Employment Services Industry Licensing Guide
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North Carolina Employment Agency

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Licensing requirements for North Carolina employment, staffing and talent agencies.

This page provides an overview of employment services licensing in North Carolina for individuals and agencies. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

Companies that provide employment services in North Carolina must apply for a license prior to doing business. Depending on the services offered, businesses may need to apply for more than one license type, and in some cases, an individual license will be required as well.

Company Licenses

North Carolina Employment Services Company Licenses

Companies acting as employment agencies in North Carolina must obtain the following licenses before offering employment services. Applications usually require proof of incorporation or a certificate of authority.

North Carolina Employment Agency License

Agency:North Carolina Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division
Fact Checked:3/12/18

Initial Registration

This section applies to firms that are applying for a license in North Carolina for the first time.

Form:

http://www.nclabor.com/wh/forms.htm

Agency Fee:

$500

Fact Checked:12/7/16

Registration Renewal

This section applies to firms that are already licensed in North Carolina and need to renew their license.

Form:

http://www.nclabor.com/wh/forms.htm

Agency Fee:

$500

Due:

Annually

Fact Checked:12/7/16

North Carolina Notification by Temporary Help Service

Agency:North Carolina Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division
Law:

NC Stat. § 95-47.14

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Notes:

Separate notifications must be submitted for each North Carolina location the entity maintains.

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:7/22/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Notification by Temporary Help Service

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:7/22/21

Registration Renewal

Form:

Notification by Temporary Help Service (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by the registration anniversary date.

Fact Checked:7/22/21

North Carolina Professional Employer Organization De Minimis Registration

Agency:North Carolina Department of Insurance
Law:

N.C.G.S. § 58-89A-75

Notes:

PEOs are eligible for a limited registration if they:

  • Do not maintain a physical professional employer organization office located in this State;
  • Do not employ salespersons who reside or direct their sales activities in this State;
  • Do not employ directly or in common control with another person more than 50 assigned employees in this State;
  • Do not advertise through any media outlet physically located in this State;
  • Are a licensed or registered professional employer organization in at least one other state of the United States;  and
  • Are operated by and under the control of persons of good moral character.
Fact Checked:6/11/21

Initial Registration

Form:

PEO-18 - Professional Employer Organization Initial De Minimis Registration Notification

Filing Method:

Mail or email to SpecialEntitiesSubmissions@ncdoi.gov.

Agency Fee:

$1,000

Original Ink:Not required
Required Attachments:
  • A list by jurisdiction of each name under which the applicant has operated in the preceding 5 years, including any alternative names, names of predecessors and, if known, successor business entities.
  • Form PEO-02: Biographical Affidavit for each controlling person
  • List of officers, directors and controlling persons
  • Names of all persons or entities who directly or indirectly own, control, hold with the power to vote, or hold proxies representing 10% or more of the voting securities of the applicant.
  • List of all client companies in North Carolina
  • Form PEO-04: Power Of Attorney if the applicant is a nonresident
  • For each client company listed in section 3, attach evidence of workers' compensation coverage for all assigned employees in North Carolina
  • A copy of a license or registration evidencing that the registrant is either licensed or registered as a PEO in at least one other state
  • Form PEO-17: Workers' Comp Attest
Fact Checked:6/10/21

Registration Renewal

Form:

PEO-19 - Professional Employer Organization Annual De Minimis Registration Notification

Filing Method:

Mail or email to SpecialEntitiesSubmissions@ncdoi.gov.

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by January 15.

Original Ink:Not required
Fact Checked:6/10/21

North Carolina Professional Employer Organization License

Agency:North Carolina Department of Insurance
Law:

N.C.G.S. § 58-89A-35

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Financial Requirements:

Applicants must maintain positive working capital.

Bond Requirements:

All applicants must submit a bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit of $100,000. Applicants that do not meet working capital requirements must submit an additional bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit equal to or in excess of current liabilities less current assets.

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Yes
Fact Checked:6/10/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PEO-01: Professional Employer Organization License Application

Filing Method:

Mail or email to SpecialEntitiesSubmissions@ncdoi.gov. Forms requiring notarization must be sent in the mail.

Agency Fee:

$1,000

Required Attachments:
  • A list by jurisdiction of each name under which the applicant has operated in the preceding 5 years, including any alternative names, names of predecessors and, if known, successor business entities.
  • Form PEO-02: Biographical Affidavit for each controlling person
  • List of officers, directors and controlling persons
  • Names of all persons or entities who directly or indirectly own, control, hold with the power to vote, or hold proxies representing 10% or more of the voting securities of the applicant.
  • A list of all offices located in North Carolina
  • Description of the applicant's operations in the state of North Carolina
  • List of all client companies in North Carolina
  • Surety bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit
  • Form PEO-04: Power Of Attorney if the applicant is a nonresident
  • Form PEO-05: Obligations Attestation
  • A copy of the applicant's most current audited GAAP financial statement, prepared as of a date not more than 90 days before the date of application
  • A complete set of fingerprints for each officer, director, and controlling person
  • If the applicant is organized under the laws of another state as a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company, attach a current copy of the relevant certificate or a copy of the current annual report issued by the North Carolina Secretary of State evidencing the applicant's authority to conduct business in North Carolina
  • If the applicant is organized under North Carolina law as a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company, attach a current copy of the relevant certificate or a copy of the current annual report issued by the North Carolina Secretary of State
  • For each client company listed in section 3, attach evidence of workers' compensation coverage for all assigned employees in North Carolina
  • Form PEO-17: Workers' Comp Attest
Fact Checked:6/10/21

Registration Renewal

Instructions:

Annual Filing Requirements

Agency Fee:

$1,000

Due:

Annually within 120 days after the close of the PEO's fiscal year.

Required Attachments:
  • Audited GAAP financial statement
  • Form PEO-05: Obligations Attestation
  • Form PEO-06: CEO and CFO Fin Stmt Attest
  • Any changes to information reported on the initial registration application
  • Current Surety Bond, Letter of Credit, or Current Statement of Securities
  • Current client list of all North Carolina clients serviced by the PEO
Fact Checked:6/10/21

Financial Reporting
Quarterly Report

Form:

Form PEO-05: Obligations Attestation

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 45 days after the end of each fiscal year quarter.

Notes:

Licensees must submit financial reports including GAAP financial statements and the obligation attestation form every quarter.

Fact Checked:6/25/21

Amendment
Notification of Change in Workers’ Compensation Insurance or Health Benefit Plan

Form:

Form PEO-13: Notification of Change in WC Ins or HB Plan

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

No later than 10 days after discontinuance.

Notarize:Required
Notes:

PEOs must notify the client company and the Commissioner about a discontinuance and replacement, if any, of any health plan or workers' compensation insurance coverage.

Fact Checked:6/25/21

Amendment
Notification of Change

Form:

Form PEO-10: Notification of Change

Agency Fee:

$50 if there is a change to the name of the licensee, otherwise there is no fee.

Due:

Within 30 days of a change.

Notes:

Licensees must report a change in name of licensee, change in location of licensee’s primary business office, addition of business office in NC, deletion of business office in NC, change in location of a business office in NC, addition of controlling person, deletion of controlling person, and any other material change in business structure, bankruptcy filing, any regulatory or judicial action against licensee.

Fact Checked:6/25/21

Amendment
Notification of Initiation or Termination

Form:

Form PEO-11: Notification of Initiation of Client Company or Form PEO-12: Notification of Termination of Client Company

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 30 days of initiation or termination of a client company relationship.

Notes:

Licensees must file a notification when initiating or terminating a client company relationship.

Fact Checked:6/25/21

North Carolina Professional Employer Organization License - Group

Agency:North Carolina Department of Insurance
Law:

N.C.G.S. § 58-89A-35

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Financial Requirements:

Applicants must maintain positive working capital.

Bond Requirements:

All applicants must submit a bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit of $100,000. Applicants that do not meet working capital requirements must submit an additional bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit equal to or in excess of current liabilities less current assets.

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:6/29/21

Initial Registration

Form:

Form PEO-01: Professional Employer Organization License Application

Filing Method:

Mail or email to SpecialEntitiesSubmissions@ncdoi.gov. Forms requiring notarization must be sent in the mail.

Agency Fee:

$1,000

Required Attachments:
  • A list by jurisdiction of each name under which the applicant has operated in the preceding 5 years, including any alternative names, names of predecessors and, if known, successor business entities.
  • Form PEO-02: Biographical Affidavit for each controlling person
  • List of officers, directors and controlling persons
  • Names of all persons or entities who directly or indirectly own, control, hold with the power to vote, or hold proxies representing 10% or more of the voting securities of the applicant.
  • A list of all offices located in North Carolina
  • Description of the applicant's operations in the state of North Carolina
  • List of all client companies in North Carolina
  • Surety bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit
  • Form PEO-04: Power Of Attorney if the applicant is a nonresident
  • Form PEO-05: Obligations Attestation
  • A copy of the applicant's most current audited GAAP financial statement, prepared as of a date not more than 90 days before the date of application
  • A complete set of fingerprints for each officer, director, and controlling person
  • If the applicant is organized under the laws of another state as a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company, attach a current copy of the relevant certificate or a copy of the current annual report issued by the North Carolina Secretary of State evidencing the applicant's authority to conduct business in North Carolina
  • If the applicant is organized under North Carolina law as a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company, attach a current copy of the relevant certificate or a copy of the current annual report issued by the North Carolina Secretary of State
  • For each client company listed in section 3, attach evidence of workers' compensation coverage for all assigned employees in North Carolina
  • Form PEO-17: Workers' Comp Attest
Fact Checked:6/29/21

Registration Renewal

Instructions:

Annual Filing Requirements

Agency Fee:

$1,000

Due:

Annually within 120 days after the close of the PEO's fiscal year.

Required Attachments:
  • Audited GAAP financial statement
  • Form PEO-05: Obligations Attestation
  • Form PEO-06: CEO and CFO Fin Stmt Attest
  • Any changes to information reported on the initial registration application
  • Current Surety Bond, Letter of Credit, or Current Statement of Securities
  • Current client list of all North Carolina clients serviced by the PEO
Fact Checked:6/29/21

Financial Reporting
Quarterly Report

Form:

Form PEO-05: Obligations Attestation

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 45 days after the end of each fiscal year quarter.

Notes:

Licensees must submit financial reports including GAAP financial statements and the obligation attestation form every quarter.

Fact Checked:6/29/21

Amendment
Notification of Change in Workers’ Compensation Insurance or Health Benefit Plan

Form:

Form PEO-13: Notification of Change in WC Ins or HB Plan

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

No later than 10 days after discontinuance.

Notarize:Required
Notes:

PEOs must notify the client company and the Commissioner about a discontinuance and replacement, if any, of any health plan or workers' compensation insurance coverage.

Fact Checked:6/29/21

Amendment
Notification of Change

Form:

Form PEO-10: Notification of Change

Agency Fee:

$50 if there is a change to the name of the licensee, otherwise there is no fee.

Due:

Within 30 days of a change.

Notes:

Licensees must report a change in name of licensee, change in location of licensee’s primary business office, addition of business office in NC, deletion of business office in NC, change in location of a business office in NC, addition of controlling person, deletion of controlling person, and any other material change in business structure, bankruptcy filing, any regulatory or judicial action against licensee.

Fact Checked:6/29/21

Amendment
Notification of Initiation or Termination

Form:

Form PEO-11: Notification of Initiation of Client Company or Form PEO-12: Notification of Termination of Client Company

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 30 days of initiation or termination of a client company relationship.

Notes:

Licensees must file a notification when initiating or terminating a client company relationship.

Fact Checked:6/29/21

North Carolina Talent Agency License

Agency:North Carolina Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division
Notes:

North Carolina does not have a separate talent agency license, but an employment agency license may be required.

Fact Checked:4/3/18

Initial Registration

Form:

http://www.nclabor.com/wh/forms.htm

Agency Fee:

$500

Fact Checked:12/7/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

http://www.nclabor.com/wh/forms.htm

Agency Fee:

$500

Due:

Annually

Fact Checked:12/7/16

Employee Leasing Company - Enter into leasing contracts with other businesses that require labor. The leasing company loans its workers to the lessee while still providing specified responsibilities, such as workers compensation insurance, to the employees. This includes long term (6 months or more) temporary arrangements but often excludes temporary help arrangements. Unlike professional employer organizations, employee leasing companies are contracted when an employer needs to hire staff and does not want to handle human resources responsibilities.

Employment Agency - An entity that, for compensation, procures or attempts to procure employment for a person.

Professional Employer Organization - PEOs take on the human resources role for businesses and act as a co-employer in the sense that the client company's workers are administratively employees of the PEO but functionally these employees are controlled by the client company. Unlike employee leasing companies, PEOs are contracted when an employer already has staff and does not want to handle human resources responsibilities.

Staffing Agency - An entity that procures temporary or part-time employment for a person who then works under the supervision of a worksite employer.

Talent Agency - An entity that, for compensation, procures or attempts to procure employment or placement for an artist. (Certain art forms are excluded)

American Staffing Association
Staffing, recruiting, and workforce solution industry advocacy group.

National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS)
Education and training oriented association for personnel services providers.

National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO)
Provides advocacy efforts, information, and other services to members of the employment industry.

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