North Carolina corporations: How to form and maintain your North Carolina corporation
Should you form your corporation in North Carolina? We've collected the relevant information that will help you make this decision.
- Tax rate of 4%
- Reasonable cost of living
- Among "Best States for Business" (Forbes 2016)
- Qualified workforce
- Competitive market
- Owners disclosed in periodic report
Cost of doing business
- $125 filing fee / $20 periodic report
- Owners disclosed in periodic report
Forming your corporation in North Carolina
In order to communicate to the public that your new business is incorporated, its official name will need to end with one of the following signifiers (or a relevant abbreviation): “incorporated”, “Company”, or “corporation.” In addition, it is required that the name of your business is not intentionally misleading to consumers, for any reason. Your company’s new name must also be completely unique, and not deceptively similar to any other organizations name or trademarks. There are also naming restrictions placed on using terms that are relevant to the insurance, financial, wholesaling, and engineering industries. Do a FREE name search now.
Board of directors requirements
You will need to form an official board of directors when incorporating in North Carolina. Here are the states explicit regulations regarding these directors:
- Required number of directors
North Carolina corporations must have at least one director listed in their incorporation documents.
- Age restrictions
Directors of corporations located in North Carolina can be of any age.
- Residence restrictions
There are no residence restrictions imposed on the directors of C corporations in North Carolina. However, S corporations are only allowed to have directors located in the United States.
- What information needs to be included in the Articles of Incorporation?
North Carolina does not require the names or addresses of directors to be disclosed in incorporation documents.
Requirements for the Articles of Incorporation
The Articles of Incorporation is a document that must be filed during the incorporation process in every state. Here is the information that must be included in this document when filing in North Carolina:
North Carolina requires the number of initial shares outstanding, and their par value, to be disclosed during the incorporation process. The number of outstanding shares does not affect initial state filing fees.
The state of North Carolina does not require officer information to be disclosed during the filing process.
Registered agent information
All North Carolina corporations must have a registered agent on file, and submit their name and address (which cannot be a PO box). This agent will be required to be accessible during standard business hours, and act as the state’s point of contact with the company. Learn more about registered agents.
Additional North Carolina filing requirements
If your business is a professional practice
Professional service corporations are permitted to form under the professional corporation (PC) structure.
Corporate record keeping requirements
Corporations are required to keep formal documentation regarding several of their operations. These are the explicit record keeping formalities required by North Carolina:
- A copy of the Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, and their amendments
- Alphabetical, in-depth records that detail the owners and class of all outstanding stock shares
- The business address and names of all officers and directors
- Formal, in-depth documentation of all stock related resolutions
- Meeting minutes for all shareholder and director meetings.
- A copy of all written communications with shareholders within the previous three years
- A copy of the corporation’s most recent annual report
- Formal documentation of all director and shareholder decisions, regardless of if they were made during a meeting or not.
North Carolina corporate taxation and fee requirements
There are several tax and fee requirements that must be addressed by corporations in North Carolina. They are as follows:
All states have complex taxation requirements. For more information regarding taxes in North Carolina, it is advised that you visit the state’s official business related website.
Annual report requirements
Corporations in North Carolina are required to file an annual report within 60 days of the end of its anniversary month. There is a $20 fee associated with this process. Learn more about annual reports.
Tax identification numbers
North Carolina requires an EIN (employee identification number) for all corporations that will have employees, and most banks will require one to open accounts. North Carolina does not require corporations to obtain state tax ID numbers. Learn more about EINs.
Business license requirements
The business licenses and permits required in North Carolina vary wildly depending on the county or municipality in which your new corporation is located. If you would like to see more in-depth information on licenses and permits, please feel free to visit the content in our learning library that covers business licenses and permits.
S corporation election
North Carolina does not require a state-level S corp election, as they recognize any elections held at the federal level.
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