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 10 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 for checking all the boxes at a terrific price.
Northwest Registered Agent has a lot to offer. It takes care of everything you need to get your LLC in North Carolina up and running.
Northwest will file all the 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 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 may be purchased for additional fees, should you require them.
But Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guides are what sets it apart from the other North Carolina LLC formation services on my list.
Rather than a customer service team of inexperienced agents, Northwest has 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.
Northwest’s typical price of $225 is a great bargain, but I’ve been able to get a discount for BoostSuite readers. There is an extraordinary 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 fees).
Northwest is a wonderful deal at $225, but at an 82% discount, it’s a no-brainer.
Northwest doesn’t provide any services to assist you with building an online presence, which is its only drawback.
Website setup is included in certain premium packages (often $299 or more) of other formation services and includes things like domain name registration, website hosting, Google advertising credits, and even a free website builder. 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 offers all basics for forming an LLC as well as free registered agent service for a year and a US-based customer support staff of bona fide experts.
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. ZenBusiness: 8.25/10 (Best Essentials LLC Service)
ZenBusiness has one of the lowest fees in the industry at $0, but because it doesn’t include free registered agent service or small business advice, it will be expensive in the long run.
For only $0 (plus state fees), ZenBusiness will provide you with the essential services you need to legally establish your LLC. It will make sure your business name is available, double-check the information on your paperwork, and file your formation documents for you.
You can upgrade to its Pro plan for $199, which includes creating your operating agreement and expedited filing (which takes four to six days), or its Premium plan for $299, which includes rush filing (one to two days), a website-builder tool, an email address, and a domain name.
The icing on top is that its customer service team has extended weekday hours and is available on Sundays, too.
Your LLC service will only cost $0 if all you need is the essentials. Anything else will cost additional fees.
For instance, ZenBusiness doesn’t provide free registered agent service, unlike some other providers on my list. Instead, it charges $199 for registered agent services, and you’ll pay that full price the first year.
It also doesn’t offer small business advice. So even though its customer service team can competently help you with your technical issues and answer your formation questions, it can’t help you with your business or tax questions.
ZenBusiness is great for anyone who wants only the essentials to set up their LLC. Its customer service team is available during extended hours to help you, and it will make sure the information on your documents is correct before filing them for you.
If you need registered agent service, then ZenBusiness will be an expensive option for you in the long run. But with features like 100% accuracy guarantees and worry-free compliance, you may find that it’s worth the added expense.
If you want the essentials without frills, learn more about ZenBusiness on the website.
3. Harbor Compliance: 7.15/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance provides a personal account manager to ensure that all your inquiries and issues are addressed but charges a lot for it.
Harbor Compliance checks the availability status of your business name, prepares and files your formation documents with the North Carolina Secretary of State, provides a free operating agreement template, assists with obtaining an EIN, and even gives 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.
Harbor Compliance is 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 the formation package and $799 for the 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?
Harbor Compliance may not be the greatest LLC service out there, but it covers all the essentials and stands out from the competition by being the only one to provide a dedicated account manager.
Even if its $399 pricing is 10 times that of Northwest Registered Agent’s special offer, it’s still one of the top LLC services in North Carolina.
4. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer offers legal advice in addition to its LLC formation services.
It 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 it also provides an additional service that no other LLC service does: legal advice.
You receive a seven-day free trial of its legal services subscription when you sign up for the $99.99 formation service. With that, you’ll get access to Rocket Lawyer’s 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.
Rocket Lawyer may have excellent legal services, but it doesn’t offer any of the additional formation services that Northwest does. You don’t get a year of free registered agent service (it charges $149 for registered agent service), and it doesn't offer compliance alerts, accounting consultations, or VOIP service.
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.
5. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings, founded in 2012, is a relatively new addition to the North Carolina LLC formation industry.
It provides a lot in its basic package for $49. It’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.
It does not, however, give you a complimentary year of North Carolina registered agent service, unlike Northwest. It’s going to cost you a lot more in the long term since it charges $149 per year for registered agent service.
Read my Swyft Filings review for a more complete analysis of its services.
In terms of quality, MyCompanyWorks is a mixed bag.
For $79 plus state filing fee, MyCompanyWorks helps you write and submit your articles of organization to the North Carolina Secretary of State Business Registration Division, assists you with the operating agreement for your North Carolina business, provides you with online access to your vital business documents, and notifies you of any upcoming compliance deadlines.
Despite this, there is a drawback to consider.
It provides a year of free North Carolina registered agent service with its 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.
7. Inc Authority
This is another LLC service that looks to be “cheap,” but on closer inspection, it’s nothing if not expensive.
It’ll assist you with the appropriate paperwork and file it for free, but anything beyond that will cost you tremendously.
There is a $399 basic package, which includes an operating agreement, help getting an EIN, and a company seal. However, unless you purchase its $799 premium package, a year of North Carolina registered agent service isn’t included in the price.
8. 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.
It doesn’t provide other services like business tax assessment or online document storage, but it will assist you with obtaining an EIN if you buy its $199 basic package.
What makes Incorporate Fast stand out is that it processes 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 it 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 its 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. It doesn'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 its legal services or its 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.
14. 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.
16. 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.
17. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings’ basic package includes the submission of your articles of organization for $79. It’ll help you with the operating agreement for your business entity with its $99 Key package, and help obtain EINs for business entities for $270 with its Premier package.
The Best LLC Service Review Summary
Northwest Registered Agent is the best option for most companies out of the 17 leading LLC services in North Carolina.
It costs as much as $5,000 per day to employ a consulting company for most business entities, but its $39 basic package includes everything you’ll need to get your business off the ground, while its 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.
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 it was doing and how much it was charging for its 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 it saw its 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 it could back up its 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 Teams
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.
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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 its customer service. This was another area where the value the services 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.
Northwest takes 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 Northwest’s in-house accounting experts to assist with payment processing, an operating agreement template, and a trial of its VoIP system are all included as well.
However, it’s the Corporate Guides that distinguish Northwest in this industry.
Its 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 Northwest doesn’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.