How to Start a Corporation in North Carolina

by Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

To start a corporation in North Carolina, the only form you need to file is the articles of incorporation. As you prepare the form, however, you'll need to make a number of decisions that may require some additional research on your part. But once North Carolina accepts the articles, you can begin taking advantage of the protections that corporations offer, such as limits on your personal liability for business activities.

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Step 1

Choose a name for the corporation. To avoid public confusion and lawsuits by other business entities, North Carolina requires that you create a corporate name that isn’t already in use by a registered business or similar to it.

Step 2

Obtain a copy of the articles of incorporation form. The North Carolina Department of State requires the filing of the “Articles of Incorporation for Business” form in order to incorporate. You can obtain a standard form on the agency’s website.

Step 3

Answer all questions on the articles of incorporation form. The form requires a wide range of information such as the corporation’s name, the number of shares it’s authorized to issue, the name and address of a registered agent, the principal business address of the corporation, the names and addresses of incorporators and the date you want the incorporation to be effective. (See Reference 2, click on first link)

Step 4

File the articles of incorporation with the Dept. of State. In North Carolina, you can file the articles in person or by mail. The document must be signed by all incorporators and include payment for the necessary filing fee, which you can pay by check, money order or cash if filing in person. (See Reference 1, pg. 6)