Do I Need a Secretary of State ID Number in North Carolina?

Starting a new business can be exhilarating and feel full of promise, but a good start is contingent on getting all your ducks in a row. When you create a sole proprietorship or partnership and register with your county register of deeds, you will not receive an identification number from the North Carolina Secretary of State. Creating a company with limited liability such as a corporation, limited-liability company or limited-liability partnership will require registration with the North Carolina Secretary of State. Companies of this type that operate in North Carolina but were formed in other states will also need to register with the Secretary of State's Office. Registering with this office will create a North Carolina Secretary of State Identification Number.

Registering With the NC Secretary of State

In order to secure a state identification number, your business must go through the process of filing special paperwork with the state of North Carolina. This paperwork will also include your business in the Secretary of State's business listings.

File the articles of incorporation, articles of organization, certificate of authority or other relevant registration form from the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office by turning completed forms in to the office either by mail to Corporations Division, PO Box 29622 Raleigh, NC 27626-0622, or in person to 2 South Salisbury St. Raleigh, NC 27601-2903. These forms are available and printable from the North Carolina Secretary of State website.

While some states offer registration online, in North Carolina this is not yet an option. If you need to speed up your paperwork but cannot visit in person, consider looking into overnight mail options or courier services. After you register your company, it will be assigned a North Carolina Secretary of State ID Number.

State Tax Registration

When you register with the North Carolina Department of Revenue, you will need a Secretary of State Identification Number for your application. You will receive an account number to pay your company's income state withholding tax; sales and use taxes; and machinery, equipment, and manufacturing fuel taxes.

Paying the proper North Carolina state taxes is important to keeping your business in good working order, though tax rates can sometimes be higher than expected. Keep a separate saving's account and consult an accountant to file quarterly taxes in order to keep from incurring more fees than your business can easily handle.

State Contract Pursuits

As you pursue contracts with different state agencies, you may need to include the Secretary of State ID Number on your registration with each agency of interest. Agencies that request this number include members of the University of North Carolina System, county governments, city governments and others.

These larger government contracts could be especially profitable for your business. For instance, contractors can bid on and win large construction contracts that pay much more than building individual homes or doing small renovation projects for home owners.

Opening a Bank Account

Most banks want to see your company's EIN number and your North Carolina Secretary of State ID Number in order to open an account under your business name. This is because the bank wants proof that you are a legitimate organization before offering you services targeted only at that audience. In addition, since the bank account must be opened in your business' name and not your personal name, the bank needs to know who is liable should issues occur with the account.

Dissolution of a Company

You may decide to shut down and dissolve your company. Also, your company may be dissolved if you fall out of compliance with your duties to keep your records current through filing annual report with the North Carolina Secretary of State or paying taxes with the North Carolina Department of Revenue. Your Secretary of State ID number will remain archived with the company's registration on record with the state.

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About the Author

Yolanda Brown has been writing business-related material since 2005. She owns two businesses and currently publishes "Cardinal Rules," a resource of business-building tips for small- to medium-sized firms. Brown holds a Master of Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.