Business Registration: Secretary of State Filing

These types of North Carolina businesses need to be registered with the NC Secretary of State.

Corporation

Corporation

Before You Begin 

Be prepared to pay the fee of $125 for incorporation. You may also choose to reserve your name by paying $30. You can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. Annual report filings will cost $25.

The form should be submitted by a member of the board of directors, an incorporator if no directors are yet selected or if the corporation has not been formed, or by a fiduciary.

Before you begin, assemble the following information:

  • Name of the corporation. It must include a corporate ending such as “corporation,” “company,” “limited,” “incorporated,” “corp.,” ” co.,”” ltd,” or “inc.”
  • Number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue. The minimum number is one. Please speak to an attorney for advice.
  • The classes of stock. You should consult with your attorney to decide if your corporation should have different classes of corporate stock. Generally, the two classes of stock are referred to as common stock and preferred stock. Most corporations issue only one class of stock, which is common stock.
  • The name and street address of the initial registered agent. This can be either an individual or another business corporation, nonprofit or limited liability company. If an individual, that person must have a physical office in North Carolina. If a business, it must be active in the records of the NC Secretary of State.
  • The NC street address and county of the office of the initial registered agent.
  • The mailing address, if different from the street address.
  • The principal office street address. This can be where the business has its office, or, if there is none, where the corporate records are kept. If the mailing address is different from the street address, include it as well. 
  • The name and address of the company’s incorporators. Only one incorporator is required to submit the form. 

For questions on any of the above information, call the NC Secretary of State’s Office at 919-814-5400. 

Apply

Form with Instructions 

After You File 

After you file any business with the NC Secretary of State’s Office, you will receive notification from the office regarding the status. Allow 5 business days to receive this email. You may not use your business name for any official purpose until that paperwork is approved.

Be aware that annual report filings will cost $25.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Before You Begin 

Be prepared to pay the fee of $125 for Articles of Organization. You may also choose to reserve your name by paying $10. You can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. Be aware that annual report filings for an LLC will cost $200.

This form should be submitted by all organizers of the LLC.  

Assemble the following information:

  • Name of the LLC. Hint: It must include the initials “LLC” or the words “Limited Liability Company”
  • Name and address of the person executing the articles of organization.
  • The name and street address of the initial registered agent.
  • The mailing address, if different from the street address.
  • If the corporation has more than one office, the telephone number, street address, and, if different, mailing address of the principal office. 
  • An email address.

Apply

Form with Instructions 

After You File 

After you electronically submit business formation documents with the NC Secretary of State’s Office, you will receive an e-mail about the status of the entity. Allow 5 to 7 business days to receive this email. You may not use your business name for any official purpose until the NC Secretary of State’s Office approves the document for filing, which creates the entity. 

Be aware that annual report filings for an LLC will cost $200. 

Limited Partnership

Limited Partnership

Before You Begin 

Be prepared to pay the fee of $50 for registration.

Before you begin, assemble the following information:

  • Name of the limited partnership. It must include one of the following endings:  “Limited Partnership” “Ltd Partnership,” “L.P.” or “LP.”
  • The name and street address of the initial registered agent. This can be either an individual or another business corporation, nonprofit or limited liability company. If an individual, that person must have a physical office in North Carolina. If a business, it must be active in the records of the NC Secretary of State.
  • The NC street address and county of the office of the initial registered agent.
  • The mailing address, if different from the street address.
  • Business email address.
  • The name, street address [and X of signing] of each general partner.

For questions on any of the above information, call the NC Secretary of State’s Office at 919-814-5400. 

Apply

Form with Instructions 

 After You File 

The registration is effective upon filing. 

 

Other, Less Common, Business Types