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To Do Business in NC, Real Estate Firms Must Comply with Certain State Laws

To do business legally in North Carolina, real estate firms (corporations, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies) must remain current, active, and in good standing with the North Carolina Secretary of State and the Department of Revenue.

Firms may verify their compliance by visiting the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Web site,, and searching their firm name. The site will note whether the firm is “Current-Active”, whether there is a problem that needs to be addressed (e.g., “On Notice”), or if the firm has been suspended, cancelled or dissolved.

The Commission has instituted an ongoing audit of real estate firms to verify compliance and to assist those that have not fully met the state’s requirements.

If firms do not satisfy requirements to remain in good standing yet continue to act as real estate brokers, they may face disciplinary action by the Real Estate Commission.

Further, if a firm does not regain good standing within a reasonable period of time, its real estate license will be cancelled.

When license cancellation occurs, the following changes to licensee records and status are made:

(1) Brokers-in-charge lose their designation as brokers-in-charge (but not their eligibility to be re-designated);

(2) The licenses of provisional brokers with the firm are placed on inactive status; and

(3) The addresses of record of all brokers and provisional brokers affiliated with the firm are changed to their residence addresses.

If a company later satisfies the requirements of the Secretary of State and the Department of Revenue to do business in North Carolina, its qualifying broker must then file an application and pay a $55 fee to the Real Estate Commission to reinstate its real estate firm license and must designate a broker -in-charge for each office.

Each broker-in-charge must then complete and file forms for each broker and provisional broker who wishes to re-affiliate with the company.

These procedures can be both time-consuming and costly. Thus, be sure to keep your firm in compliance by timely filing annual reports with and paying fees due to the Secretary of State and Department of Revenue every year.

This article came from the May 2010-Vol41-1 edition of the bulletin.