North Carolina’s top 19 LLC formation services: As a business innovator ready to initiate an LLC, teaming up with an LLC formation service is the optimal choice.
This will streamline the procedure, ensuring your business enity secures commendable standing with the North Carolina Secretary of State.
To aid your selection of the top NC LLC service, we evaluated various providers and ordered them according to their service attributes, package costs, and client assistance.
Continue reading to discover the top-ranking and most effective LLC services in North Carolina.
My Top 4 Picks for Best LLC Service in North Carolina
North Carolina LLC Guide
Once you’ve confirmed a unique name, you can get it registered during the filing process.
Next, you’ll prepare a North Carolina LLC operating agreement which outlines the organization and governance of your business.
During this setup phase, learning how to obtain an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, from the IRS is essential for future tax-related activities.
If you need assistance with these steps, there are top LLC formation services in North Carolina that can make the process smoother.
Likewise, for those who prefer not to act as their own registered agent, the best registered agent services in North Carolina are available to handle legal notifications for your LLC.
Over the course of your business operation, you may need to know how to change your registered agent or how to close and dissolve a North Carolina LLC, both of which can be managed by your North Carolina registered agent.
The Best LLC Service in North Carolina
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest is Best-In-Class: Some other LLC services maybe cheaper but those other LLC services may also sell your private data.
Northwest is a professional firm with top-quality customer support and a policy of ‘Privacy by Default’ for their clients.
1. Northwest Registered Agent (Best LLC Service for Privacy)
My top pick for LLC formation service in North Carolina is Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest provides business formations and registered agent services. Northwest has been providing LLC formation services for over 20 years.
Northwest Registered Agent Reviews
They are known for exceptional customer service and are the industry leader in registered agent services.
North Carolina LLC formations with Northwest are discounted for our readers, just $39, and you also get a year of free registered agent service.
This keeps your start-up costs low. Northwest is our top choice, and it’s an LLC service that puts customer service above all else.
Northwest RA Pros and Cons
#2 Incfile (Best Budget LLC Service)
Incfile is another LLC service that has been in business for nearly 20 years. can be a great choice if you are concerned about start-up costs.
They offer free North Carolina LLC filing and registered agent services for the first year. A “free LLC” may be good for some, but Incfile needs to make money somehow.
This can be done by upselling needed features at a lofty price.
If privacy is important to you, Northwest emphasizes customer privacy more than any other LLC service I know.
Incfile may not have as many bonus features as its competitors. Still, they offer all the essentials for an additional fee: filing an EIN and registering a DBA, filing annual reports, and others.
Incfile Pros and Cons
#3 ZenBusiness (Best New LLC Service)
Thanks to competitive technology and a dedication to affordability, ZenBusiness has one of the most affordable LLC services available.
Formations start at $0 plus the state fee. ZenBusiness provides North Carolina registered agent services at an additional cost of $199/yr.
You can choose the Pro package ($199 annually) for a flat annual fee to get business formation, and an operating agreement template.
ZenBusiness Pros and Cons
#4 LegalZoom (Best for Ongoing Legal Services)
LegalZoom is a great way to get involved with a well-known brand.
LegalZoom was founded in 2001 and has grown to offer hundreds of services. LegalZoom is more expensive than the other North Carolina LLC services listed in this guide.
LegalZoom is not the only option if you need a complete legal service. Rocket Lawyer is another option for LLC services and online legal services.
LegalZoom gets pricey after the add-ons.
LegalZoom Pros and Cons
I have a personal story to tell
In 2008 I started a business and hired an attorney to do the LLC formation paperwork. I thought it would be complicated.
I paid $600 plus a $50 state fee to the lawyer in his office. The lawyer got on his computer, entered my name, and some basic information, and then printed out several pieces of paper and said “sign here and here”.
The whole process took about 10 minutes for $600. That same lawyer today probably charges $900 for these 10 minutes of work.
After that, I have only worked with online services.
LLC Formation Lawyers in North Carolina
If your business is particularly complex, or if you don’t mind spending $100s of dollars more and want the peace of mind that comes with having an experienced business attorney to form your business entity, you could hire a lawyer instead of a formation service.
Business Attorneys in North Carolina
As I just mentioned, hiring an attorney is more expensive than using an online LLC service, but you will obtain a level of competence and experience that can only be provided by an attorney.
I evaluated a long list of North Carolina business attorneys on AVVO’s website to find the most qualified LLC formation lawyers.
From Avvo’s list of “best reviewed” business attorneys in North Carolina, these are my top five picks.
Tier 2 – Other North Carolina LLC Services
Swyft Filings was launched in 2012 and are one of the latest services for LLC formation.
Prices start at $0 + state fee. If you need an EIN and LLC operating agreement, the price is $199 + state fee. Swyft Filings charges $199/year for registered agent services.
MyCompanyWorks has a basic LLC service package that costs $79 and includes assistance with Articles of Organization, Operating Agreement assistance, an online portal to store legal documents, compliance alerts, and assistance with registering with the North Carolina Secretary of State.
They have maintained mostly positive reviews online. You will need to buy their premium package for $279 if you want a North Carolina registered agent.
Inc Authority, like Incfile, allows you to file your company formation paperwork free of charge, but each offer comes at an additional cost.
Ask the “free LLC” if they plan to sell your private information. I believe the “Free LLC” is a gimmick just to get you in the door. Yes, their filing service is “free” plus the state fee.
You will need to buy their $399 basic package if you require assistance drafting an Operating Agreement or accessing an EIN.
You will also need to buy their premium $799 package if you want to receive express processing.
Tailor Brands is a bit different than the others on my list.
Like their name says, they build brands. Tailor Brands promotes itself as a comprehensive business formation service that provides a complete list of services to entrepreneurs, including compliance and LLC formation, logo design, and branding features.
Tailor Brands offers three formation plans.
Incorporate.com offers a $99 base package that includes very few services, similar to Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom. They offer an online account and assistance in filing your Articles of Organization, and that’s nothing else.
CorpNet has been in business for over 20 years. They will file the initial LLC documents and provide compliance alerts to maintain good standing with the Secretary of State. All for $79.
MyCorporation is owned and operated by the check printing company Deluxe Corp. Their LLC formation services are like many others on our list.
They charge $133 to prepare your Operating Agreement and process your Articles of Organization. Each additional, comprehensive service comes at an additional cost.
Incorporate Fast offers North Carolina LLC formation services at a low $99 price. This includes assistance with filing documents, assistance with filing them, and an Operating Agreement template.
They offer “same-day” filings. They will process and file your documents within 24 hours of receipt.
If you can upgrade to their $199 package, you get an EIN.
BizFilings, another North Carolina LLC service provider, charges $99 for the basic package. This includes assistance in filing your limited liability company formation documents and a year of their registered agent services.
Like each of the LLC services, they have additional features for additional fees.
Similar to LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer offers online legal services. They also offer LLC services such as registering an agent, filing your formation documents, and an online document storage portal.
If you like having access to ongoing legal assistance for a fee, Rocket Lawyer might be a good fit for you.
Active Filings is another LLC formation service, they are based in Dania Beach, Florida. Active Filings has been in business since 2001 but is still a small player in this industry.
According to the company website, they have only four employees.
Direct Incorporation offers the same LLC services that MyCorporation but includes a banking resolution as well as an Employer Identification number. They charge $174 for these services.
If you need an LLC operating agreement, you need to get the next package at $297. They also offer logo design, trademarks, a business website, and email.
InCorp costs $99. plus state fees to file your Articles of Organization. Registered agent services are $129 per year.
Nationwide Incorporators offers basic LLC filing services for $200, and for $475, you get an LLC operating agreement. You get to talk to an attorney. Pricey!
SunDoc Filings has a $79 base package for filing your Articles of Organization. $70 for an EIN and $69 for an LLC operating agreement.
What is a North Carolina LLC?
A North Carolina LLC, short for limited liability company, is an entity type that combines the flexibility of a sole proprietorship with the financial protection of personal assets.
That’s not a bad thing. Let’s find out what this means.
You would operate as a sole proprietorship if you started selling handcrafted apparel out of your home. Sole proprietorships are legal entities.
This means that everything the business owns, from fabrics to sewing machines, is owned solely by the proprietor. The proprietor pays all taxes.
If the business is sued or taken to court by a third party, the owner may lose all of his or her personal property to pay the damages.
Business entities, such as LLCs, have personal asset protection. This is because the business itself is considered an independent legal entity.
The business can have assets, open a bank account, and be sued. If the business goes under, members of the company cannot lose their assets.
LLCs aren’t subject to a lot of complex requirements, unlike corporations. This makes it an attractive choice for entrepreneurs who want to keep their filings simple and still protect their assets.
Pros and cons of starting a limited liability company in North Carolina
An LLC is one of the most common types of entity in America. However, it’s not the right type of entity for everyone.
Only you know your business best and can choose the entity type most appropriate for you. Your vision is clear for the future and your products.
It’s important to understand the pros and cons of LLCs to decide if an LLC is right for your needs.
- It is easier to create and manage than a corporation
- Protection of personal assets
- A flexible tax structure can be paid as a partnership (or a corporation)
- Exclusive use of a business name within a state is prohibited
- No authority can issue stock. Therefore, capital-raising opportunities are limited.
- Some states have higher annual fees and taxes than sole proprietorships or partnerships.
- Some entrepreneurs may not be comfortable with the extra paperwork.
How to set up a North Carolina LLC on your own
You don’t need to use an LLC formation service such as LegalZoom or ZenBusiness. While these services can be very helpful, you can save money by doing it yourself.
1. Choose a company name
North Carolina LLCs need a memorable name that can give potential clients an idea of the products or services available. Names should be unique for both legal and business reasons.
2. Appoint a Registered Agent in North Carolina
As we have mentioned, every LLC requires an agent to accept service of process on its behalf. You can be your own registered agent in most states as long as there is a physical address.
However, we recommend that you appoint another person (an online service) as your agent.
3. File the Articles for Organization
Once completed and filed, this document officially forms your North Carolina business. Some important information will be required, such as your contact information, business address, signatures of your LLC members, and other details. North Carolina charges a $45 filing fee.
It’s easy to set up an LLC. However, it is the maintenance requirements that can be a little more difficult.
4. Register and pay taxes
You will need an IRS Employer Identification Number if you have employees. There are also state-specific taxes. North Carolina has graduated income taxes. Individual rates are between 5% to 6.9%, and corporate rates are between 1% to 6.5%. The Franchise Tax is the largest tax burden. Other taxes, such as sales taxes (6.5%) or miscellaneous taxes, will need to be included.
5. Get permits and licenses
North Carolina does not have a general business license, but many cities and counties do require one. You might also need to apply in order for an industry license.
6. Create a North Carolina LLC Operating Agreement
Even single-member LLCs need to create a master document that outlines how the business will function in the future.
7. Get your annual report.
North Carolina’ annual report is a companion to the annual franchise tax. You will file your North Carolina annual report with the Department of Finance and Administration and not with the Secretary of State. A minimum tax is $150 per year.
8. Get business insurance
All businesses with employees need to have workers’ compensation insurance. A general business liability policy may be an option.
9. Open a bank account for your business
Register for a bank account in your business name to write checks and make business purchases
Our Selection Method
This is how I found the best LLC service in North Carolina.
I formed an LLC a few years ago and did a lot of research before doing so. Because I have spent so much time on this subject, I believe I am very capable of finding and recommending the best LLC formation services. I also recommend using a registered agent service rather than being your own.
How did I research and choose the best LLC service in North Carolina?
My research approach included these four steps to select the best North Carolina LLC formation service.
Step 1: Reviews
I began by analyzing the reviews of online customers for the top 19 LLC services in North Carolina.
I spent many nights scrolling through the customer feedback on Trustpilot and Google Business Profiles (among other review websites) to discover which LLC services were new, which seemed questionable, and which were legitimate.
Step 2: Website Analysis
Once I had a good idea of who I could trust, I could go to their websites and see exactly what they offered.
To find out who offered what products or business services, I looked through pricing pages and looked at detailed breakdowns.
Step 3: Talking with real customers
Online customer reviews are only one way to learn. To truly understand the experience of using a service, it is important to talk to the people who use it.
I sought out the opinions of customers who I had recommended to me over the years in order to get a clear understanding of North Carolina LLC services. I wanted to know how easy the system was, how helpful and polite their support staff is, and how fast they process applications.
This direct feedback from customers helped me to see which promises were fakes and which were legitimate.
Step 4: Talking with their Sales Team
The last step was to talk to their sales team to find out how difficult they were with upsells.
I asked several questions that a first-timer would. Then I waited to see how many times I was encouraged to get additional services.
My Testing and Rating Criteria for North Carolina LLC Services
While I was completing my investigative analysis, I was constantly evaluating these LLC formation services on the basis of these four aspects.
1: Features and Services
There are many steps involved in starting an LLC. If you have read at least half of the above, you will know this. Fill out and file your Articles of Organization. You will need an EIN to open bank accounts. Choose a premium registered agent in to get an address in North Carolina. And a lot more.
To ensure you get as many completed projects as possible when you invest your money, I first assessed each LLC formation company on the business and product services they offer.
I checked if they charge extra for a lot of pricey add-ons that are not mentioned at first. I liked the very clear services and upfront with everything. The best value LLC formation services rose to the top.
3: Ease of use
It’s a good idea to sign up for a business formation service that offers a variety of products at a reasonable price without any trouble navigating their system.
I created an account with each North Carolina LLC formation service and attempted to register my fictional LLC. This was to ensure that all the systems were easy to use and simple to navigate.
4: Customer service
I was not satisfied with my customer service experiences after the recent corporate trend to outsource customer support to unaffiliated phone centers. These representatives know little about the service they are supporting and the laws and regulations that it is subject to.
I did my best to test their customer service teams to determine the quality of their business formation services. I sent them polite questions, called them to inquire about obvious information, and jumped onto their online chat portals. I also complained about inappropriate things. I wanted to know how they dealt with my comments and requests and how fast it took for them to reply.
Conclusion: My Findings for the Best North Carolina LLC Service
My investigative analysis resulted in my picking Northwest Registered Agent as the best LLC service for North Carolina.
What should entrepreneurs in North Carolina consider when choosing between LLC formation services to ensure a smooth and compliant business setup?
Launching a small business in North Carolina is an exciting venture, but one that comes with its own set of complexities. The foremost step is often selecting the right entity type, usually a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for most small businesses. This business structure is a popular choice for its tax benefits and limited liability features. Here’s how to go about picking a top-rated LLC service to assist you.
Firstly, take note of customer reviews that highlight the professional services offered. These can give you a comprehensive understanding of what to expect. An excellent LLC service will facilitate online formation for greater ease, assisting you throughout the business registration process.
North Carolina has its own set of state requirements, so make sure the service is well-versed in local regulations. You’ll need to file Articles of Organization to officially incorporate your business. Your chosen LLC service should handle these company filings and offer a range of LLC packages tailored to meet these state-specific needs.
The provision of a Registered Agent is critical for compliance with state laws. A good LLC service will provide you with one, and also assist with obtaining any necessary business licenses and crafting a solid Operating Agreement to establish corporate governance norms within your company.
Financial considerations are paramount. Check the pricing plans and look for any hidden filing fees. The LLC service should also guide you in obtaining a Business Tax ID (EIN), or Employer Identification Number, which is essential for federal taxation and to open a business bank account.
In terms of legal compliance, you want an LLC service that’s a one-stop solution—offering not just state filings, but also federal tax guidance. The turnaround time can be a deciding factor if you’re keen on a speedy business startup.
Added perks like a company seal, business consulting, and ongoing support from experienced business advisors can be invaluable for business planning. Look for a comprehensive formation package that includes support for annual reports and other document filing needs.
So, when considering Sole Proprietorship vs LLC, and pondering the best ways to set up a business in North Carolina, remember that the right LLC service will make the formation process straightforward, ensuring you meet all legal requirements while also offering valuable support for your entrepreneurial journey.
How can I establish an LLC in North Carolina, and what role does an LLC formation service in North Carolina play in this process?
Creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in North Carolina involves adhering to state regulations and business authorities, and an LLC formation service in North Carolina can greatly simplify this process.
The North Carolina Secretary of State oversees LLC registrations in the state, and it all starts with the preparation and submission of the articles of organization.
An LLC formation service serves as a valuable partner, helping you navigate the complexities of compliance and the necessary paperwork for LLC formation.
The service often provides a comprehensive formation package, encompassing essential aspects such as drafting an operating agreement, selecting a suitable business name and address, and offering business tax consultation.
Some packages may even offer additional features like a trial of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.
One critical feature of an LLC formation service is the provision of a registered agent service.
This service designates an entity to receive important legal and official documents on behalf of the LLC. It ensures that you’re promptly informed about legal matters that concern your business.
Furthermore, certain packages may include valuable benefits like obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and a Certificate of Good Standing.
The former is crucial for tax purposes, while the latter confirms that your LLC is in good standing with the state.
A standout aspect of many LLC formation services is their dedication to customer support service. These services often feature Corporate Guides who are experienced professionals offering assistance throughout the formation process.
They not only help with the technical aspects but also provide business advice that proves invaluable in managing your LLC effectively.
For those seeking more comprehensive assistance, some services offer premium plans. These plans might include personalized support services with a personal account manager.
This manager acts as your point of contact, aiding in overcoming challenges during your business journey and providing guidance.
It’s important to note that while some online legal services offer LLC formation as an auxiliary service, they may lack the comprehensive support provided by dedicated LLC formation services.
These online legal services may focus more on backend operations and documentation without offering the same level of personalized guidance.
When exploring options for LLC formation in North Carolina, carefully evaluating each service’s offerings, pricing, ease of use, and customer support service is crucial.
Reading online customer reviews, analyzing service websites, and directly engaging with sales teams can help you make an informed choice. Ultimately, selecting the right LLC formation service can streamline the process of establishing your business while ensuring compliance with the state’s requirements.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: email@example.com