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LLC Formation Costs and Annual Fees In North Carolina — Your Detailed Guide

When forming a business entity, it’s no secret that there are monetary obligations you must cover to maintain your operation rights within the state. With many things to keep on track, getting confused is a common dilemma. Lucky for you, our business enthusiasts will discuss all North Carolina LLC fees in this post to ease your worries and help avoid risks and penalties.

Formation Costs for a North Carolina LLC

Business Name Reservation

While it’s not required to reserve your chosen LLC name, you can file an application for registration and pay $30. This is only advisable if you’re not yet ready to submit documents and want to ensure no other business could apply for the name. 

Articles of Organization

Among all the submission you have to make to form your North Carolina LLC, your articles of organization is by far the most important of all. Without this, the secretary of state won’t recognize your business as a legal entity operating in the state. 

This document must include all basic information about your company. You can file your articles of organization online or via mail, along with a $125 filing fee. 

Operating Agreement

Although drafting operating agreements isn’t mandatory, creating one for your LLC offers various perks. This internal document serves as a guide to LLC members when faced with crucial management decisions concerning finances and ownership [1]

operating agreement

Technically, your operating agreement can be drafted by yourself without any charges involved. However, considering its relevance to running your business, our trade experts recommend consulting with legal professionals when creating this document to avoid any lapses. 

EIN Registration

For your LLC to be taxed appropriately and be recognized by the IRS, you need to request an Employer Identification Number. You may apply for an EIN online for free, but you may expect additional processing and service fees if you decide to assign this task to any formational companies. 

Business License

Like other states, a North Carolina LLC is obliged to apply for specific business licenses imposed by the state, federal, and local government. 

submitting statement

For LLCs offering professional services, you may need to check licensure requirements on your field of expertise. There are instances where you’ll also need a Certificate of Registration if you sell or provide taxable services.

Registered Agent

As long as your elected agent is of legal age, has an address within the state, and is available during working hours, they can legally receive documents on your behalf. However, neglecting this role could also result in administrative risks and penalties. Therefore, our best recommendation is to hire a professional registered agent service to ensure maximum compliance.

Foreign LLC Registration

Regardless of conditions, if you’re an out-of-state LLC, you’re still obliged to accomplish all North Carolina LLC fees. Instead of the articles of organization, you must file a Certificate of Authority along with a processing fee of  $250. 

LLC Formation Services (Optional)

If you’re confused with all the process and prefer to hand over all the legwork to the professionals, seeking LLC formation services isn’t a bad idea. Some even offer to assist you in maintaining your good standing. On top of the LLC formation cost and annual fees you will be paying, theirs service has an additional expenses that  varies from $0 – $300.

North Carolina Annual LLC State Fees

Annual Reports

Next, let’s discuss the periodic fees you’ll need to settle after your LLC has been formed. Like most states, North Carolina requires companies operating under its jurisdiction to file annual reports on or before April 15 of every year. 


This filing allows the government to confirm if your company’s information is accurate and up-to-date. You can file your annual report via mail or online with a $200 fee every time you file. 

Sales and Use Tax

There are many business-specific taxes an LLC must pay depending on the nature of their company; among those are the sales and use tax. Your business may only be imposed with this type of tax if you’re selling merchandise.

(To help you with the entire formation process, here are the best online incorporation services you should consider)


How much does an LLC cost in NC?

An LLC in NC costs $125 inclusive of the filing fee for submitting your articles of organization to the secretary of state. This calculation excludes service expenses if you decide to sign up for formation companies to do the legwork. On top of that, businesses must file annual reports every 15th of April and pay $200.

How are LLCs taxed in North Carolina?

LLCs in North Carolina are taxed as pass-through entities. This taxation condition meant that your company isn’t obliged to file corporate tax returns. Instead, all business profits and losses are reported on individual tax returns of LLC members. In addition, you’ll also have to pay specific taxes depending on the nature of your business.


While it’s a bit overwhelming to look at these North Carolina LLC fees, our business enthusiasts commend your dedication to learning before officially filing your formation documents. Now that you’re well-informed, the next step is to undergo these procedures and consistently accomplish mandatory requirements.  

For a list of LLC formation cost and annual fees in other states, you can also check the pages below: 

Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
Charles is a family man, an entrepreneur, and a writer. He is skilled in finding the balance between efficiency, affordability, and high-quality offerings when it comes to business services. He’s on a continuing mission to discover and rediscover the most popular LLC services, while sharing his most accurate assessment and review to help business owners like himself.