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North Carolina

LLC, Business License, Incorporation

With the 10th largest population in the United States, North Carolina services both large and small businesses. North Carolina's major industries include agriculture, finance, and manufacturing. Regardless of your industry, we can help you take advantage of North Carolina's business services.

Forming a Corporation in North Carolina

Each state has its own set of rules for businesses seeking to form a corporation there. If you've decided to incorporate in North Carolina, The Company Corporation will take care of all the details. We'll research the availability of your company name and help you prepare and file your Articles of Incorporation with the North Carolina Secretary of State. We can also assist with many of your follow-up needs such as amendment filings, written consents, and annual report preparation and filing.

Here are some helpful facts about North Carolina's incorporation requirements:

Corporate Name Requirements

North Carolina requires corporations to have names that can't be confused with any other entity, reserved or registered corporate names and forced fictitious names. When you incorporate with The Company Corporation's help, we'll research your company name to make sure it meets North Carolina's standards.

Permitted designations: North Carolina corporate names may be followed by several approved designations, including:

  • Co.
  • Company
  • Corp.
  • Corporation
  • Inc.
  • Incorporated
  • Limited
  • Ltd.

Restricted designations: The use of certain words and phrases in corporate names is considered "restricted" in North Carolina, meaning they require special approval by the state. These include:

  • Air Force
  • Architect
  • Architectural
  • Architecture
  • Army
  • Bank
  • Banker
  • Banking
  • Coop
  • Cooperative
  • Engineer
  • Engineering
  • Insurance
  • Mutual
  • Navy
  • Survey
  • Surveying
  • Surveyor
  • Trust
  • Wholesale

Filing Requirements

Remember, when you work with The Company Corporation, we'll take care of your incorporation filing for you. This information is presented only for your reference.

Required documents: The state of North Carolina requires businesses to file Articles of Incorporation.

Turnaround time: In general, turnaround time for incorporating a business in North Carolina is 10-15 business days. Expedited filings, which require an additional fee, typically take 24 hours.

Follow-up filings: Not required.

Officers/Directors Information

Minimum number: Corporations are required to have one or more directors.

Director qualifications: The Articles of Incorporation or bylaws may prescribe the qualifications for directors.

Appearance in articles: Not required. Directors' names and addresses do not have to appear in the Articles of Incorporation.

Written consent: Permitted. Directors may act in writing in lieu of holding a meeting.

Principal office location

North Carolina permits a corporation's principal office to be located outside of the state.

Annual Reports

Time to file: Corporations must file annual reports with the North Carolina Secretary of State on or before the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the fiscal year.

Turnaround time: Turnaround time at the state is between 9 and 14 business days.

Signatures: Only company officers are authorized to sign annual reports. Emailed or faxed signatures are accepted.

Filing extensions: Permitted. Extensions are granted by the Department of Revenue.

Ready to Incorporate in North Carolina? Get Started