How to form an LLC in North Carolina

A limited liability company (LLC) is one structure for a business. There are a few different ways to structure your business. However, we have a more in-depth overview of the entity types here.

In order to set up an LLC, an individual or organization should follow these steps:

Pick a name

This is possibly the hardest part of forming any business for founders. The organization must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).

Determine the registered agent

Every LLC in North Carolina is required to have a registered agent – basically, an individual or a business entity that will accept legal papers, tax forms, notice of lawsuits, all that good stuff on behalf of the business. This is the business’s point of contact with the state of North Carolina. The registered agent must be a resident of North Carolina or if it’s a business, the business must either be a North Carolina entity or be authorized to transact business in this state.

File the Articles of Organization

The filing fee in North Carolina is currently $125 (and the filing fee is $200 annually) for the Articles of Organization via an L-01 form. (There is an additional convenience fee for filing online, but it’s minimal and worth it!)

Articles have to include:

  • The name of the LLC
  • The name and address of the individuals signing the Articles of Organization
  • The name and address of the registered agent (mentioned above)
  • The mailing address of the business
  • Any additional provisions (like indemnification or other terms) (optional)
  • A list of company officials involved with forming the Articles (optional)
  • An email address (optional but advisable if you file online since this is redacted on the public filing and the Secretary of State will use this to contact you)
  • The effective date of the Articles if the LLC will be organized in the future (otherwise, the effective date will be when the Articles are filed)
  • Signatures

Here’s an image of what the state’s form looks like as of December, 2020, though many companies do not (and should not) use the standard form:


And that’s the bulk of it to start your own business! Of course, there’s a lot more to do. But this is a general overview of what’s required to minimally form the LLC in the state of North Carolina.

Need help filing an LLC? Or drafting an operating agreement? Reach out to us. Operating agreements can help establish rights, powers, duties, liabilities, and any additional information needed to get an LLC started on sound footing.