How do I organize a business in North Carolina?

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Organizing a business in North Carolina typically involves the following steps:

  1. Choose a business structure: The first step in organizing a business is to choose a legal structure. North Carolina recognizes several business structures, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consult with an attorney or accountant to determine which one is best for your business.
  2. Choose a business name: Your business name must be unique and not already in use by another business in North Carolina. You can check the availability of a business name on the North Carolina Secretary of State website.
  3. Register your business: Depending on the business structure you choose, you may need to register your business with the North Carolina Secretary of State. For example, LLCs and corporations must file Articles of Organization or Incorporation with the Secretary of State. You can file the necessary paperwork online or by mail.
  4. Obtain business licenses and permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain licenses and permits from state or local authorities.
  5. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN): If you plan to hire employees, you will need to obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can apply for an EIN online.
  6. Register for state taxes: Depending on your business activities, you may need to register for state taxes with the North Carolina Department of Revenue. This may include sales tax, income tax, and other taxes.
  7. Obtain business insurance: It’s important to obtain insurance to protect your business from liability and other risks. Depending on your business activities, you may need to obtain general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and other types of insurance.

You can organize a business online with the North Carolina Secretary of State.

The Assumed Business Name Act in the North Carolina General Statutes governs the requirements of filing a certificate of assumed name.

You can file a certificate of Assumed Name in Wake County with the Wake County Register of Deeds.

It’s important to consult with an attorney or accountant to ensure that you are complying with all the legal requirements for organizing a business in North Carolina.

Will Blackton is a business lawyer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can reach Will at or (919) 636-5979.

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