North Carolina Foreign LLC – Qualification and Registration


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If you already have an LLC in another state and want an LLC in NC, then starting an LLC would be somewhat different. You must register as a foreign LLC. We have here a guide on how you can qualify and register for a foreign LLC in North Carolina

Forming an North Carolina Foreign LLC

A foreign LLC does not need to be a company from another country but a business formed under the laws of another state. To start a foreign LLC in North Carolina, you need to register it with the North Carolina Secretary of State.

Step 1: Choose North Carolina Foreign LLC Name

Obtain a name reservation certificate and submit it with your foreign qualification requirements at the North Carolina Secretary of State. Your LLC’s legal name outside of North Carolina will be listed on the application, along with the name it will use in North Carolina. Take note of the requirements for naming your LLC

Check name availability at North Carolina’s business entity names and reserve your LLC name.

Step 2: Select North Carolina Foreign LLC Registered Agent

You’ll need a registered agent to form a foreign LLC in North Carolina and take note that a North Carolina registered agent must have a local address. Here are three of the best LLC services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries: 

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Step 3: File Registration of North Carolina Foreign LLC 

Fill out and submit a Foreign LLC Application for Registration form via email to [email protected] or by mail to NC Secretary of State Business Registration, P.O. Box 29622, Raleigh, North Carolina 27626-0622.

Include the following:

  • LLC’s full legal name. 
  • A fictitious name or a DBA (only if your LLC’s legal name is not available); Attach a statement of adoption of the fictitious name signed by all LLC members.
  • LLC’s principal office and mailing addresses.
  • LLC formation state and date.
  • Registered agent’s name and address in North Carolina.
  • Date when your LLC will start operations in North Carolina.
  • Credit card information on the last page of the form for the $150 application fee. 

The LLC cost in North Carolina, even for foreign LLCs will differ between online filing and by mail.

Step 4: Determine How Your North Carolina Foreign LLC is taxed

Foreign LLCs are also subjected to the North Carolina Business Privilege Tax, and they must file LLC annual reports each year.

Note that forming a foreign LLC would be good for your business as you can legally operate in a different state thus reaching a larger market and opening more opportunities for higher profit.

Steps to Filing North Carolina Foreign LLC

Time needed: 5 minutes.

To establish your foreign LLC in the State of North Carolina, you are required to register your business LLC with the Secretary of State of North Carolina. You can apply for Certificate of Authority for Limited Liability Company via online as well as offline mode. The cost of registration is $250. Once your application is approved, you will receive a Certified Copy of your registration from the Secretary of State office. We have explained the aspects you need to cover when you apply for the North Carolina Foreign Limited Liability Company.

  1. Go to the Official North Carolina Secretary of State website

    Visit the NC SOS portal on the official Secretary of State website. The portal is a one-stop solution to different business filings online. You can easily submit your business documents by creating a free account on the portal. Scroll down and select the option of ‘Online Business Services’.
    NC-sos

  2. Navigate to Online Business Services

    On the given page, select the option of ‘Navigate to Online Business Services’ present on the top section of the screen. Next, select the link of ‘Business Registration’ from the given drop-down list.
    NC-online business service

  3. Register your business

    On the Business Registration page, scroll down and select the third tab ‘Register your Business Online’. On the next page, the Sign In box appears. If you already have an account on the NC SOS portal, proceed to log in by entering your username or notary number and password. If you do not have an account, go on to read the next step to create an account on the portal.
    NC-sos register

  4. Create your account:

    To create your account, on the Sign In page, under the Sign In help box click on the ‘First Time user?’ link.
    NC-sign-in

  5. Complete the Registration Process

    On the Create a New Account page, create your username and password and proceed to fill in the other required details such as Business name, first and last name, street address, and contact details. Click on the ‘Register’ tab.

  6. File your application

    After creating your account on the portal, log in to your account using the username and password. On the user homepage, select the option to ‘Create a Business Online’ under the ‘I want to..’ section from the toolbar. Now on the online application page, proceed to fill in all the required fields with your relevant business information. Upload all the mandatory documents in the given sections.

  7. Review your application

    Before submitting your application, recheck all the information entered by you to be correct and accurate to your knowledge.

  8. Make the payment

    As the last step, proceed to the payment gateway page and make an online payment of $250.00 as the filing fee for your North Carolina Certificate of Authority Application. After you have successfully submitted your application form, you will receive a notification from the Secretary of State office acknowledging the receipt of your application.

Filing your North Carolina Certificate of Authority by Mail

You can also file your Foreign LLC Certificate of Authority Application by mail

  • Download the Application form PDF (Form L-09) on your system.
  • Read all the instructions carefully and proceed to fill in the application form.
  • You must attach the original Certificate of Existence issued by the State of Original jurisdiction, which should be less than 6 months old from the date of issuance.
  • Review all the information entered by you to be correct and accurate.
  • Issue a money order or check of $250 as the filing fee for your Foreign LLC Registration application, payable to the ‘Secretary of State’.
  • Arrange all the documents and mail it to the following address, Business Registration Division P.O. Box 29622 Raleigh, Nc 27626-0622.

After Forming North Carolina Foreign LLC

Here are added things you need to accomplish after forming your North Carolina Foreign LLC

  1. Obtain Business Licenses. Find the business licenses you’ll need using the Business License Search.
  2. File LLC annual reports and Business Privilege Tax.
  3. Pay State Taxes like sales tax; you’ll need an EIN for your LLC

It is convenient plus easy to file for the foreign LLC if you are doing it online. The steps are very easy and that’s why it’s possible to go along with the steps and form the foreign LLC in North Carolina. 

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in North Carolina

To register as a foreign LLC in North Carolina, you can file through mail or online by paying a filing fee of $250 to the North Carolina Secretary of State.

When you start up a foreign LLC in North Carolina, there are several things you need to know. In addition to registering with the state, you may also need to obtain permits and licenses. Depending on your business, you may also want to obtain a registered agent service. These services can help you avoid late penalties and keep your firm compliant. You can also check on the status of your application using Online Business Services.

To establish a foreign LLC in North Carolina, you will need to register with the Secretary of State. You can file the application by mail or online. If you file online, you will also have to pay a $3 electronic transaction fee. Typically, you will need to wait about three to five days to process your application. However, if you want an expedited service, you can pay an additional $100. This option will enable you to have your documents processed within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can choose a faster service that will cost $200.

The filing fees for a foreign LLC are $26 if you file by paper or $125 if you file online. Additionally, you will need to pay an annual report fee of $200, or $125 for nonprofit corporations and cooperative associations. You may also have to pay a certificate of good standing, which is a form that confirms that the LLC has been in operation for at least six months.

A foreign LLC must have a registered agent in North Carolina. This official must work during regular business hours and must reside in the state. You can hire an individual, or you can use a company that provides this service. It is best to have a local address for your business. An individual who lives out of the state can still be your registered agent.

Your business must also have a bank account in the state. Having a bank account is a great way to track your business expenses and expenditures. Having a credit card can also be helpful for regular purchases. Make sure you have all of the required information, including your Social Security number, EIN, and the date of birth of all of your company’s members.

There are a few factors that you will need to consider when you are deciding on a name for your foreign LLC. For example, you will need to make sure that the name meets North Carolina’s naming requirements. Other factors include whether or not it is available, and whether or not you can reserve the name for the next ten years.

If you decide to pursue an assumed name, you will need to register it with the state. Assumed names are used when a foreign company wants to legally operate under a brand name other than its original. For example, a company with many different product lines would need an assumed name to allow them to have the same brand name in multiple states. Similarly, if a foreign LLC is planning on doing business as a DBA name, it will need to register that name.

F.A.Qs

What is a foreign LLC in North Carolina?

If your LLC is formed under the laws of another state, it is referred to as a foreign LLC in North Carolina.

Do I need a foreign LLC?

Businesses incorporated outside of the state where they operate must have “foreign qualifications” issued in the other states.

What is the main difference between domestic and foreign LLC?

A domestic LLC is a company registered in North Carolina as an LLC. The entity type that has a physical presence in another state is a foreign LLC.

In Conclusion

Starting a foreign LLC in North Carolina does not require a lot of documentation or tasks. However, it is always good to seek help from a professional when it comes to running your business. Get a professional registered agent and form your foreign LLC anywhere without a hassle.

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