So, you received your approved Articles of Organization or Incorporation from the Secretary of State? First off, congratulations. That’s a huge, tangible, first step to becoming a well protected company. The next few steps are also very important, but you can take care of them pretty quickly immediately afterwards.
The first step after approval is getting your Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you’re obtaining this yourself, you can do the entire process online and get you EIN in about 5 minutes. You’ll need your approved articles and information about yourself like your social security number.
The EIN isn’t just for companies that have employees. It is not a very good name for it. A more appropriate number would be tax ID number. It is your company’s equivalent of a social security number. All the company’s tax and banking records will be tied to this EIN.
We’ve create a nice walkthrough that you can use when completing your online EIN application. There is no charge, and the process is very quick. Do not pay someone to do this for you unless it is just included in other services.
Every LLC and Corporation is required to have a governing document; however, LLCs have a default one set by the General Assembly. The terms North Carolina has set are fine for single member LLCs, but when you’re a multimember LLC or a corporation of any size, you should create a governing document that meets your company’s needs.
An LLC would have an operating agreement, which covers how the company is run, but also how the members interact with each other. Since an LLC is a collection of members, most of the document revolves around the members. We have a guide on what is included in an operating agreement for your education use.
A corporation has bylaws. These are the rules that the management must follow when operating the business. A corporation is a separate legal entity and the roles are far clearer than with an LLC. Because of this distinction, you see very little about owners’ rights and responsibilities and more about management. Bylaws are usually accompanied by some form of equity agreement, stock purchase agreement, and/or stock plan to better define the owners’ rights and responsibilities.
Your articles will always supersede your governing document, so be sure to not try to override anything you put in those articles.
Every company should have its own bank account. Otherwise, you could risk personal liability for all the company’s debts, and that defeats the purpose of setting up the company in the first place. Usually, a bank will need your approved articles, EIN, governing document, and identification in order to open your account. Our advice would be to find a bank that you trust and use them, but it does not hurt to shop around for the bank that best serves your needs.
Articles and Organization
Although you can always access your articles online at the Secretary of State’s website, your approval coverpage won’t be available there. We recommend scanning your approved articles to a place you store important records and keep them in a binder with your EIN, bank account information, and your governing document. Keeping all of this stuff in one place helps ensure you can access it when you need to.
If you have any questions about these steps, or want help forming your company, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or by calling 919-912-9640.