LLC Cost in North Carolina | How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
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LLC Costs in North Carolina

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in North Carolina is a popular choice for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to protect their personal assets and enjoy flexibility in their business operations. LLC formation costs vary from state to state, and it is essential to understand the costs involved in forming and maintaining an LLC in North Carolina.

If you would like to know more about the North Carolina LLC Cost, read the whole article until the end. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge on how much an LLC Costs in North Carolina. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

How to Start an LLC?

Before we dive into the LLC Cost in North Carolina, you should know the step-by-step process of starting an LLC, including selecting a unique business name, appointing a Registered Agent, filing the necessary documents, and fulfilling any additional requirements, such as obtaining licenses or permits that are specific to your industry or location.

Here are the steps in starting an LLC in North Carolina:

  • Step 1: Choose a Unique Business Name
    The first step in starting an LLC in North Carolina is to select a unique business name for your company. The name should be distinguishable from any other registered businesses in the state. You can check the availability of your desired business name by searching the state’s business name database. Once you’ve found an available name, you may need to include “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” at the end of the name to comply with state requirements.
  • Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent
    A Registered Agent is someone who will receive official legal and tax documents on behalf of your LLC. The Registered Agent must have a physical address in North Carolina and be available during normal business hours. You have the option to appoint yourself as the registered agent or hire a professional registered agent service.
  • Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
    To officially form your LLC, you need to file the Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State or the appropriate state agency. The Articles of Organization typically requires basic information about your LLC, such as its name, address, Registered Agent details, and the name and address of the LLC’s members or managers.
  • Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
    Once your LLC is formed, it’s highly recommended to create an operating agreement in North Carolina. Although not required by North Carolina law, an operating agreement is a crucial internal document that outlines the ownership, management, and operating procedures of your LLC. It helps establish clear guidelines and expectations among members, and it can be especially useful in the event of disputes or disagreements in the future. The operating agreement can be customized to fit the specific needs and goals of your LLC.
  • Step 5: Obtain Required Licenses and Permits
    Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain specific licenses or permits at the federal, state, or local level. Research the licensing requirements in North Carolina and apply for business licenses in North Carolina related to your industry or activities. Common examples include professional licenses, health or safety permits, and sales tax permits.
  • Step 6: File for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that is used to identify your LLC for tax purposes. Even if you don’t have employees, obtaining an EIN is typically required if you plan to open a business bank account, hire contractors, or file certain tax forms. You can easily apply for an EIN in North Carolina through the IRS website.
  • Step 7: Comply with Ongoing Requirements
    Once your LLC is established in North Carolina, it’s important to stay in compliance with any ongoing requirements. This may include filing periodic reports, paying Annual Report fees, and renewing licenses or permits. Familiarize yourself with the specific obligations for maintaining your LLC’s good standing in North Carolina.

Remember, starting an LLC in North Carolina involves some specific steps and requirements that may differ from other states. It’s advisable to hire an LLC Services in North Carolina that specializes in business formation to ensure that you follow all the necessary procedures accurately and efficiently. We reviewed the Best LLC Services for you to check out.

LLC Cost in North Carolina

It is crucial to consider the costs associated with the formation and maintenance of your business. The costs of establishing and operating an LLC in North Carolina can vary based on several factors, including the initial formation fees, ongoing compliance requirements, and optional expenses.

Initial LLC Costs

When starting a limited liability company (LLC), knowing the initial costs associated with forming and registering your new business entity is essential. Understanding and preparing for these expenses can help you budget effectively and set your North Carolina business on a path to success. Some common initial costs associated with forming an LLC include Articles of Organization filing fees, Registered Agent fees, and additional services, such as business name reservation fees.

Articles of Organization Filing Fee

The first step in forming an LLC in North Carolina is to file the North Carolina Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State. This document officially creates the LLC and includes essential information about the business, such as its name, address, and Registered Agent.

This document includes essential information about your LLC, such as:

  • The name of your LLC
  • The address of your LLC’s principal office
  • The name and address of your Registered Agent
  • The purpose of your LLC (optional in some states)

You can typically file the Articles of Organization online, by mail, or in person. A filing fee is associated with this process, which costs around $125. You can also file by mailing it to North Carolina Secretary of State, which is located at The Secretary of State, Business Registration Division, P.O. Box 29622, Raleigh, NC 27626.

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Registered Agent Fee

An LLC in North Carolina must designate a Registered Agent who will be responsible for receiving legal and government documents on behalf of the business. You can act as your own Registered Agent or appoint someone you know. Professional Registered Agent in North Carolina typically charge an annual fee ranging from $50 – $150.

In North Carolina, your Registered Agent must:

  • Be a resident of North Carolina or a business entity authorized to do business in the state.
  • Have a physical address in North Carolina (P.O. boxes are not acceptable)

Choosing a reliable and responsible Registered Agent is essential, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can seriously affect your business.

We reviewed some of the Best Registered Agent Services in North Carolina and provided features as an add-on with their packages for you to check out.

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Business Name Reservation Fee

If you have a specific business name in mind and want to ensure it is available when you are ready to file your Articles of Organization, you can reserve the business name with the North Carolina Secretary of State.

In North Carolina, your LLC name must:

  • Include the words “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.
  • Not contain any words or phrases that are prohibited by state law
  • Be distinguishable from the names of other businesses registered in the state

However, if you do not wish to file your LLC right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. You must file a name reservation application in the North Carolina Secretary of State to keep the name.

The online name reservation fee is $30, while the mail name reservation fee is $30. You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for a DBA (doing business as). If you have decided to file for a DBA, you can file it in two methods, by mail, and in person. However, before filing North Carolina DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA, which cost $26.

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Ongoing LLC Costs

After you know the initial costs of forming an LLC in North Carolina, you should also know the ongoing costs once you have filed for an LLC. Here are the involved costs that you need to know.

Annual Report Filing Fee

To keep your LLC in good standing, you must file Annual Report with the North Carolina Secretary of State. The Annual Report provides updated information about your LLC, such as changes in address, members, or Registered Agent.

In North Carolina, the Annual Report fee costs $200 which can be paid every 1 year (15th April every year).

Franchise Tax or Annual LLC Tax

Some states require LLCs to pay an annual franchise or LLC tax, separate from the Annual Report filing fee. Franchise tax, or annual tax, is a fee imposed by North Carolina on businesses, including LLCs and North Carolina Corporations, for the privilege of operating within their jurisdiction. This tax is separate from income taxes and is usually based on factors such as the company’s net worth, assets, capital, or a fixed dollar amount, depending on the North Carolina’s specific tax regulations.

North Carolina LLC Taxes To Be Paid

The State of North Carolina is one of those rarest states in the United States that does not levy any personal income tax on businesses. However, the business LLCs must file other taxes with the State authorities.

  • Sales Tax: A sales tax is a government-imposed tax on the sale of goods and services. It is generally added to the price of a product or service at the point of sale and paid by the consumer. The tax is collected by the retailer or service provider, who then remits the collected tax amount to the relevant government authority. In North Carolina, the sales tax rate is 4.75%.
  • State Income Tax: Considering other taxes in North Carolina, you should pay for the state income tax, with a rate of 2.50%.
  • LLC Federal Self-Employment Tax: Federal self-employment tax rates are the same across all states. Self-employment taxes are imposed on self-employed individuals or members of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership.
  • Property Tax: The property tax is fixed at 0.86% of industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural, and all other properties.

Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your North Carolina business and the location of your operations, you may need to obtain permits and business licenses in North Carolina. The costs of these licenses and permits will vary based on your specific business and location. In North Carolina, the business license ranges from $50 – $300. However, research the requirements for your LLC in North Carolina and budget for these expenses accordingly.

Optional LLC Costs

Here are the optional costs you must consider if you will form an operating agreement or hire a professional service.

Operating Agreement

Although not required by law, it is highly recommended that LLCs create an operating agreement in North Carolina. This document outlines the LLC’s ownership structure, management, and operating procedures. Hiring a business attorney to draft an operating agreement can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000, or you can use online resources and templates to create one yourself.

Professional Services

You may hire professionals such as attorneys, accountants, or business consultants to help you establish and run your North Carolina LLC. These services can provide valuable expertise and guidance but come at an additional cost. Consider the potential benefits and weigh them against the costs when hiring professional assistance.

You may check out the Best Business Attorney Services in North Carolina that offer their professional services to form your business.

Can I Set Up an LLC For Free?

It’s impossible to set up an LLC entirely for free, as state filing fees and other costs are associated with establishing an LLC. However, you can save money by handling the formation process instead of hiring a professional service. Here are some steps to help you minimize the cost of setting up an LLC:

  • Choose your LLC’s name and check for availability in your state. This can generally be done through the Secretary of State’s website.
  • Prepare and file the Articles of Organization yourself. North Carolina offer an online filing option or downloadable forms on their websites. By completing this process independently, you can avoid paying additional fees for a professional service.
  • Act as your own Registered Agent if permitted within North Carolina. It allows the business owner to serve as the Registered Agent, saving you the cost of hiring a professional registered agent service.
  • Create your own Operating Agreement using online resources and templates. Although not required in every state, an Operating Agreement is highly recommended to outline your LLC’s ownership structure and management. By drafting this document yourself, you can save on legal fees.
  • Research and apply for any required licenses and permits on your own. Depending on your business type and location, you may need specific permits or licenses. These costs can vary, but handling the application process yourself can save you the expense of hiring a professional service.

While you can’t set up an LLC for free, taking a do-it-yourself approach and minimizing the use of professional services can help you save money during the formation process. However, handling these tasks requires time and effort, and there may be additional legal or financial risks if mistakes occur.

FAQs

What is the cost of forming an LLC in North Carolina?
The cost of forming an LLC in North Carolina is $125.
Is there an annual fee for maintaining an LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, there is an annual fee of $200 for maintaining an LLC in North Carolina.
Are there any additional fees for filing with the North Carolina Secretary of State?
No, there are no additional fees for filing with the North Carolina Secretary of State.
Can I form an LLC in North Carolina online?
Yes, you can form an LLC in North Carolina online.
How long does it take to form an LLC in North Carolina?
It typically takes about 5-7 days to form an LLC in North Carolina.
Can I expedite the process of forming an LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, you can expedite the process of forming an LLC in North Carolina for an additional fee.
What is the fee for expediting the process of forming an LLC in North Carolina?
The fee for expediting the process of forming an LLC in North Carolina is $100.
What is the processing time for expedited LLC formation in North Carolina?
The processing time for expedited LLC formation in North Carolina is 24 hours.
Are there any residency requirements for forming an LLC in North Carolina?
No, there are no residency requirements for forming an LLC in North Carolina.
Can I be the only member of an LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, you can be the only member of an LLC in North Carolina.
Do I need a registered agent to form an LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, you need a registered agent to form an LLC in North Carolina.
Can I act as my own registered agent for my North Carolina LLC?
Yes, you can act as your own registered agent for your North Carolina LLC.
What is the annual fee for maintaining a registered agent for an LLC in North Carolina?
The annual fee for maintaining a registered agent for an LLC in North Carolina varies.
Can a non-US citizen form an LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, a non-US citizen can form an LLC in North Carolina.
Can an LLC in North Carolina own property?
Yes, an LLC in North Carolina can own property.
Is there a minimum membership requirement to form an LLC in North Carolina?
No, there is no minimum membership requirement to form an LLC in North Carolina.
Can an LLC in North Carolina operate in other states?
Yes, an LLC in North Carolina can operate in other states.
Do I need to file an annual report for my North Carolina LLC?
Yes, you need to file an annual report for your North Carolina LLC.
What is the fee for filing an annual report for my North Carolina LLC?
The fee for filing an annual report for your North Carolina LLC is $200.
When is the deadline for filing an annual report for my North Carolina LLC?
The deadline for filing an annual report for your North Carolina LLC is the 15th day of the fourth month after your LLC’s fiscal year-end.
Can I change my North Carolina LLC’s name after formation?
Yes, you can change your North Carolina LLC’s name after formation.
Is there a fee for changing my North Carolina LLC’s name?
Yes, there is a fee for changing your North Carolina LLC’s name.
What is the fee for changing my North Carolina LLC’s name?
The fee for changing your North Carolina LLC’s name is $50.
How long does it take to change my North Carolina LLC’s name?
It typically takes about 5-7 days to change your North Carolina LLC’s name.
Do I need a business license to operate an LLC in North Carolina?
Maybe, depending on your industry and location.
Who do I contact if I have questions about forming an LLC in North Carolina?
You can contact the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office for assistance.
Can I form an anonymous LLC in North Carolina?
No, North Carolina does not allow anonymous LLCs.
Can I form a series LLC in North Carolina?
No, North Carolina does not allow series LLCs.
Do North Carolina business records need to be kept in a physical location?
No, North Carolina business records do not need to be kept in a physical location, but they must be available upon request.
What are the filing fees for forming an LLC in North Carolina?
The filing fee for forming an LLC in North Carolina is $125 payable to the Secretary of State.
What is the cost of a registered agent for an LLC in North Carolina?
The cost of a registered agent for an LLC in North Carolina varies, usually between $100-$300 per year.
Are there any annual fees or taxes for LLCs in North Carolina?
Yes, there is an annual filing fee of $200 and a franchise tax of $0.35 per $1000 of the LLC’s net worth or property value in North Carolina.
Can I form an LLC online in North Carolina?
Yes, you can form an LLC online in North Carolina through the Secretary of State’s website.
Are there any additional fees for expedited processing of LLC formation paperwork in North Carolina?
Yes, there is a nonrefundable fee of $200 for expedited processing of LLC formation paperwork in North Carolina.
Can an LLC in North Carolina be formed by just one person?
Yes, in North Carolina, an LLC can be formed by just one person known as a sole member LLC.
Do I have to hire an attorney to form an LLC in North Carolina?
Hiring an attorney is optional; however, you may want to consult an attorney to ensure you’re following all laws and regulations governings LLC formation in North Carolina.
Can I use a PO box as my LLC’s address in North Carolina?
No, you cannot use a PO box as your LLC’s address in North Carolina; you must have a physical street address.
What kind of operating agreement do I need for an LLC in North Carolina?
The operating agreement can be simple or detailed but is not required in North Carolina. It’s ideal to include one agreement that outlines internal operations of the LLC.
Do I need to obtain a business license for my LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, depending on the type of business there are specific requirements in North Carolina to get a business license.
Does North Carolina allow a single-member to form an LLC?
Yes, North Carolina allows a single-member to create an LLC called a “single-member LLC.”
Can an LLC exist forever in North Carolina?
The LLC can exist forever if provisions surrounding termination or lack of continuity differs upon initial LLC organization and operating agreement in North Carolina.
Can an LLC expand into other states from North Carolina?
Yes, an LLC in North Carolina can expand through registering the LLC in individual states where they intend to do business and save additional fees via Foreign Qualification.
Are there any requirements for publication for LLCs in North Carolina?
No, there are no requirements by the state of North Carolina to publish a notice of your newly formed LLC.
What happens if I don’t pay the annual report fee for an LLC in North Carolina?
Failure to pay the annual report fee makes your LLC unfit and you will be notified to pay what is due throughout the month.
Can I cancel an LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, an LLC can be canceled with paperwork submitted detailing the LLC termination.
Can the LLC have an entry-level salary in North Carolina?
Yes, an LLC in North Carolina can pay outcasts, guardians, or adhere to the organization’s existing operating standards or individual agreements.
Do individual LLC regulations differ by town in North Carolina?
Towns may require zoning permits for some business operations by rezoning the property that numerous companies may not authorize meetings already established within.
Do LLCs in North Carolina require state operating or business agreements?
State requirements do not mandate particular rules for operating or maintaining a formal agreement but considered a best practice.
Are Multiple LLC holding organizations for separate entities allowed in North Carolina?
Yes, and businesses utilize this business entity strategy for overreached liabilities compacts with minimal differences.
Can I transfer my LLC operating services to someone else in North Carolina?
Yes, the operating or defining operational services can be transferable, as per initial commitment and agreement, with permission thereof as per guidelines established for a respective event.
Do I need a North Carolina address to form an LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, you must have a physical north Carolina address to form an LLC.
Can North Carolina condos locate a home business?
It is perfectly okay to operate a home business in North Carolina. However, verify with zoning regulations in force before commencing action.
Can LLCS accept various assessments for owning North Carolina materials assembled within?
Yes, LLCS possess different balances off MLS listings or the exact tax appraisal assessment of gathered wealth intrinsic to ownership.
Can an LLC in North Carolina protect personal assets from legal disputes?
Yes, an LLC in North Carolina can protect personal assets related to legal matters resulting in going insolvent for the company or its employees.
Can a stacked corporation for affiliate marketing in North Carolina be helped?
The combination of corporations would reside with the director until requisition is established between a general member liquidating correspondents within NC regulations to diffuse corporation matters.
Are there any daily requirements to maintain my LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, filing an annual report and paying an annual fee to the Secretary of state annually is vital to extend formations actively touching NC economy.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Starting Your Business LLC in North Carolina

First and foremost, establishing a solid financial plan is paramount when attempting to save money while starting your business. Outline your projected expenses and revenue streams, taking into consideration local market trends and competitors within your chosen industry. By mapping out a clear financial roadmap, you will have a better understanding of what your priorities should be and how to allocate your resources wisely.

One of the most effective ways to save money during the startup phase is to keep your overhead costs low. Office space and equipment can be significant expenses that may not be necessary in the early stages. Consider alternatives such as shared workspaces or remote work arrangements until your business gains traction and generates consistent revenue flows. Similarly, carefully evaluate your equipment needs and prioritize what is essential from the outset. Leasing equipment instead of buying it outright can also be a cost-effective option.

Furthermore, tapping into the talent pool right here in North Carolina can significantly reduce costs while still ensuring quality work. Engaging local freelancers or part-time employees provides access to skilled individuals without the added expenses of hiring a full-time workforce. Freelancers allow for affordable expertise in areas such as graphic design, social media marketing, or web development, enabling you to focus on your core business activities.

While creating outreach strategies to effectively advertise your business is essential, an investment in marketing can quickly deplete your capital. Fortunately, social media platforms offer a cost-effective solution for reaching your target audience. Utilize social media channels to connect directly with potential customers, build your brand image, and generate buzz around your products or services. By doing so, you not only minimize the financial burden of classic advertising but capitalizing on the ever-growing online market as well.

Another way to reduce costs is to maximize the resources offered by the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Economic development agencies, small business centers, and trade organizations are a tremendous wealth of knowledge and can provide assistance at little to no cost. These institutions often offer educational seminars, networking opportunities, and guidance on accessing funding or applying for grants — invaluable resources when trying to save money during the business setup phase.

Lastly, it is crucial to recognize and exploit the potential tax benefits and incentives applicable to your business in North Carolina. Familiarize yourself with the tax structure of the state, as well as any regulations or programs aimed at supporting new businesses. Understanding the intricate details of tax obligations, deductions, and credits can lead to significant savings in the long run.

In conclusion, when starting a business LLC in North Carolina, preserving your capital is essential to navigate the challenging early stages effectively. By planning ahead, optimizing resources, and leveraging the local ecosystem’s advantages, you can overcome financial hurdles and establish a solid foundation for your business’s success. Remember, every dollar saved is a step closer to transforming your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

Conclusion

Forming and maintaining an LLC in North Carolina involves various costs, including initial filing fees, ongoing annual report fees, and taxes. Understanding and planning for these costs is essential when establishing your LLC. Additionally, consider any optional expenses, such as hiring professional services or drafting an operating agreement, to ensure the success and longevity of your LLC in North Carolina.

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