name.
1. The name of your LLC must not be too similar to the name of another business entity already registered with the state of North Carolina. You can verify name availability by doing a North Carolina LLC name search with the North Carolina Secretary of State to be sure the LLC name is available.
2. The name of the LLC must include one of the following entity identifiers at the end of the business name:
– Limited Liability Company
– Ltd. Liability Co.
– Limited Liability Co.
– Ltd. Liability Company
Enter the LLC name, including the identifier, to continue. If you choose a name that is taken, the Secretary of State will warn that the name you want to use may not be available.
Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent
One requirement to have an LLC in North Carolina is to appoint a North Carolina registered agent. The registered agent is a party that is located in the state of North Carolina that will receive important notices and service of process (which means to accept papers that start a lawsuit) on behalf of the LLC.
Provided the LLC member lives in the state of North Carolina, they may act as the registered agent or the agent can be an adult resident of the state (Select “I will be my own Registered Agent or an entity or person not on the list below has given consent to be the registered agent.”) or registered agent service (Select “An entity on this list has given consent to be the registered agent.”
Related: Should you be the registered agent?
Step 3: Provide Information on the Principal Office
In Step 3, you are asked whether the LLC has a principal office. This may be, but is not required to be, the actual place of the business to the physical street address, or the main location where the business records are kept.
Select “Yes” if there is a principal office. If “No” is chosen, the address of a principal office will need to be submitted when the first annual report is filed.
Step 4: List the LLC Organizer(s)
Next, enter the name and mailing address of the LLC organizer(s) who are forming the entity. This can be an individual, such as an LLC member or attorney, or a business, such as an LLC formation service.
Step 5: Provide a List of Company Officials
This section is optional but is used to list the company officials. This is most often used for LLCs where a member may hold a job with connections or holds professional licensing through the state of North Carolina.
Step 6: Choose the Effective Date
Step 6 allows you to choose an effective start day up to 90 days in the future. Some will delay the effective date (starting date) of the LLC if they aren’t ready to start the business, but want the filing out of the way or if they are close to the end of a calendar year.
To have the LLC start as soon as the Secretary of State finalizes the paperwork, choose “Effective upon filing” ate files the formation paperwork. Otherwise, select “Effective on a future date.”
You can optionally enter your email address to receive notification of the LLC’s filing.
Step 7: Include Any Additional Provisions
This is an optional section and is not used by most LLCs. Here you would include the business purpose or additional rules for the operation of the LLC.
Step 8: Sign the Articles of Organization
All of the members or organizers listed earlier will have to date and sign the document.
Step 9: Indicate Hiring Plans
In this next optional step, you are asked whether you plan to hire at least one employee besides yourself. You can choose to not response by keeping the field blank, “Yes,” “No,”, or “I don’t know.”
Step 10: Review and File the Articles of Organization
In Step 10, review that the information submitted in the Articles of Organization is correct and submit to the North Carolina Secretary of State.
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North Carolina LLC FAQs
How much does an LLC cost in North Carolina?
The state filing fee to start an LLC in North Carolina is $125.
How long does it take to process an LLC in North Carolina?
It normally takes 4-6 business days to start an LLC in North Carolina when filing online or 2-3 weeks when filing by mail for the state to process the LLC paperwork.
When is a registered agent needed in North Carolina?
All North Carolina corporations and LLCs are required to have and maintain a registered agent.
The registered agent is a party that is physically located in the state of North Carolina that will receive important notices and service of process (which means to accept papers that start a lawsuit) on behalf of the LLC.
Should I use an LLC formation service or do it myself?
Two of my top formation companies have a special offer where you can get your LLC formed without paying any additional fees (state fees still apply). Check out Zenbusiness and IncFile to learn more.
What business licenses are needed in North Carolina?
The requirements for business licenses and registrations in North Carolina vary depending on what the business does and where it’s located.
Here is a list of common business licenses in North Carolina.
Does North Carolina require an LLC to have an operating agreement?
North Carolina Statute § 57D-2-30 states that an LLC Operating Agreement is optional. Despite the Operating Agreement not being required, it is recommended to have one as it can help to prevent disputes among members and protect the LLC’s legal status.
Do North Carolina LLCs need an EIN?
Only North Carolina LLCs that either have more than one member, will hire employees, or elect to be taxed as a partnership or corporation are required to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number or FEIN) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
If the LLC isn’t required to get an EIN (though you can still get one), the LLC will use the social security number of the business owner.
Related: How to Apply for an EIN