Starting a Business in North Carolina Checklist

Check business name availability with the North Carolina Secretary of State

You can search online to see if your business name is available http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/csearch.aspx

The name of a North Carolina corporation must contain the word: corporation, incorporated, company, limited, or the abbreviation corp., Inc., co., or ltd.

The name of a limited liability company in North Carolina has to contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation L.L.C., LLC, or the combination “ltd. liability co.,” “limited liability co.,” or “ltd. liability company.”

North Carolina Secretary of State

Secretary of State
Corporations Division
2 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2903
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
P: (919) 807-2225
F: (919) 807-2039
corpinfo@sosnc.com

File papers to create my business

Form your business with the state. Deliver your articles of incorporation or articles of organization with the $125 fee to the Secretary of State. You have to mail or hand deliver your paperwork. The state will take about 5-7 business days to process your articles unless you pay for expedited service. Same day processing costs an additional $200 and 24 hour processing costs an additional $100.

Include the following information in your formation documents:

- Business name, address, and telephone number

- Registered agent name and address(es)

- Name and address(es) of organizers/incorporators

- Effective date of formation

- Authorized stock information (corporations only)

Incorporate in North Carolina with Northwest Registered Agent if you don’t want to file the paperwork yourself.

Corporations Division

North Carolina Secretary of State
Corporations Division
2 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2903
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
P: (919) 807-2225
F: (919) 807-2039
corpinfo@sosnc.com
http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/thepage.aspx

Register with the Department of Revenue

You need to get a business certificate from the Department of Revenue. You can apply online or mail in the Business Registration Application form. This gets you registered for North Carolina income tax withholding and sales tax.

Sales Tax:

North Carolina has a 4.75% state sales/use tax rate, plus any local taxes.

Income Tax:

North Carolina individual income tax rates range from 6% to 7.75%.

The North Carolina corporate income tax rate is 6.9%.

North Carolina corporations performing certain acts must pay state franchise tax. The taxable franchise tax is calculated using the largest of these tax bases: Capital stock, surplus and undivided profits; fifty-five percent of appraised ad valorem tax value of all tangible property in N. C.; or actual investment in tangible property in North Carolina. There is a minimum $35 tax payment due.

Income Tax Withholding:

You need to register for income tax withholding if you are going to have employees. You can register when you submit your Business Registration Application.

North Carolina
Department of Revenue

Department of Revenue
501 N Wilmington St
Raleigh NC 27604
Post Office Box 25000
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27640-0640
P: (877) 252-3052
http://www.dornc.com/business/index.html

Get a business license

There is no state business license requirement, but the Department of Commerce can help you work through license requirements. The Department of Commerce website also provides a list of occupations that require a state professional license http://www.blnc.gov/start-your-business/business-licenses-permits.

Any other registration requirements?

Certain businesses require city and/or county privilege licenses.

City of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County:

You need a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Privilege Business License to do business in the City of Charlotte. You can pay the privilege license fee online https://biztax.mecklenburgcountync.gov/Default.aspx

Wake County

There is no county license but all businesses need to establish a business tax account with the Wake County Revenue department.

City of Raleigh

You will need a city business license. You can download the application online and submit it by mail or in person. You need to pay for your license before opening your business.

City License Info

NC Department of Commerce
301 N. Wilmington Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
4344 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4344
P: (800) 228-8443

City of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County

City-County Tax Collector
Business Tax Collections Office
P.O. Box 1400
Charlotte, NC 28201-1400
P: (704) 336-7600
http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/taxcollections/businesstaxes/pages/privilegelicense.aspx

Wake County

Wake County Revenue Department
301 S. McDowell Street
Raleigh NC 27601
P: (919) 856-5400
http://www.wakegov.com/businesses/startingabusiness/Pages/default.aspx

City of Raleigh

Privilege License Division
Municipal Building
222 W. Hargett St.
P.O. Box 590
Raleigh, NC 27602
P: (919) 996-3200
http://www.raleighnc.gov/business/content/Finance/Articles/BusinessLicenses.html

Collect and Charge Sales Tax

Do I need to collect North Carolina sales tax?

If you sell, rent, or lease tangible personal property at retail (including certain digital property, operating a laundry, dry cleaning plant or similar business, or operating a hotel, motel) in North Carolina must get a Certificate of Registration.

What is the North Carolina sales tax rate?

North Carolina has a 4.75% general State rate of sales/use tax plus any local taxes.

How do I register for North Carolina?

You need to get a Certificate of Registration from the Department of Revenue. You can apply online at http://www.dornc.com/electronic/registration/index.html or mail in the Business Registration Application form. If you want to mail the paper form, you can fill it out and print it from the Department of Revenue website.

How much does a North Carolina Certificate of Registration cost?

No fee to register for sales tax.

Department of Revenue

North Carolina Department of Revenue
Mailing:
Post Office Box 25000
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27640-0640

Physical:
501 N Wilmington St
Raleigh NC 27604

1-877-252-3052

http://www.dornc.com/business/index.html