The Fees and Filing Requirements for Your North Carolina LLC

Depending on the specifics of your North Carolina business, you’ll be required to pay certain fees and fulfill different filing requirements. Some of these costs are payable to the North Carolina Secretary of State, while others are due to the federal or North Carolina government. We’ve summarized the most common requirements and fees here.

Note that North Carolina business licenses and permits might need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Forming an LLC in NC: Filing and Fees

When you first incorporate your business in North Carolina, you’ll need to file an LLC with the NC Secretary of State and pay a North Carolina filing fee. Here are the current fees and filing times for North Carolina:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$127 3 Weeks 4 Business Days

When you form your NC LLC through Incfile, we automatically forward this fee to the North Carolina Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork.

Some states allow you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee. You can compare state filing times and fees here, including expedited fees for North Carolina.

Getting an EIN/Tax ID for Your North Carolina LLC

Every North Carolina LLC should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). These are provided by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use them when filing taxes, opening a business bank account and paying employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS or have Incfile obtain one on your behalf.

Certificate of Authority to Operate Outside North Carolina

If you’re expanding your North Carolina LLC beyond the borders of the state, you will need a Foreign Qualification or Certificate of Authority to operate in another state. These are typically necessary if you have a physical presence, employees or banking in a different state than North Carolina. Fees and requirements for foreign qualifications depend on each state’s rules. Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for any state.

North Carolina LLC Annual Reporting and Fees

Most states need you to file an annual (or other periodic) report with their secretary of state. When you file your NC LLC Annual Report, you may need to pay a fee. Here are the annual filing requirements for North Carolina:

Learn about your ongoing North Carolina LLC filing requirements and business filing deadlines with our helpful North Carolina ongoing filing lookup tool.

Incfile can also complete and file your North Carolina Annual Report on your behalf.

North Carolina Business License Applications and Permits

Your North Carolina LLC may need certain licenses and permits to comply with specific requirements. These business permits and licenses might be issued by North Carolina, regional or federal organizations. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others have ongoing charges. Permits and licenses vary based on:

  • The industry your North Carolina LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)
  • The location of your North Carolina LLC (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Raleigh)
  • The type of business that you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

You can research these permits and licenses yourself or use Incfile’s Business License Research Package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your North Carolina LLC will need
  • The application forms you will need to file with the North Carolina, regional and federal licensing authorities

Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, North Carolina and local governments.

Create an Operating Agreement for Your North Carolina LLC

An Operating Agreement is a business document that covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.

An Operating Agreement is extremely useful for several reasons (learn about them here). If you’re interested in having your Operating Agreement created for you, Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you choose to form your North Carolina business. You can choose to make changes to the template based on your unique requirements.

Ad Hoc North Carolina Fees or Requirements for Your NC LLC

There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to meet during the life of your North Carolina LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

To Obtain a Fictitious/DBA Name for Your North Carolina LLC

If you want your NC business to trade under a different name, you can file a form with the North Carolina Secretary of State. You will need to pay a North Carolina filing fee; Incfile can file this form on your behalf.

To Change the North Carolina Registered Agent for Your NC LLC

Your North Carolina LLC needs a Registered Agent, which must be appointed when you first incorporate your LLC. You can also switch to a new NC Registered Agent later. Incfile provides a complete North Carolina Registered Agent service.

To Amend Certain Facts About Your North Carolina LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your North Carolina business when it was originally formed. Over time, these facts might change — if they do, you need to file “Articles of Amendment” with the North Carolina Secretary of State. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf.

Areas you might want to file North Carolina Articles of Amendment for include:

  • Adding, removing or changing a North Carolina LLC member or manager
  • Changing the business address of your LLC
  • Altering the stated business activities of your North Carolina LLC

To Get a Certificate of Good Standing for Your North Carolina LLC

Some organizations will request that you prove your North Carolina LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you will need a “Certificate of Good Standing” from the North Carolina Secretary of State. Incfile can obtain a certificate on your behalf.

The fees listed above detail all the charges that a standard NC LLC will be required to pay. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your North Carolina LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes, but we will cover that when we talk about taxes for NC LLCs.

FAQs About North Carolina LLC Fees

What Happens to the State Fees That I Am Charged When Forming My North Carolina LLC?

We charge you for this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the secretary of state on your behalf when forming your North Carolina business.

Do I Need to Pay an Annual Report Fee Every Year?

Usually, yes. Most states require you to file a report for your LLC every year. Some states require filing biennially (every other year), though a handful don’t require Annual Reports. You can find out more on the compliance page for your state.

Who Will I Need to Get Business Licenses and Permits from for My North Carolina LLC?

It depends on various factors including:

  • The type of business you run
  • Where you are located
  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations


That’s why our business license research package is so useful. It explores all of these areas for you and provides a comprehensive overview of exactly what your North Carolina LLC needs to be compliant.

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