How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in North Carolina?

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 21, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
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The formation of an LLC in North Carolina would depend on the Secretary of State's discretion based on the documents and compliance issues of your proposed company. You must understand how long it takes the North Carolina Secretary of State to accept and process LLC registration forms.

As a distinguished expert in Mergers and Acquisitions, I helped clients create joint organizations. Working with our panel of business experts, we've researched the North Carolina Secretary of State's website to verify and confirm the formation process.

If you're considering starting your LLC registration process but need assistance submitting the necessary papers, here's a list of the top North Carolina LLC services you can hire. They will guide you through the process and file your documents on your behalf.

Quick Summary

  • It takes 5-7 business days to form an LLC in North Carolina online and by mail.
  • The North Carolina Secretary of State offers a 24-hour expedited service for an additional $100, and a same-day processing for $200.
  • Data from the North Carolina Secretary of State's office indicates that over 75% of LLC registrations are submitted online, demonstrating a clear preference for digital services among the state's entrepreneurs.
  • To avoid potential delays, I always tell clients to review their LLC formation documents for any inaccuracies or lacking data.


What is The Fastest Way to Start an LLC in North Carolina?

Reading and turning the page of a document about LLC Processing time in North Carolina

The fastest way to start an LLC in North Carolina is filing by mail using the expedited service. The documents will be processed depending on your chosen expedited option – same-day processing or 24-hour approval time.

For same-day processing, documents should be submitted before 12 noon on a weekday.

All LLC formation papers filed after 5pm or on weekends will be processed the next business day.

Statistics from North Carolina show that approximately 50% of LLCs utilize a professional registered agent service.

LLC Processing Time in North Carolina

North Carolina offers different filing methods for LLC registration documents, each with a different LLC processing time.

Let's look at the processing time of each filing method below.

1. Expedited North Carolina LLC Processing Time By Mail (Same-day Processing + $200)

Using a laptop to file online

The North Carolina SOS provides an alternative that expedites the submission of LLC formation papers and the issuance of certified copies and certificates.

For North Carolina LLCs, the SOS provides these two expedited filing options:

  • $100 for a 24-hour turnaround
  • $200 for same-day processing

I always advise my clients to ensure that their paperwork is in order, since you'll not get a refund if you pay for expedited processing and your documents are not approved [1].

2. Non-Expedited North Carolina LLC Processing Time By Mail (5-7 business days)

Mail filing is handled in the order received and can take 5-7 business days, including postage time [2].

In my experience, most delays stem from filing the wrong form, that's why you must search the online NC Secretary of State website for the appropriate filing forms and download the ones that apply to your business type.

Once you complete the articles of organization, attach the $125 filing fee as a check or money order before mailing the paper.

Mail your documents to this address:

North Carolina Department of Revenue

Post Office Box 25000

Raleigh, NC 27640-0640

3. North Carolina LLC Processing Time Online (5-7 business days)

Shaking hands as a sign of agreement

Online filings are processed within 5 to 7 business days.

When I filed online, I simply submitted the articles of organization on the official North Carolina Secretary of State website [3].

Proceed to fill out the details of your LLC and submit it along with the $128 filing fee.

If you file online, there is a $3 convenience charge on electronic payments.

Data from the North Carolina Secretary of State's office indicates that over 75% of LLC registrations are submitted online, demonstrating a clear preference for digital services among the state's entrepreneurs.

Learn more about the cost of an LLC in North Carolina.

"Proper preparation of your filing documents can lead to a smoother and quicker LLC formation process in North Carolina."

- Jon Morgan, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

Factors Influencing The Formation Timeline Of North Carolina LLCs

Looking for a document on a drawer

The following factors are the main reasons why the LLC formation process could be delayed:

  • Documentation issues: The state will reject formation documents with incomplete or inaccurate information. You’ll receive an email detailing the reasons for rejection.
  • Volume of filings: High volume of applications may prolong the processing time, especially since the documents are manually reviewed.
  • Time of the year: Filing during peak seasons may delay the formation timeline. That’s why I always advise my clients to avoid submitting their applications during busy seasons – end or the beginning of the year.

Related articles:

FAQs

Where Can I Check the Status of My North Carolina LLC Formation During the Processing Period?

You can check the status of your North Carolina LLC formation during the processing period by visiting the Business Registration Formation website and clicking on "Online Services".

Is There a Difference in Processing Time for Domestic and Foreign LLCs in North Carolina?

There is no difference in processing time for domestic and foreign LLCs in North Carolina. The Secretary of State will process the application in the order they were received.

How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in North Carolina?

It costs $125 to start an LLC in North Carolina, which covers the Articles of Organization. Additional state fees apply.


References: 

  1. https://www.sosnc.gov/Guides/launching_a_business/expedited
  2. https://www.sosnc.gov/Guides/online_submission_Of_business_filings/choose_the_examination_method#:~:text
  3. https://www.sosnc.gov/Online_Services/Account/Sign_In?ReturnUrl=%2Fonline_services%2Fbusiness_creation

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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