When you’re starting a new North Carolina business, it’s important that you find the best LLC service to help with the process.
The right LLC service will have your company up and operating in a number of days, with all your crucial documentation submitted and relevant registrations completed.
The wrong LLC service will delay or prevent regular business operations by failing to properly submit the required registrations and paperwork, which might delay your company’s launch for weeks, or even months.
I’ve analyzed and selected the 11 best limited liability company (LLC) services based on a five-factor, four-stage evaluation approach. The following are the findings of my analysis on the best LLC formation services in North Carolina:
1. Northwest Registered Agent — 9.45/10 (Best Overall LLC Service)
The only LLC formation service on my list that also offers small business advice, Northwest Registered Agent gets the top rank. They check all the boxes at a terrific price.
Northwest Registered Agent has a lot to offer.
They take care of everything you need to get your LLC in North Carolina up and running.
There’s no need for you to do any of this yourself because they do it all for you, including filing necessary formation documents like your North Carolina Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State, providing free registered agent service and a registered office address for the first year, and a simple online dashboard for you to access and manage important business documents.
A free accounting consultation, an operating agreement form template, and a free 90-day trial of their Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service are all included, as well. A Certificate of Good Standing, employer identification number (EIN), or even a state-certified copy of your various North Carolina LLC documents (such as your North Carolina LLC Articles of Organization) may be purchased for additional fees, should you require them.
But Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guides are what sets them apart from the other North Carolina LLC formation services on my list.
Rather than supplying a customer service team of inexperienced agents, they provide a team of former accountants, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and small business owners available to answer any questions you may have regarding the LLC formation process and managing your new business in North Carolina.
These professionals have either started and grown their own LLCs or worked independently as LLC advisors and helped hundreds of people go through the same process of starting and expanding their North Carolina businesses.
Since other small business counseling services may charge as much as $5,000 per day, this is a major perk—especially since they’re the only LLC formation service to offer it.
Their pricing is the last reason they’re at the top of my list.
The typical price of $225 is a great bargain, but I’ve been able to get a discount for BoostSuite readers (sending thousands of recommendations gives us leverage that’s not available to the average person). There is an 82% discount for signing up via my special sign-up page, which means the total cost of your LLC formation is only $39 (plus state fee).
They’re a wonderful deal at $225, but at an 82% discount, they’re a no-brainer for the top spot.
They don’t provide any services to assist you with building an online presence, which is their only drawback. Website setup is included in certain premium packages (often $299 or more) of other formation services and they include things like domain name registration, website hosting, Google advertising credits, and even a free website builder for those who want to create their own site. None of these are offered by Northwest.
When you consider that Google provides any new business with a $500 advertising credit, domain names cost less than $12 to register, and premium website builders like Squarespace cost as low as $15/month, you can afford to buy those add-ons using the money you save with Northwest Registered Agent and still come out ahead.
Northwest is my choice for the best LLC service in North Carolina because, in addition to offering the basics for forming an LLC, they also offer free registered agent service for a year, providing a US-based customer support staff comprising individuals who have formed an LLC and can guide you through all the obstacles you’ll inevitably face.
If you want an 82% discount on the best LLC formation service, one that goes above and beyond to help your limited liability company succeed, visit Northwest Registered Agent today.
2. Harbor Compliance — 7.45/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance is ranked #2 on my list because they provide a personal account manager to ensure that all your inquiries and issues are addressed, but they charge a lot for it.
Harbor Compliance’s LLC formation service includes all the essentials.
They check the availability status of your business name, prepare and file your formation documents (like your Articles of Organization) with the North Carolina Secretary of State, provide a free operating agreement template, assist with obtaining an EIN, and even give you a free year of registered agent services (worth $99/year).
The true benefit of Harbor Compliance is that you receive a personal guide to help you on your journey.
You don’t have to contact customer service or send an anonymous email. You can contact your personal Harbor Compliance representative, who is familiar with your circumstances and issues and can give appropriate guidance tailored to your specific needs.
The disadvantage of this service is that it’s expensive.
They’re roughly twice as much as Northwest Registered Agent’s standard charge, and 10 times the cost of the unique offer I’ve negotiated with Northwest. Harbor Compliance charges $399 for their formation package and $799 for their “compliance” package.
While having a personal guide to help you through the LLC formation process is undoubtedly beneficial, is it really worth the extra $360? You’re the only one that can make that decision.
Harbor Compliance may not be the greatest LLC service out there, but they cover all the essentials and stand out from the competition by being the only one to provide a dedicated account manager.
Even if their $399 pricing is 10 times that of Northwest Registered Agent’s special offer, they are still one of the top LLC services in North Carolina.
3. Rocket Lawyer — 7.2/10 (Best for Additional LLC Services)
Rocket Lawyer is #3 on my list because they offer legal advice in addition to their LLC formation services.
Rocket Lawyer provides all the basic services you’d expect from an LLC service in North Carolina, like helping you file your Articles of Organization with the North Carolina Secretary of State. But they also provide an additional service that no other LLC service does: legal advice.
You receive a seven-day free trial of their legal services subscription when you sign up for their $99.99 formationincorporation service. With that, you’ll get access to their large library of customizable legal documents, a free 30-minute legal consultation on any topic, your legal documents examined by a lawyer, and attorney protection if your legal documents are challenged.
Even better, rather than untrained workers, their customer service team is made up of attorneys who are equipped to answer your inquiries.
Rocket Lawyer may have excellent legal services, but there are a couple of drawbacks to their formation services. They don’t offer any of the additional formation services that Northwest does. You don’t get a year of free registered agent service (they charge $149 for their registered agent service), and they don’t offer compliance alerts, accounting consultations, or VOIP service.
Another downside of Rocket Lawyer’s formation services is that you don’t have to sign up for their formation services to get their legal services. Since their formation services are lacking, it makes a lot more sense to go with Northwest, then sign up for a free account on Rocket Lawyer’s website for their legal services.
If you need a lot of legal support for your North Carolina LLC beyond simple formation services, Rocket Lawyer could be a good option for you. It’s definitely a good option for any inexperienced business owner who needs help navigating the red tape involved with following North Carolina law. But if you want more comprehensive formation services (like registered agent service), then Northwest is the better option.
Click here to read my full review of Rocket Lawyer.
With a fantastic up-front cost of $0 (plus state fee), IncFile is #4 on my list, and the best North Carolina budget LLC formation service. You read that correctly, $0. But there are a few things you should know before you sign up.
The first and most apparent advantage of IncFile is that there are no fees associated with forming a new limited liability company in North Carolina. They can help you fill out your North Carolina LLC legal documents and file them on your behalf.
They also provide registered agent service and a registered agent’s address for free for the first year of business, saving you at least $99. This seems almost too good to be true at $0 (plus state fee).
But, as can be expected with anything that seems too good to be true, there are certain restrictions.
IncFile will submit all the necessary legal documents for your LLC in North Carolina for free, but you’ll need to upgrade to IncFile’s $149 “gold” package if you want any of the other basic services provided by Northwest Registered Agent in their $39 basic package.
I’m no arithmetic wizard, but I don’t think paying $110 more for no additional benefit is a good idea.
Still, it’s hard to deny the fact that at $0 (plus state fees) IncFile is the best budget option.
If you’re satisfied with a formation service that simply files the paperwork for your North Carolina LLC, and you don’t mind spending some extra hours doing the rest of the work yourself, then IncFile is a good option to save some money.
If you’re on a razor-thin budget, and you don’t mind putting in some work to ensure that you meet your budget requirements and the North Carolina state requirements for your business formation, check out IncFile here.
Now, ZenBusiness. They were my top choice when I initially published this article, but they removed a major component from their bundles, so they have subsequently slid down the list.
The pricing of ZenBusiness is the first thing you notice. They’re pretty fairly priced for an LLC service that covers nearly everything you need to get your LLC in North Carolina up and running for $49 plus state filing fee for their basic package.
They assist you in completing and filing the required paperwork, ensuring that your preferred business name is available, notifying you of any future compliance deadlines, storing all your documents on an online portal, and providing phone and email customer service.
They also throw in a complimentary session with their in-house accounting team to verify your systems are set up appropriately, as well as an operating agreement form and a virtual business setup guide.
Their $199 “pro” package includes a banking resolution (to start a business bank account for your North Carolina business) assistance with obtaining an EIN, and professional help if you miss any compliance deadlines, while their $299 premium package includes a business domain name, email account, and website.
However, as I previously stated, ZenBusiness has dropped one of their core products.
A complimentary year of North Carolina registered agent service, regularly priced at $149, used to be included in all their packages. That free year of North Carolina registered agent service has subsequently been converted to a 25% discount. They’ve dropped down the list since their real bundle costs are now $150.75, $310.75, and $410.75.
So, although they provide a lot of features, I wouldn’t recommend using them if you require North Carolina registered agent service, unless you’re willing to spend three times the price of Northwest to get it.
Check out my ZenBusiness review for a complete analysis of their services.
6. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings, founded in 2012, is a relatively new addition to the North Carolina LLC formation industry.
They provide a lot in their basic package for their $49 (plus state filing fee). They’ll help you prepare and submit your paperwork to the Secretary of State Business Registration Division in North Carolina, offer you online access to your documents, give you a 30-minute business tax consultation, and give you a free year of domain name registration.
They do not, however, give you a complimentary year of North Carolina registered agent service, unlike Northwest. They’re going to cost you a lot more in the long term since they charge $149 per year for their registered agent service.
Read my Swyft Filings review for a more complete analysis of their services.
In terms of quality, MyCompanyWorks is a mixed bag.
For $79 plus state filing fee, they write and submit your Articles of Organization to the North Carolina Secretary of State Business Registration Division, assist you with the operating agreement for your North Carolina business, provide you with online access to your vital business documents, and notify you of any upcoming compliance deadlines.
Despite this, there is a drawback to consider.
They provide a year of free North Carolina registered agent service with their premium package, but that costs a whopping $279. Because Northwest Registered Agent costs $39 and includes a year of North Carolina registered agent service, MyCompanyWorks isn’t a fantastic option.
8. Inc Authority
This is another LLC service that looks to be “cheap,” but on closer inspection, it’s nothing if not expensive.
They’ll assist you with the appropriate paperwork and file it for free, but anything beyond that will cost you tremendously.
There is a $399 (plus state filing fees) basic package, which includes an operating agreement, help getting an EIN, and a company seal. However, unless you purchase their $799 premium package, a year of North Carolina registered agent service isn’t included in the price.
9. Incorporate Fast
The basic package from Incorporate Fast, an LLC formation provider, costs $99 (plus state fees).
This package includes the filing of your Articles of Organization with the state of North Carolina, a year of North Carolina registered agent service for free, help drafting the operating agreement for your business entity, and other sample documents you may need to start your company.
They don’t provide other services like business tax assessment or online document storage, but they will assist you with obtaining an EIN if you buy their $199 basic package.
Their key distinction is that they process each new business filing the same day it’s received, which is a benefit not offered by other providers. So, if you’re in a hurry to have your business entity formed and don’t mind paying more (without receiving additional services for the price) for less, give them a try.
Northwest, on the other hand, is a wonderful deal with a ton of extra services.
BizFilings is another service that costs $99 for their basic package.
This package covers legal document filing with the proper North Carolina government agencies, a complimentary year of North Carolina registered agent service, and compliance notifications. They don’t include any extras like business tax assessments, online document storage, or help drafting your operating agreement, so you’re getting a lot less for your money.
With its $99 (plus state filing fees) basic package, LegalZoom follows the pattern of offering relatively little for such a low price. At that price, there’s nothing more LegalZoom can do for you other than help you file your North Carolina Articles of Organization and offer a banking resolution so that you can open a business bank account for your business entity.
The only reason to use LegalZoom for your LLC formation is if you’re already using either their legal services or their North Carolina registered agent services and would like to have everything your business entity needs handled by a single company.
The complete LegalZoom review is here if you want to learn more about the company’s services and offerings.
Other LLC Services
There were nine other North Carolina LLC formation services on my list, but it was pointless for me to do a complete assessment of them to complete my investigation process because their services couldn’t compare to Northwest and the others. In no particular order, here they are:
As with LegalZoom, Incorporate.com features a $99 basic package that provides very little. Everything else is up to you, such as filing your Articles of Organization with the proper North Carolina agency, obtaining online document storage, or finding a suitable North Carolina registered agent and physical street address.
CorpNet’s LLC formation service costs $108 (plus state filing fees) and includes the filing of your Articles of Organization with the proper North Carolina agency, and the delivery of compliance notifications. That’s it. No North Carolina registered agent service or office address.
MyCorporation processes your Articles of Organization and helps you draft your operating agreement but at a high cost of $133. This means you won’t get North Carolina registered agent service or a business address in the state, worry-free compliance, or any of the other features offered by Northwest.
15. Direct Incorporation
For $147 (plus state fees), Direct Incorporation builds on the offerings of MyCorporation by supplying a bank resolution and an EIN. But you still won’t get registered agent service, a physical address, or compliance notifications.
InCorp costs $117 to submit your Articles of Organization and help with the creation of your operating agreement. For every extra service (like registered agent service, a physical address in North Carolina, and compliance notifications) you have to pay extra fees.
Check out my full review of InCorp to learn more.
17. Nationwide Incorporations
Nationwide Incorporations costs $200 (plus state fees) for the same minimal services as InCorp. This means that for this exorbitant fee you won’t get registered agent service, compliance alerts, or anything else that Northwest offers.
18. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings’s basic package includes the submission of your Articles of Organization for $79. They’ll help you with the operating agreement for your business entity with their $99 “key” package, and help obtain EINs for business entities for $270 with their premier package. They’re insignificant in comparison to the best LLC services in North Carolina because not only will you not receive registered agent service, you’ll miss out on loads of services offered by Northwest Registered Agent.
The Best LLC Service Review Summary
Northwest Registered Agent is the best option for most companies out of the top 18 best LLC services in North Carolina.
It costs as much as $5,000 per day to employ a consulting company for most business entities, but their $39 basic package includes everything you’ll need to get your business off the ground, while their Corporate Guides may be retained for as little as $1,000 per day.
If you’re ready to establish your company and want all the essentials covered by experienced specialists, as well as help and advice in conquering your business issues, visit Northwest Registered Agent now.
*All prices are per state, per year.
Best LLC Service Review Methodology
This is how I chose the best LLC service.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust my recommendations for the best LLC formation services since I have more experience and knowledge in the LLC industry than almost anybody.
My experience began when I used three separate LLC formation services to launch my three businesses. Yes, I used three different services since the other two didn’t give the assistance I required. (I won’t identify them because they’ve both improved greatly since I used them, and I don’t think you should make judgments today based on outdated knowledge.)
The third service, which I hired to launch this website, has exceeded my expectations for an LLC service and provided considerably more value than I paid for, which is why Northwest is my best overall LLC service suggestion.
However, my experience is not restricted to using those three services. I also have much expertise assisting people in selecting the right LLC formation service for their new small businesses. I’ve personally helped over 1,000 customers choose the perfect LLC service for their small businesses since founding BoostSuite, and I’ve conducted extensive research of the industry to do so.
How I Selected the Best LLC Service
I went through a four-step procedure to find the best LLC formation service.
Stage 1: Reviews
There was no better place to begin the process of finding the top LLC services than by analyzing their online reviews. At least among the most popular LLC formation services, there is a strong history of encouraging clients to leave online reviews, and some services have more than 4,500 positive customer reviews.
Using this review analysis procedure, I was able to get an overall picture of the quality of the various LLC formation options and exclude any services that didn’t match a minimum quality performance.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
My next step was to visit each company’s website to get a better sense of how well they were doing and how much they were charging for their services. I went online, read their headlines and titles, and sought to learn more about each company by looking at their claims and declarations.
This enabled me to learn about each provider’s main LLC formation services, as well as how they saw their position and offerings in the market.
Stage 3: Speaking with Real Customers
After I figured out how the company sought to position itself, I needed to figure out whether they could back up their claims. Reading online reviews may help, but since most individuals only submit online reviews when they had an extraordinarily great or terrible experience, the findings tend to tilt to the extremes.
These reviews gave me a fair and nuanced grasp of previous customers’ perspectives of each formation company. Then I sought out clients I could speak with to learn about their experiences firsthand.
Inquiring about the pros and cons of the business formation services, I called friends who had used them, contacted people I’d made recommendations to, and talked to visitors to my website.
This helped me get a better sense of what it was like to work with each service provider, and it helped me identify the best LLC services on the market.
Stage 4: Speaking with Their Sales Team
The last step in my investigation was to call their sales and customer service departments and press them for information.
I compiled all the comments I’d gathered from online reviews and interactions with consumers, and then contacted the company’s customer service department to ask about the complaints.
This last stage enabled me to assess how successfully each company handled criticism and less-than-positive comments.
Each company was rated on five separate variables after completing the four-stage analysis process.
Factor 1: Offerings
The services provided by each company was the first factor I considered.
Some LLC formation providers will only assist you with your Articles of Organization before kicking you out unless you pay up. Other business formation services may include an accountant consultation, registered agent services, and provide you with online document access, as well as assistance with your operating agreement.
Because of the vast disparity in the LLC formation services offered by each company, I began research for my ratings here.
Factor 2: Price
Pricing was the second consideration I made while selecting the best LLC service. Some services are free (save for the state fees), while others will not allow you to step through their doors for less than $399.
When you consider the large range of services offered, the cost of the services, or more specifically, the cost per service became the second rating factor for each company.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-up
The ease of signing up was the third factor I used to evaluate these services.
Some formation services use clumsy, antiquated legacy systems that appear like they were constructed in a high school coding class in the late 1990s. Others, on the other hand, offer sleek, intuitive, and user-friendly tools that make establishing a business a breeze.
I looked at each company’s sign-up processes to see which needed the least amount of time to get through.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
The problems with design and function don’t stop with the sign-up process. In most situations, any design or functionality flaws that occurred during the sign-up process persist throughout the onboarding process.
Some LLC services offer pre-filled forms that include all the necessary information and simply need a signature. Other providers merely supply blank forms (despite already having all the relevant information) and need you to fill in the same information 11 different times.
No one likes to spend more time than necessary on anything, especially when there are so many critical duties to accomplish while starting a company, so determining how easy each service was to use was crucial.
Factor 5: Customer Service
Finally, I rated each LLC formation service based on their customer service. This was another area where the value they provided varied greatly.
There are LLC services that have set up support teams in other countries and staffed them with inadequately trained locals who have little or no expertise doing business in the United States.
Then there are formation services like Northwest, which offers a US-based customer service team of former accountants, attorneys, small business owners, and entrepreneurs that have firsthand expertise in helping you handle the obstacles small businesses encounter and can guide you through the best option.
My fifth and final rating factor was based on the vast disparity in customer service value.
I checked out the 18 best LLC services through my four-stage, five factor process, and Northwest Registered Agent came out on top.
They take care of everything, including assisting you with preparing and filing important paperwork with the North Carolina Secretary of State, providing an online portal where you can save all your documents, and providing a free year of registered agent services.
A free consultation with their in-house accounting experts to assist with payment processing, an operating agreement template, and a trial of their VoIP system are all included as well.
You may buy additional extras, like an EIN, a state-certified copy of your LLC documents, or a Certificate of Good standing during the sign-up process if your company requires them.
However, it’s their Corporate Guides that distinguish them in this industry.
Their US-based support staff can not only answer any questions you have regarding the LLC formation process, but their personal experiences as former accountants, attorneys, small business owners, and entrepreneurs means they can also guide you through the inevitable problems you’ll experience along the way.
While they don’t provide any help with building your online presence, the 82% discount ($39 plus state fees) provided only to BoostSuite readers means you’ll have enough money left over to hire one of the many professional website builders on the market.
Go to Northwest Registered Agent right now if you’re ready to form a new company.
Check out my guide here to find out which states are the best to form an LLC in.
Click here to read my review of the best registered agent services.