Best Overall Service

LegalZoom is the biggest name in the LLC formation service industry. They’ve been a prominent player in this market for years, and they advertise more than most of their competitors combined.

They also serve a very high volume of customers, so there’s no denying that LegalZoom is a popular service. In addition, LegalZoom has thousands of mostly positive customer reviews available online.

However, their pricing is acceptable but uninspiring. Their LLC formation packages are threadbare and lacking value compared to many of their competitors.

If you prioritize using the company with the largest volume of customers or the biggest brand power, LegalZoom is certainly worth a look.

Are you interested in receiving personalized customer support? If so, give Northwest Registered Agent a look. Northwest provides all of its clients with support from their Corporate Guides.

These highly trained representatives walk you through each step of the formation process, and you can contact your Guide at any time to ask questions or get advice.

Northwest’s pricing starts at $225, and that rate includes 12 months of their registered agent service.

While their competitors typically only scan the government documents they’re legally required to scan, Northwest scans all documents they receive on your behalf.

They provide solid overall value, and they also receive strong reviews from their customers, albeit in a smaller volume of feedback than ZenBusiness has to offer. If you’re looking for personalized service, Northwest is a good NC LLC service.

Who doesn’t like getting things for free? Along with ZenBusiness, IncFile is one of the only companies we’ve ever heard of that actually offers to form your North Carolina LLC at absolutely no charge, as long as you pay your own state fee.

This is a bargain, and it gets even better when you realize that IncFile is far from a barebones service. With IncFile, that free formation package we just discussed actually comes with a free year of registered agent service.

In addition, they have a positive reputation for customer feedback, as they have thousands upon thousands of reviews available online, and nearly all of them are perfect five-star scores.

The only real drawback of IncFile is that their customer support team can sometimes take a bit to get back to you. Still, it’s hard to complain about a company that offers to form your LLC for free, while still throwing in a full year of registered agent service.

What Is a North Carolina LLC?

LLCs are formal legal entities that are typically taxed similarly to sole proprietorships and general partnerships, in that the owners include any company profits or losses into their personal returns — the LLC itself does not owe income taxes.

An LLC may also elect to be taxed like a corporation, although this is not a very common option.

There are similarities to corporations too, especially when it comes to financial responsibilities. In an LLC, the owners or members are not usually personally accountable for the financial status of the business. This means that if someone sues your LLC, your personal assets are not at risk.

North Carolina does not require LLCs to create an operating agreement, although it is still strongly recommended. This document can help clear up any disagreements between your owners, and it’s also just generally convenient to have a roadmap of your LLC’s operational aspects.

The state of North Carolina has middle-of-the-road fees for LLC formations, as you’ll pay $125 for your online submission. You can pay with your bank account or credit/debit card. The state typically processes online LLC formations within 3-5 business days.

The ongoing LLC maintenance requirements in North Carolina include the annual report. It’s due by April 15 of each year, and it costs $200 to file, which is more expensive than most states’ annual reports.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Get More Information About Forming LLCs in North Carolina?

We invite you to take a look at our comprehensive guide to forming a limited liability company in North Carolina. This article walks you through the LLC formation process in this state step by step, ensuring that you don’t miss any crucial elements.

How Can I Search North Carolina’s Business Name Database?

One of the most important steps in forming a North Carolina LLC is choosing a business name. Once you come up with ideas for your name, you should search through the Secretary of State’s business search to make sure your desired name is available. For more information on conducting a business name search in North Carolina, check out our full article on the topic.

Where Can I Find the North Carolina Articles of Organization?

You can fill out the North Carolina Articles of Organization on the Secretary of State’s website.

What Are North Carolina’s Ongoing LLC Maintenance Requirements?

In North Carolina, all LLCs need to file annual reports as part of their ongoing maintenance with the state. Your report is due by April 15 of each year, and the fee is a bit pricey at $200.

Where Can I Learn More About the North Carolina LLC Licensing and Permitting Requirements?

Chances are, you’ll require at least one license or permit to operate your LLC in compliance with North Carolina state law. For more information about business licenses and more in this state, check out the state’s brief, yet effective, Licenses and Permits webpage.

How Quickly Does North Carolina Process LLC Formations?

The Secretary of State should be able to process your LLC’s formation within 3-5 business days if you file online, or 5-7 business days if you use a paper form. If you’re in a hurry, you can pay a $100 expediting fee to shorten your turnaround time to roughly 24 hours or a $200 fee for same-day service.

Which Company Provides the Best North Carolina Registered Agent Service?

If you want more details about what these companies can offer in this state, or you’d like to take a look at some other options, check out our complete guide to North Carolina registered agents.

How Can I Dissolve My North Carolina LLC?

Unfortunately, not all businesses last forever. If the time comes when you need to close your LLC’s doors, you’ll need to do so in a manner consistent with the state’s regulations. That’s why we wrote our guide to North Carolina LLC dissolutions, so you can complete the process in a compliant manner.

What if I Need to Expand a Business From Another State to North Carolina?

If your LLC already exists in another state, you don’t actually need to “form” it in North Carolina. Instead, you’ll need to foreign qualify the business in this state. This process is somewhat similar to LLC formation, but there are some crucial differences as well. Take a look at our guide to foreign qualifications in North Carolina for more information.

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