North Carolina Corporation Requirements

Each state has different requirements for forming a corporation. Whether you are starting a business or incorporating a business already in existence, you’ll want to understand state requirements for North Carolina incorporation.

Cost to incorporate in North Carolina

At BizFilings, we clearly outline our fees and the state fees to form a North Carolina corporation. View our pricing to incorporate as a C corporation or S corporation to plainly see:

  • BizFilings’ package prices. BizFilings offers three incorporation service packages from which you can choose.
  • State fee for standard turn-around. Our pricing clearly shows the state fee to incorporate in North Carolina with standard turn-around.
  • Expedited turn-around. You will see the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for expedited turn-around.
  • 48-hour turn-around. North Carolina has a 48-hour filing option, which is outlined in our pricing.
  • Certified copy. Our pricing also clearly displays the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for issuing a Certified Copy of the Articles of Incorporation.

Incorporate in North Carolina

Corporate Name

The name must contain either the word "Corporation," "Incorporated," "Company" or "Limited," or the abbreviation "Corp.," "Inc.," "Co." or "Ltd." Names may not contain language stating or implying the corporation is organized for purposes not permitted under North Carolina law and its Articles of Incorporation. The name must be distinguishable from the name of any domestic, foreign or nonprofit corporation, or the reserved or registered name of a limited liability company or partnership. Use of words such as "Insurance," "Mutual," "Trust," "Wholesale" and "Engineering" must be approved by the appropriate state department or agency.

Director information

The following are North Carolina’s requirements for directors of corporations:

  • Minimum number. Corporations must have one or more directors.
  • Residence requirements. North Carolina does not have a provision specifying where directors must reside.
  • Age requirements. North Carolina does not have age requirements.
  • Inclusion in the Articles of Incorporation. Director names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation.

Requirements for the Articles of Incorporation

The document required to form a corporation in North Carolina is called the Articles of Incorporation. The information required in the formation document varies by state. North Carolina's requirements include:

  • Officers. Officer names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation.
  • Stock. Authorized shares and par value must be listed in the Articles of Incorporation. An increase in the number of shares or par value does not affect initial filing fees.
  • Registered agent. Corporations must list the name and address of a registered agent with a physical address (no post office boxes) in North Carolina. The registered agent must be available during normal business hours to accept important legal and tax documents for the business.
North Carolina Registered Agent Service

Professional services businesses

North Carolina allows professionals, such as accountants, attorneys and physicians, to form a professional corporation (PC).

After forming a corporation, you must undertake certain steps on an ongoing basis to keep your business in compliance. These steps are also important in preserving the limited liability a corporation provides its owners. This guide outlines the ongoing requirements for North Carolina corporations.

Corporate records

North Carolina corporations must keep the following items with their corporate records at the principal place of business:

  • The Articles of Incorporation and any amendments
  • Bylaws, restated bylaws and any amendments
  • Minutes of director and shareholder meetings for the past three years
  • Records of actions taken by the directors or shareholders without a meeting for the past three years
  • Resolutions adopted by the directors creating one or more classes or series of shares and fixing their relative rights, preferences and limitations
  • A record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors on behalf of the corporation
  • An alphabetical list of shareholders, including their names and addresses, showing the number and class of shares held by each
  • Written communications to shareholders, including financial statements, for the past three years
  • A list of names and business addresses of current directors and officers
  • Most recent annual report

Corporate taxes and fees

The following are taxation requirements and ongoing fees for North Carolina corporations:

  • Annual report. North Carolina requires corporations to file an annual report. The due date is 60 days following the last day of the month in which the company was incorporated. The fee is $20.
  • Taxes. North Carolina has a franchise tax that is combined with the income tax return. For complete details on state taxes for North Carolina corporations, visit Business Owner's Toolkit or the State of North Carolina .
  • Federal tax identification number (EIN). An EIN is required for corporations that will have employees. Additionally, most banks require an EIN in order to open a business bank account.
  • State tax identification number. North Carolina does not require a state tax identification number.

Business licenses

Business licenses and/or permits are required for most businesses. The BizFilings Business License Application Package can help you stay on top of these requirements.

S corporation election

North Carolina recognizes the federal S corporation election and does not require a state-level S corporation election.

Additional North Carolina information

View the following additional resources BizFilings has for forming and maintaining companies in North Carolina:

State Guides

The state in which you form your company can provide certain benefits.

Please select both a state and a topic.

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