North Carolina Annual Reporting

You did it. Your North Carolina LLC is officially up and running, ready to take on challenges, roll in the profits, and change the world.

There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in your business journey. After starting your LLC, it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and expectations. After all, as a new business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate.

But the state does too. They need to keep updated records on thousands of businesses so that they can effectively reach out with any important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.

In North Carolina, an LLC’s annual report helps keep the state’s official records updated regarding business activities within its borders. Unsure how to go about it? Never even heard of it? No worries at all. That’s why we’re here. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

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What Is the North Carolina Annual Report? Why Is It Important?

Consider an annual report the state’s yearly checkup on your LLC. It’s similar to a census in that its purpose is to collect the necessary contact and structural information about each North Carolina business.

Each state has its own annual reporting requirements, and some don’t even require them. But in most states, you’re required to submit one per year that includes your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC, you should plan on submitting an annual report.

Don’t be intimidated, but it’s not something you want to take lightly. This is how the state updates your LLC’s record with the most recent information. They need to know how to reach you with important information about your business status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.

For example, if you change your registered agent, or your current agent resigns, you’ll need to keep the state informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in North Carolina might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, being administratively dissolved.

Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. If the Secretary of State has the most updated data on record, anyone – including future clients and business partners – can find your business by performing a name search.

How Much Does the North Carolina LLC Annual Report Fee Cost?

If you’re putting together a budget for all your LLC’s costs – like formation costs, name reservation fees, and initial operating expenses – it’s important to include annual filings like this one, just so that there are no surprises.

Costs vary from state to state. Some are free while others can be several hundred dollars. North Carolina’s reports are $200 ($202 if filing online). This isn’t a negligible amount, and you’ll be paying it every year, so be sure to include it in your annual budget.

Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in North Carolina

After the state approves your Articles of Organization, your LLC is officially up and running! To keep it in compliance, you will need to file an annual report once per year by April 15th, the same as tax day. Your LLC’s first annual report is due the calendar year after your formation year. So, if you started your business on March 18, 2021, your first report would be due on April 15, 2022.

What Happens if You Don’t File?

You might be thinking, “that sounds like a pain. How bad could it be if I just fly under the radar?” The short answer: don’t try it. Failing to file your annual report can yield some serious consequences.

If April 16th rolls around and you haven’t yet filed your annual report, there’s no late fee, but this doesn’t mean there are no penalties. If you haven’t filed an annual report within 60 days of this deadline, the state may dissolve your LLC.


Required Information

We’ve laid the foundational knowledge, and now it’s time to dig into the details. When you go to file your annual report, here’s the information you’ll need to provide:

  • LLC name
  • Principal business address
  • Registered agent name and address
  • Name and address of each member or manager

That’s it! If you don’t already have this information top of mind, you can easily access it on your Articles of Organization or through the Secretary of State’s business entity search.

Filing Options

Whether you like to do business electronically or leave a paper trail, you have an option for the North Carolina annual report. The Secretary of State accepts reports online, by mail, or in person, so you can choose the route that works best for you.

Online Filing: Start by searching for your business name on this page. Find the correct one from the results and click “Annual Report.” This will take you to a page where you can find all of your prior reports or select “File Most Recent Annual Report.” You’ll be whisked away through a series of pages where you can enter or change the appropriate information. When you’re finished, enter your credit or debit card information, and you’re done.

Filing by Mail: This process begins the same way as filing online. Search for your business name and find your LLC on the list of results. When you find it, instead of choosing “Annual Report,” click on your business name and then select “Print a Pre-Populated Annual Report Form” from the top of the page. Make sure to update any new information and fill in any black spaces. Then, include a check or money order for $200 and send it to:

North Carolina Secretary of State

P.O. Box 29525

North Carolina 27626-0525

Filing In-Person: If you live in Raleigh or happen to be passing through, you can also drop it off at the physical office located at 2 South Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC, 27601-2903.

Note: If you are changing your registered agent, you must file by mail or in person because your registered agent needs to sign the form.

Does the State Send Reminders?

Reminders are always nice. They help you stay on top of your business requirements and ensure that you won’t fall out of good standing.

To help you out, the Secretary of State will send you a reminder a few months before your annual report is due. But sometimes that April 15th due date can sneak up on you, so you’ll probably want to set your own reminders closer to the actual deadline. Use a planner, your phone, a calendar, Post-It notes, or anything else that will ensure you don’t forget.


There you have it, everything you need to know about North Carolina’s reporting requirements. Follow this guide to a T and your LLC will be prepared to operate smoothly and in good standing long into the future.

And remember, if at any point it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. A good LLC service like ZenBusiness (or LegalZoom) can be a valuable resource, taking care of all the little details, so you can focus on growing your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

About Filing the North Carolina LLC Annual Report

Should I use an annual report service, hire an attorney, or prepare and file my own reports?

This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to keep track of your due dates and complete the entire report on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to prepare and file your annual reports.

You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to prepare and file your annual reports, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.

I’ve heard the most about LegalZoom. Are they the best annual report service?

LegalZoom is the most well-known of all business services companies, thanks to its long track record and extensive advertising campaigns. That said, all of that brand power comes at a cost, as LegalZoom’s pricing and features don’t always compare advantageously to its competitors. While we do appreciate LegalZoom’s annual report filing service, it isn’t our top choice.

When is my annual report due each year?

It doesn’t matter when you formed your North Carolina LLC, as each LLC in this state has the same due date of April 15 for annual reports every year.

Does North Carolina require LLCs to file initial reports?

In some states, LLCs are also required to file initial reports. These reports are typically quite similar to annual reports, with the difference being that an initial report either accompanies your formation documents or follows their filing within a couple of months.

In North Carolina, there is no initial report requirement. Instead, this state gathers all of the information it needs for your first year in business from your Articles of Organization filing.

What if I need more time to complete my annual report?

The North Carolina Secretary of State does not offer extensions for LLC annual report filings. However, this state does have a built-in grace period of two months following the April 15th deadline, and it will not dissolve your LLC for late reports until at least June 15.

Where can I find more official information about North Carolina’s LLC annual reporting requirements?

Most states provide official info regarding LLC annual reports in text form, but in North Carolina, the best place to find info straight from the state is this YouTube video entitled “How to File LLC Annual Reports Online With the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State.” It’s not going to win any Academy Awards, but this video does a good job of walking you through each possible step of the LLC annual reporting process.

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