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Incorporate in North Carolina

Form your LLC, C corp or S corporation in NC in 5 minutes or less with our easy 3-step business incorporation services

When deciding to form a business in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem or elsewhere in North Carolina, you should review and evaluate the most recent state laws and regulations that apply to your specific company and, most importantly, seek the advice of a qualified professional who has experience with North Carolina corporations like yours. You may want to consider information that could help you determine whether forming a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) in North Carolina is right for you.

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Benefits of Incorporating in North Carolina

Asset Protection

Business owners who incorporate in North Carolina experience the peace of mind derived from the limited liability protection a corporation provides. North Carolina corporations can protect your personal assets, since they cannot be used to satisfy debts and liabilities of the corporation. A corporation's limited liability protection also shields its shareholders from any claims arising from lawsuits.

A North Carolina corporation's board of directors and officers enjoy the same limited liability protection as do the corporation's shareholders.

Tax Reduction

Unless you elect to have a special “pass through” tax status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing an IRS Form 2553, your North Carolina corporation will enable you to shelter and retain more income since a corporation files tax returns and pays its income taxes (at generally lower tax rates than do individuals) while the individual shareholders report and pay personal income taxes only on monies paid them by the corporation. Although shareholders are required to pay taxes on income from dividends paid by the corporation even though income taxes were previously paid by the corporation (called “double taxation”), a North Carolina C corporation can facilitate the accumulation of earnings.

Capital Acquisition

Forming a corporation in North Carolina should make it easier to get additional capital than it would be with some of the other types of businesses. You can issue and sell stock or a variety of other financial instruments as evidence of interest in the corporation and ownership in North Carolina corporations can be easily transferred through the issuance or transfer of stock.

Business Management

Employees would normally prefer to work for a corporation rather than a proprietorship or partnership and a North Carolina corporation has the advantage of being able to attract, motivate and retain quality employees by offering stock option and bonus plans.

Owner Benefits

North Carolina corporation owners working in the business are employees and are therefore eligible for certain fringe benefits such as group insurance plans, retirement and profit sharing plans, and tax-favored stock option and bonus plans. In addition, the corporation allows owners to reduce self-employment taxes.

A North Carolina corporation is a separate legal entity and, in a sense, immortal and perpetual since it does not end with the death of a shareholder owner as do some of the other business types.

Which North Carolina Business Entity Type is Best?

If you're a small business owner who has chosen to incorporate in North Carolina, you may struggle in deciding which type of incorporation is best. At MaxFilings, we hope to clearly distinguish the advantages and disadvantages of starting an LLC vs. a corporation, whether to classify your business as an S Corp or C Corp, and give you a better idea of which option will provide the best results for your continued financial and operational success.

C Corp
S Corp
Limits personal liability
Ownership structure Unlimited owners Unlimited shareholders No more than 100 shareholders (US citizens or resident aliens only)
All business income/loss passed through to owners each year
Owners pay personal income tax on profits
Business must pay corporate income tax
Recognized outside of the US
Flexible management structure
Annual Meeting Requirement

North Carolina Business Formation Compliance Requirements

Corporation Name

A North Carolina corporation's name must contain the word "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or an abbreviation thereof. The name must be distinguishable from any other business entities' names registered or reserved in accordance with North Carolina law. The name cannot contain anything that states or implies the corporation is organized for a purpose other than that permitted by North Carolina law and its articles of incorporation.

Board of Directors

A North Carolina corporation's board of directors shall consist of one or more persons with the number specified in, or fixed in accordance with, the articles of incorporation or bylaws. Directors do not have to be residents of North Carolina or shareholders of the corporation unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws so prescribe. There are no eligibility requirements for board members other than as may be set forth in the corporation's articles of incorporation or bylaws.

Corporation Officers

A North Carolina corporation has the officers described in its bylaws or appointed by the board of directors in accordance with its bylaws. A duly appointed officer may appoint other officers or assistant officers as may be authorized by the corporation's board of directors or its bylaws. A secretary or assistant secretary, or one or more other officers designated by the corporation's board of directors or its bylaws, shall have the responsibility and authority to maintain and authenticate the corporation's records. The same person may simultaneously hold more than one office.

Shareholders' and Directors' Meetings

Annual shareholders' meetings shall be held at the times stated in, or fixed in accordance with, the bylaws. Directors are elected at the first annual shareholders' meeting and at each annual meeting thereafter unless their terms are staggered in accordance with North Carolina law. The corporation's board of directors or the person or persons authorized to do so by its articles of incorporation or bylaws may call special shareholders' meetings. In the case of a non-public corporation, holders of at least 10 % of the votes entitled to be cast on an issue may also demand a special shareholders' meeting as prescribed under North Carolina law.

Shareholders' meetings may be held in or out of North Carolina at the place stated in, or fixed in accordance with, the bylaws. If no place is stated in, or fixed in accordance with, the bylaws, shareholders' meetings shall be held at the corporation's principal office.

Regular or special meetings of a North Carolina corporation's board of directors may be held in or out of North Carolina. Unless the corporation's bylaws provide otherwise, special directors' meetings may be called by the president or any two directors.


See the North Carolina Department of Revenue website.

*For complete and current information concerning North Carolina corporations, visit the state's official website. The information listed above is not an attempt to present all you need to know when forming a corporation in North Carolina but rather to call your attention to some basic information and requirements you may want to know as you submit information to form your corporation or LLC.

Why Incorporate with MaxFilings?

MaxFilings is committed to helping business owners just like you. Here are a few reasons why MaxFilings stands out as the resource of choice when forming a North Carolina corporation:

  • Competitive, Transparent Pricing. There's never any obligation to order and there's no charge for saving your information – you only pay your incorporation fees when you're ready to order. View our competitive pricing - it includes all state fees and other charges, so you'll have no surprises later.

  • Convenience & Ease of Use. MaxFilings helps you get organized in an orderly way and you set the pace – you can save all your incorporation information in one handy spot online and make changes anytime until you're ready to incorporate…or you can order your incorporation online right now!

  • Secure & Confidential. As a MaxFilings user, you can rest easy knowing that all your information is completely safe. We use industry-recognized security safeguards for storing and processing your orders, ensuring stringent data security for as long as you want to keep it with us.

  • Partner Perks. As you incorporate, you need to think about growing and promoting your new corporation. MaxFilings' online promotions partner SEO Advantage offers you expert services in PR, web development, search engine marketing, website optimization and graphic design.

Best of all, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed!

Ready to Incorporate Your Business in North Carolina?

If you're ready to form a North Carolina corporation, you can start entering your information now. You're under no obligation, and there is no charge until you actually place your order.

You did a great job and very timely indeed. - Andy Ajukwu, Virtual Post Office Inc, Maryland

FAQ About MaxFilings

Wondering what happens after you submit your incorporation order to us? Have questions about using MaxFilings to incorporate your business or form an LLC? Here you'll see basic questions about our system that can help make your experience smooth and hassle-free. FAQ About MaxFilings

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