Filing a Foreign Corporation or LLC in North Carolina

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Related: Get a North Carolina Registered Agent

If your company was not incorporated in North Carolina, but you wish to do business there, you need to register as a foreign entity with the state.

Known as Foreign Qualification, this process allows a company incorporated in Delaware or any other state to legally transact business in North Carolina.

Please note: information on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, requirements and costs can be changed by states at any time and Harvard Business Services cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

How to Get a Certificate of Authority in North Carolina:

The North Carolina Secretary of State requires different forms and fees depending on what type of entity you are operating.

Requirements for LLCs:

  • File an L-09:  LLC Application for Certificate of Authority
  • Fee: $250
  • A certificate of existence dated within 6 months is required. 

Requirements for Corporations:

  • Profit Corporations: Form B-09: Application for Certificate of Authority
  • Fee: $250 for Profit Corporations 
  • Non-Profit Corporations: Form N-09: Application for Certificate of Authority
  • Fee: $125 for Non-Profit
  • A certificate of existence dated within 6 months is required. 

You must also appoint and list a North Carolina Registered Agent. The Registered Agent must be maintained at all times. Harvard Business Services can provide this service at a cost of just $99/year.

Harvard Business Services can assist with your application so you don’t have to deal with the North Carolina Secretary of State directly. We do charge our own fee for this service, in addition to state fees. The exact fee can vary based upon whether your company is already filed and whether you need us to obtain additional documents to meet the state’s requirements. Please contact us for an exact quote.

How Do I Know if I Need a North Carolina Certificate of Authority?

The most common reasons to apply for Certificate of Authority if you plan to:

  • Open an office or physical location within the state
  • Hire employees who reside in the state
  • Before beginning a contract or job

Keep in mind that even if the State of North Carolina does not require a Certificate of Authority for a specific activity, a bank, vendor or another party can still require one in order to establish a relationship.

North Carolina Annual Requirements

Once you have Foreign Qualification in North Carolina, the State of North Carolina requires all LLCs and stock Corporations to submit an annual report. Nonprofits and LPs are not required to submit an annual report.

The fee for LLCs is $200 by mail ($202 online). The first report is due in the calendar year following initial registration by April 15th. 

The fee for a stock Corporations is $25 by mail (or $22.50 online). The due date for Corporation Annual report is 15th day of the 4th month after fiscal year end.  For most, the due date is April 15th, but for example, if a corporation declares a fiscal year end of September, its report due date will be January 15th.  

Please note that this annual requirement is independent from requirements you may have in Delaware or other states.

Since 1981, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has helped form 289,353 Delaware corporations and LLCs for people all over the world.

Registered Agent Service

Harvard Business Services, Inc. guarantees your annual Delaware Registered Agent Fee will remain fixed at $50 per company, per year, for the life of your company.