Step 1) Create a Name for Your North Carolina LLC

Choose a Business NameTo start forming your LLC, you need to think of a business name which is distinguishable from other existing business names. Here are some reminders when naming your North Carolina LLC:

To check the availability of your selected business name, you can use the business name database of the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office. If you want to reserve your name, file for an Application to Reserve Business Entity Name (Form BE-03) before the Secretary of State. Prepare for a $30 filing fee.


Step 2) Designate a North Carolina Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentA mandatory requirement when starting an LLC in North Carolina is to appoint and maintain a registered agent for your business. If you fail to comply, you may be fined or barred from operating your North Carolina small business.

A North Carolina Registered Agent is a major player in the success or failure if your business so you need to hire one according to the requirements of the state as well as your set of standards. Some of the basic requirements that you need to follow include the following:


Step 3) File Your Articles of Organization

Register an LLCTo form your North Carolina LLC, the next step is to file your Articles of Organization ( Form L-101) before the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office. Prepare for the following information needed in the form:

It’s easy to submit the form, you just have to upload and file it online. The other option is to file it through postal mail; the address where you have to mail the form is stated inside the form as well. Accompany your form with a $125 filing fee.


Step 4) Obtain an EIN for Your North Carolina LLC

Get an EIN for Your LLCRegardless if you don’t have employees, if your North Carolina LLC has more than one member, it will automatically have to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

However, if you start a one-member North Carolina LLC, you don’t have to obtain an EIN unless you intend to hire employees. You can obtain this requirement by filling-out an online EIN application at the IRS website. It’s completely free so you don’t have to worry about anything.


Step 5) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountAs a new North Carolina LLC, keeping your personal and business finances separate is very important. The best way to do this is to open a new business checking account.

To find the best bank to start a checking account with, do some research. You can always use the bank you keep your personal account with, just be sure to keep them 100% separate.


To-Do After Starting an LLC

1) make a plan

Write a Business PlanJust like an Operating Agreement, a business plan is not required to start a business in North Carolina. However, writing one will give you countless benefits.

A business plan is a blueprint that will enable you to build a business with a solid foundation. By having one, you will be able to study every aspect of your business, anticipate future problems, create effective solutions and overall, bring your business to success.

If you want to write your own business plan but you have zero experience, the resources below can help you.

Writing a Business Plan Quick-Links


2) Comply with Taxes and Business Licenses

Small Business TaxesComplying with state taxes and obtaining business permits and licenses are mandatory requirements to start a North Carolina LLC.

It’s imperative that you have an in-depth understanding of North Carolina tax regulations so you’ll be able to know your obligations as a taxpayer. You can consult a tax professional to explain to you the tax deductions and benefits applicable to your business.

Business permits and licenses on the otherhand are dependent on the type of business you’re running as well as its location. For the specific details of local and state business licenses you can read how to organize your Limited Liability Company at the NC Secretary of State’s website.


3) Hire the Right Employees

Hire the Right EmployeesWhen starting a business in North Carolina, you need to make sure that you follow state and federal requirements during the hiring process.

Apart from this, you need to screen every applicant meticulously primarily studying them through their experience, track record, skills and personalities. Your employees will play a great role in your business so you need to hire the best and most competent ones!


4) Make an Operating Agreement

Create an Operating AgreementAn Operating Agreement is not needed when starting a business in North Carolina, however, it’s highly advisable that you make one.

This document outlines your ownership and management structure as well as the corporate laws that must be followed by your LLC. You can make your own operating agreement even if you don’t have the experience by using Rocket Lawyer.


5) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteTo be able to compete with existing businesses, you need to have a business website to build trust with your customers. The best alternative to hiring an expensive designer is to start a website on WordPress.

Bluehost has one-click-to-install option that a non-tech savvy entrepreneur can do themselves. Learn how to get started with this simple guide.

This guide is an informational article and should not be used as reference for legal document or advice. If you have questions regarding the process of building a business in North Carolina, speak to your attorney to get professional legal advice.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

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