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Register a Foreign Businessin North Carolina

A Certificate of Authority is the legal authorization which a foreign entity must obtain in order to be able to conduct its affairs in this state.

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Activities Not Considered "Transacting Business" in North Carolina

An entity may not have to file an application for Certificate of Authority if they qualify for one or more exceptions for filing.

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Requirements for Registration

If the entity does not qualify for an exception, the business entity must complete and submit one executed original application for a Certificate of Authority, specific to its entity type, to the NC Department of the Secretary of State Business Registration Division.

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Preparing and Submitting the Documents

Documents are submitted to the Secretary of State's Office electronically, by mail or courier, and at the Secretary of State's Office.

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What's Next?

North Carolina law may require the company to register with other agencies in North Carolina.

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Maintaining Registration

Each entity has statutory requirements in order to keep the company current and active on the records of the Secretary of State's Office

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Resources for Starting a Business

North Carolina does not have a One-Stop-Shop to register across state agencies for all types of licenses. You will need to contact Federal, State, and Local agencies for their requirements depending upon your type of business, whether you will have employees, or determining tax implications of your decisions. Below are links to agencies which may assist in your research and planning to launch a new business.
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