North Carolina Articles of Incorporation

How to File Articles of Incorporation in North Carolina

Learn how to file Articles of Incorporation in North Carolina today using our fast, expert services and support.

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You must complete Form B-01 (Articles of Incorporation) or Form B-09 (Application for Certificate of Authority) with the North Carolina Secretary of State to form a North Carolina corporation, per General Statutes Chapter 55D. Here, we will walk you through completing your Articles of Incorporation form to register your business.

Data submitted to the Secretary of State is public information and subject to public access and disclosure laws.

How to Complete the North Carolina Articles of Incorporation Form

We’ll walk you through the registration forms and methods to file your Articles of Incorporation.

Domestic (In-State) Articles of Incorporation

Name of the corporation

  • Enter the full name of the corporation, which must include a corporate ending (corporation, company, limited, incorporated, corp., co., ltd., or inc.) per N.C.G.S. §55D-20-01.
  • Verify that the corporation’s name is distinguishable from existing names by contacting the Secretary of State by phone or email. When you find a name that works for your business, consider using our Name Reservation Service to ensure no one else takes it while you’re getting your papers in order.

Number of corporate shares

  • Note the number of corporate shares authorized for issue (minimum of one share). You should seek legal advice for questions on authorization and distribution of shares.

Identify the class of shares issued

  • Box A – select whether all shares fall in the same class.
  • Box B – select when shares are divided into different classes or series and attach a document outlining the different descriptions.

List registered agent

  • Add the name of the registered agent. The agent must be an individual residing in North Carolina, or a corporate business entity authorized to do business in the state. The entity and registered office address in NC must be the same. ZenBusiness’s Registered Agent Service can help you find a local agent for compliance needs.

Address of registered office

  • Enter the complete street address of the registered office associated with the registered agent, including the county.

Mailing address of the registered office

  • Enter a mailing address, if different from the physical address.

Principal office data

  • Box A – check and enter the phone number and physical and mailing addresses of the corporation’s principal office.
  • Box B – check if you don’t have a principal office.

Other provisions

  • Enter pertinent information about your company, like the purpose of the corporation.

Names of incorporators

  • Enter the name(s) of the incorporator(s) completing the Articles of Incorporation form. Only one incorporator is required; however, you may have more than one, if desired.

List company officers

  • Enter names, addresses, and titles of corporate officers. This section is optional.

Business email address

  • Optional. Enroll the corporation in a notification service to receive notifications when corporate documents are filed to help prevent business identity theft.

Effective date

  • Your corporation’s effective date is the filing date unless you request a later date. The incorporation date can be delayed up to 90 days.

Sign and date Articles of Incorporation

  • Finally, you must sign and date the form. The proposed corporation name goes on the first line, and you have to fill in your printed name and title of “incorporator” under your signature, or the filing will be rejected and sent back for correction.

Foreign (Out-of-State) Certificate of Authority

Before beginning, check the Secretary of State’s exception list to see if you qualify. If you’re not eligible for an exception, continue to complete Form B-09.

Name of corporation

  • Use the official name from the entity’s existing incorporation records, with full or abbreviated identifier like corp. or inc., per N.C.G.S. §55D-20.
  • If the name is unavailable, you will need an assumed name to transact business in North Carolina.

Incorporation state or country

  • Enter the state or country where the foreign entity is currently incorporated.

Date of incorporation

  • Enter date the foreign entity was incorporated.

Incorporation period of duration

  • Select perpetual or enter the expiration date of the foreign entity’s incorporation.

Principal office data

  • Box A – check and enter the phone number and physical and mailing addresses of the corporation’s principal office.
  • Box B – check if you don’t have a principal office.

Address of registered office

  • Enter the complete street address of the registered office associated with the registered agent, including the county.

Enter the mailing address of the registered office

  • Enter mailing address if different from the physical address.

List registered agent

  • Enter the name of the registered agent. The agent must be an individual residing in North Carolina, or a business entity authorized to do business in North Carolina. The entity must be located at the registered office’s North Carolina address.

List company officers

  • Enter the names, addresses, and titles of corporate officers. Attach list if necessary.

Certificate of Existence

  • Attach an original Certificate of Existence (also known in some states as a Certificate of Good Standing) from your state or country’s legal custodian of corporate records. The document must be less than six months old.

Assumed name authorization

  • Attach authorization from the board of directors, with the secretary’s certification, when using an assumed name.

Effective date

  • Your corporation’s effective date is the filing date. You can delay the date up to 90 days.

Date and sign Articles of Incorporation

Include supplemental form(s)

Consult with professionals to confirm whether additional legal and tax requirements apply to your corporation.

How to Submit Your Form

There are separate fees to file Articles of Incorporation and Certificates of Authority. Expedited service is available for additional fees:

  • 24-Hour Service during normal business hours, 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • Same-Day Service when received before 12:00 p.m. on normal business days.

North Carolina has two online methods to submit your Articles of Incorporation:

  • “Creation Wizard”: enter your data directly into the system
  • Classic Online: complete a PDF form, download the file, and upload it to the website.

Additional submission methods:

  • By Mail
  • In-Person

After you file, you’ll want to make sure you stay in good standing with the state. Use our Worry Free Compliance service to put your mind at ease and focus on what’s important. We’ll send you reminders about important compliance dates and file your annual report.

Conclusion

If all this information seems like too much to handle, don’t worry. ZenBusiness can handle incorporation for you, as well as well helping your business grow through additional services such as Worry-Free Compliance. Check out our business formation plans for more information on how to get started.

North Carolina Articles of Incorporation FAQs

  • What does it cost to incorporate in North Carolina?

    Check the North Carolina Secretary of State website to see the most current information on fees and methods of payment available.

  • How long does the incorporation process take in North Carolina?

    After receipt of the form, standard processing can take up to 10 business days.

  • Who processes the North Carolina Articles of Incorporation?

    The North Carolina Secretary of State processes Articles of Incorporation forms.

  • What North Carolina statute governs the North Carolina Articles of Incorporation?

    North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 55D, governs the formation of corporations.

  • Do I need an attorney to file the North Carolina Articles of Incorporation?

    No, but business owners may want to consult legal and tax professionals for specific business requirements.

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