How to File a North Carolina LLC Articles of Organization

The North Carolina Articles of Organization is the LLC form you fill out and file with the state to form an LLC.

Follow the steps in our How to File the North Carolina LLC Articles of Organization guide below to get started.

Or, use a professional service to form your LLC:

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Filing the North Carolina Articles of Organization is Easy!

We'll take you through three easy steps for filing the North Carolina LLC Articles of Organization.

  1. Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
  2. Fill out the Articles of Organization
  3. File the Articles of Organization

diagram showing the steps for how to file the L L C Articles of Organization

Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms

You can download and mail in your North Carolina Articles of Organization, OR you can create an account and file online. Regardless of your choice, you must download the Articles of Organization PDF and complete the applicable sections.

Get Your North Carolina Articles of Organization

Access the Articles of Organization PDF from the North Carolina Secretary of State website. This form will need to be uploaded online, mailed in, or submitted in-person to the North Carolina Secretary of State.

Download PDF

Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization

In this step, we will help you complete the North Carolina Articles of Organization form.


You will need to know the following information to complete the form:

  1. Entity Name and Address
  2. Organizers
  3. Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
  4. Effective Date

Entity Name and Address

Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.


When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:

  • meets North Carolina naming guidelines. 
  • is not already in use by another business in North Carolina. 


Follow the North Carolina Naming Guidelines:

  • Your name must contain one of the following: limited liability company, ltd. liability co., limited liability co., ltd. liability company, LLC, or L.L.C.
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • You need approval to use any of the following words in your LLC’s name: bank, banker, banking cooperative, co-op, mutual, trust, architect, architecture, architectural, certified public accountant (CPA), engineer, engineering, insurance, pharmacy, prescription drug, drug, prescription, Rx, apothecary, realtor, surveyor, survey, surveying, and wholesale.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. 


Check Name Availability:

Is your name available in North Carolina? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the North Carolina Secretary of State website.

To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in North Carolina guide. 

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.


Register Your Domain Name:

We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

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Organizers

You must list the names and addresses of everyone executing the Articles of Organization and indicate whether they are a member, an organizer, or both.

Registered Agent and Registered Office

A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your North Carolina LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office.

Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in North Carolina. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during normal business hours. Your registered office cannot be a P.O. box.

To learn more about choosing a North Carolina registered agent, read our How to Choose a North Carolina Registered Agent guide.

To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.

Effective Date 

The document will be in effect at the time of filing unless a delayed date is specified.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.

There are two ways to file your Articles of Organization:

  • Upload the form online
  • Submit a hard copy by mail or in-person
File the North Carolina Articles of Organization

Option 1: Create an account or log in with the North Carolina Secretary of State. After logging in, select “I Want To…” from the top toolbar and select “Create a Business Online” under the “Accountants & CPAs” section. Then, fill in the required fields and upload a PDF of the Articles of Organization.

File Online

- OR -

Option 2: Mail in the Articles of Organization to the North Carolina Secretary of State website or submit it in-person.

Download PDF


State Filing Cost: $125

Mail to
The Secretary of State
Business Registration Division
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626

Submit In-Person: 
2 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Turnaround Time: 5-7 business days.

Steps After Your North Carolina LLC Is Officially Formed

Once you’ve filed your Articles of Organization, you should take the following steps:

Create an Operating Agreement

A North Carolina LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.

In North Carolina, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.

Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.

Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.

Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.

You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.

Open a Business Bank Account

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.

For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.

Get Licenses and Permits

When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses or permits.

Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:

Brand Your Business

The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.

Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.

North Carolina Business Resources