How to Set Up an LLC in North Carolina

Setting up an LLC in North Carolina


Getting ready to start a business? Congratulations! In the state of North Carolina, starting an LLC is an affordable option for business owners. Most people set up an LLC to limit the exposure of their personal assets from claims arising out of their business operations.   Our experienced attorneys will help guide you through the steps necessary to make sure you are protected.


Choosing Your LLC’s Name

Choosing your LLC’s name is an important first step in setting up your business.  You should choose a name that will catch your clients’ eyes. The name you choose must be sufficiently different from any other LLC or corporation already registered with the Secretary of State.  Additionally, your business name is required to identify itself as an LLC. The most common way to do this is by placing LLC, L.L.C., or Limited Liability Company at the end of the chosen name.


Choosing a Registered Agent

Upon setting up your LLC, you need to designate a registered agent.  Your registered agent should have a permanent address in the state of North Carolina. This individual receives legal documents on behalf of the company and notifies its members.


Filing with N.C. Secretary of State and Fees

In order to set up your LLC, you must first file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State, and will need to include the filing fee.

An attorney can help you complete the requisite paperwork and file your Articles of Organization. Once your documents are filed, the Secretary of State will take 5-7 business days to receive the status of the business entity filed articles. You will not be legally able to operate under the name until the filing has been approved and the LLC is officially registered by the Secretary of State.

  • No business should be conducted in the LLC name until you receive the registered articles.


Operating Agreement

  • Even if your LLC only has one member, it is important to set up an operating agreement.

An operating agreement lays out the ownership structure and responsibilities of each member.  Without an operating agreement, your LLC will be subject to the State’s default “one-size fits all” rules, which may not be how you would choose to manage your LLC.

Operating agreements can be very flexible and provide for what happens in many future situations including when a member wants to leave, sell, dies or divorces.   An attorney can tailor the operating agreement to fit the specific needs of your business, and make sure that your limited liability is protected.


Annual Reports

Annual Reports must be filed every year after the year of creation of your LLC. These reports are a way for the company to update information on members, ownership, and the status of the LLC, and will be available on the Secretary of State’s website for the public to view.



  • Make an appointment with the attorneys at Plyler, Long & Corigliano, LLP to let us help you set up your LLC. Contact us at 704-289-2519 today.