How to Incorporate a Business in North Carolina (NC)

There are three ways to incorporate your business in North Carolina:
  1. Hire a lawyer to do the job for you (the most expensive option)
  2. Walk in to the Secretary of State office and do it by yourself
  3. Use a professional incorporation company, like Active Filings.
When you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business in North Carolina, you’ll receive everything you need to track and maintain your company, including free expedited service, one year of registered agent service, and instant access to your online account where you can add additional services, track orders, maintenance requirements and digital notifications.
However, whatever method you choose, the section below will provide you the basic information you need to know about NC filings.

North Carolina Articles of Incorporation Requirements

The Articles of Incorporation is the formation document you file with the North Carolina Secretary of State to register your corporation with the state (LLCs file Articles of Organization). In North Carolina, you can file Articles of Incorporation by mail, fax or in person (it will take the SOS 5 to 7 days to process your filing). If you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business, we are authorized to file online with the state, and we’ll form your LLC or corporation in 1 business day.
To complete your North Carolina Articles of Incorporation, you’ll need to include the following information:
  • Company Name
    Must contain words “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company” or “limited” or an abbreviation corp., inc., co., or ltd. May not contain language stating or implying corporation is organized for purposes not permitted by the Act and its articles. Must be distinguishable from name of domestic, foreign, or non-profit corporation, or the reserved or registered name of a limited liability company or partnership.
  • Company Purpose
    List the reason for forming the corporation or the business/activity which the corporation will engage in.
  • Authorized Shares
    List the number of shares of corporate stock you are currently authorizing. Technically, this is when you “create” your stock (more can always be authorized later), and that stock will be issued to your shareholders at your first shareholder meeting.
  • Registered Agent Information
    In North Carolina, a registered agent (also known as a resident agent) is an individual or business that serves as your company’s official point of contact for lawsuits and legal notices. As part of Active Filings’ incorporation service, we include a year of registered agent service when you hire us to incorporate your business in North Carolina.
  • Names and Addresses of the Incorporators
    The incorporator is the person or company authorized to form the corporation. For example, if you hired us, we would list ourselves as the incorporator. The incorporator does not have any stake in or claim to the corporation being formed.

Director Information

* Minimum Number – One or more.

* Residence Requirements. – No provision.

* Age Requirements – None.

* Directors are not required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.

Officer Information

* The officers are not required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.

Stock Information

* No extra filing fees based on number of share or amount of par value.

Yearly Requirements

Annual Statements

* Domestic corporations and foreign corporations authorized to transact business in North Carolina must file an annual report with the Secretary of State within 60 days following the last day of the month in which the corporation was incorporated (or received a certificate of authority). Filing fee, $20.

Income Tax Rate

* Income Tax Rate – The income tax rate is 6.9% in 2000 of net income allocated and apportioned to North Carolina. Payment must be made by March 15 (15th day of 3d month) to Secretary of Revenue.

Franchise Tax Rate

* A franchise tax is also assessed. The rate is $1.50 per $1000 of issued and outstanding capital stock, surplus and undivided profits allocated to North Carolina. Minimum tax, $35.

For more information on taxes, visit

More information about incorporating in North Carolina:


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