What kind of services does the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State provide?
The Department of the Secretary of State works with the private and public sectors to help strengthen North Carolina’s economy. There are many divisions within the Department.
- The Authentication Section authenticates documents, such as adoption papers and other documents to be used overseas.
- The Certification and Filing Division provides services such as trademarks, lobbyist registration, notary public and the recording of financial loans and liens .
- The Business Registration Division handles the creation of new companies and maintains corporate documents.
- The Office of International Services serves as a point of contact for International visitors and other governmental agencies on non-commercial matters.
- The Publications Division publishes the N.C. Manual, the Directory of State and County Officials of N.C. and other materials, and acts as the custodian for the original 1868 N.C. Constitution and the Book of Oaths. This division is also responsible for the filing of non-commercial international agreements.
- The Securities Division regulates investment advising, the selling of stocks and bonds and loan broker registration.
- The Solicitation Licensing Section oversees charitable solicitation and fundraising contributions.
How do I contact the Department of the Secretary of State and the Office of International Services?
N.C. Department of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
What other North Carolina agencies engage in international work?
- North Carolina Department of Commerce, International Trade Division provides business recruitment and export promotion assistance, foreign trade zone information and promotions, statistics on NC exports and other economic data.
- North Carolina Department of Agriculture, International Trade Division helps bridge the gap between international buyers and North Carolina suppliers of agricultural commodities, value-added foods, seafood and aquacultural products, and forest products.
- North Carolina Center for International Understanding (NCCIU) offers various exchanges between North Carolina and communities abroad including educational programs for North Carolina teachers and administrators.
Where can I get help starting a business?
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides information on starting, financing, and expanding your business.
- U.S. Business Advisor, U.S. Small Business Administration. This SBA-sponsored site provides businesses with one-stop access to federal government, information, services, and transactions.
- Small Business and Technology Development Center, International Business Development helps businesses explore, identify, and enter overseas markets through research and business counseling.
- The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a nationwide nonprofit association offering free business counseling and low-cost workshops for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Where can I find information on business loans?
- Self-Help Credit Union is a community development lender serving homebuyers, small businesses and nonprofits across North Carolina.
- Capital Opportunities for Small Businesses Guide is a comprehensive source of loan and funding opportunities for small businesses in North Carolina. Published by the Small Business and Technology Development Center.
Who do I contact for legal assistance?
The NC Bar Association has a free referral service. They only refer people to lawyers who guarantee a set fee for the 1st meeting. Here’s how to get in touch with them:
NC Bar Association
P.O. Box 3688
Cary, NC 27519
8000 Weston Parkway
Cary, NC 27513
In state: 1-800-662-7660
Out of state: 919-677-8574
Raleigh area: 919-677-8574
Who do I contact for information about federal and state taxes?
If I am not eligible for a social security number, what do I use in place of it?
For information on what to use in place of a social security number, you should contact the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Who should I contact if I’m interested in importing goods into North Carolina?
The U.S. Customs Service does not require an importer to have a license or permit. Other agencies may, however, require a permit, license, or other certification, depending on the commodity. All items and merchandise coming into the U.S. must clear through customs and are subject to a customs duty unless specifically exempt by law. Clearance involves a number of steps, including entry, inspection, valuation, appraisement, and liquidation. You should contact the organizations listed below, as appropriate.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Contains foreign language documents and an Information Guide for the International Community where foreign government officials, embassy officials, and importers can obtain information about FDA's international functions.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Foreign Trade Zones in North Carolina – Find out more about what foreign trade zones are and how international traders can benefit from the 6 FTZs in North Carolina.
Who should I contact if I’m interested in exporting goods from North Carolina?
- United States Trade Goverment – International Trade Administration site is a one-stop shop for export assistance matters.
- U.S. Dept of Commerce, International Trade Administration
- Carolinas U.S. Export Assistance Center
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- N.C. Department of Commerce, International Trade Division
- The NAFTA Center (North American Free Trade Agreement)
Where can I get information about a work visa or a visa extension for non-U.S. citizens?
- Visa Services – U.S. State Department link with visa services both here and abroad.
Who do I contact about employment authorization documents for non-U.S. citizens or employer-related immigration matters?
Who do I contact about obtaining a new passport, passport renewal, or a lost or stolen passport?
What do I need to know before traveling abroad?
There is a great deal of information available on the internet relevant to foreign travel. The internet sites listed below are only some of those that may be of help to you.
- Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheet
- CIA World Factbook
- Background Information on Countries of the World - Background Notes provide information on geographic entities and international organizations and are updated periodically by the U.S. State Department.
- Department of State Country Offices Link
- Links to U.S. Embassies and Consulates Worldwide
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Information Private Companies Which Offer Medical Assistance to Travelers:
- MEDEX Assistance
- International SOS
What other international resources are available to me in North Carolina?
There are numerous international resources available in North Carolina. The list below will give you a start on some of them.
- Charlotte’s International Resources is an international resources site sponsored by the Mayor’s International Cabinet and organized by statewide, regional, national, and worldwide links.
- NC Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce
- Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce
- French-American Chamber of Commerce in Charlotte
- Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Foreign Consulates in N.C. – Foreign consuls represent their own countries’ interests in North Carolina. Consuls often provide services such as trade promotion, citizen protection, and document issuance on behalf of their citizens living, working, or visiting North Carolina.
For a list of foreign consulates in North Carolina:
- International Focus, Inc. - Promotes an awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultures in this area. International Focus presents the annual International Festival in Raleigh.