North Carolina Certificate of Authority


What is a North Carolina certificate of authority?

Companies are required to register with the North Carolina Secretary of State before doing business in North Carolina. Businesses that are incorporated in another state will typically apply for a North Carolina certificate of authority. Doing so registers the business as a foreign entity and eliminates the need to incorporate a new entity.

Operating without a certificate of authority may result in penalties or fines. In addition to the state’s requirements, licensing agencies, banks, and vendors will often request a certificate of authority.

When do I need a certificate of authority?

The most common reasons for applying for a certificate of authority include:

  • Opening an office or physical location within the foreign state
  • Hiring an employee who resides within the state
  • Before beginning a contract or a job in a new state
  • A vendor or bank’s requirements
  • Licensing authority requirements

How do I get a North Carolina certificate of authority?

To obtain your North Carolina Certificate of Authority, you will submit an Application for Certificate of Authority, along with required certificates or certified copies from your home state. You will need to appoint a registered agent in order for your filing to be approved. Be sure to follow the state’s instructions carefully, as they can reject a document for the smallest error.

For Foreign Corporations:

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division
Form:

B-09: Application of Certificate of Authority

Agency Fee:

$250

Law:

NC Gen Stat § 55-15-01

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Certificate of existence dated within 6 months.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Limited Liability Companies:

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division
Form:

L-09: Application for Certificate of Authority

Agency Fee:

$250

Law:

NC Gen Stat § 57D-7-01

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Certificate of existence dated within 6 months.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Nonprofit Corporations:

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division
Form:

N-09: Application of Certificate of Authority

Agency Fee:

$125

Law:

NC Gen Stat § 55A-15-01

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Certificate of existence dated within 6 months.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Professional Corporations:

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division
Form:

PC-01: Application for Certificate of Authority for a Foreign Professional Corporation

Agency Fee:

$250

Law:

NC Gen Stat § 55B-16

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Certificate of existence dated within 6 months.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Limited Partnerships:

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division
Form:

LP-04: Application for Registration as a Foreign Limited Partnership

Agency Fee:

$50

Law:

NC Gen Stat § 59-902

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Good standing certificate not required.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Limited Liability Partnerships:

Agency:North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division
Form:

LLP-02: Application for Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Partnership

Agency Fee:

$125

Law:

NC Gen Stat § 59-91

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Good standing certificate not required.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

What do I need from my home state?

In order to obtain a North Carolina Certificate of Authority, you must also submit:

  • Limited Liability Company: Certificate of existence dated within 6 months.
  • Corporation: Certificate of existence dated within 6 months.
  • Nonprofit Corporation: Certificate of existence dated within 6 months.

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent receives service of process and government notices on behalf of your business. When you prepare your North Carolina Certificate of Authority application, you must list a registered agent with a physical address within the state (P.O. Boxes are not allowed).

Many businesses do not have an individual or physical address in a new state. Listing our local registered agent address on your certificate of authority application meets the state’s requirements. Additionally, you get same day document scanning from our local office in all 50 states and DC. Our registered agent service is a flat rate of $99 per year, and you can easily add our service to any certificate of authority order.


What is the contact information for the state?

North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
Phone: 919-814-5400
Fax: 919-807-2039
https://www.sosnc.gov/divisions/Business_Registration

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