North Carolina

Before you can pay employees, make sure you've registered for the applicable work and live in state. This can sometimes take several weeks—the sooner you start the process, the sooner you'll have the tax account information required to pay them.

Note, CertiPay Online can put your account in an applied for status. This may cause additional monthly fees as some states do not accept returns/tax liability deposits for accounts that are in an applied for status. 

North Carolina Tax Agency

Eligibility Requirements 

Your company becomes liable for state unemployment insurance tax once the company has:

  • Paid $1500 in wages during a calendar quarter
  • Had an employee working at least one day during a 20 week period

State withholding is based off of the employee's home address (live in state). 

Register with the NC Department of Revenue (State Withholding) 

After you register with the Department of Revenue online or by mail. Note, if you register by mail, than you will not receive an instant account number and may take several days. 

Registering Online

1. Go to the state's website and scroll down to click "Online Business Registration".

2. Click "next" at the bottom of the page. 

3. The next pages will require you to enter your company's information such as type of ownership, FEIN and NC Secretary of State number. 

4. After you process the registration form, a confirmation page will show with the Account ID for state withholding. 

Registering by Mail 

1. Use the NC-BR form (Business Registration Application for Income Tax Withholding) 

2. Complete the form. Note, ensure that the form is completed fully with clear formatting as that may cause delays.

3. Once the form is completed, send to N.C. Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 25000, Raleigh, NC 27640-0100

4. The state will mail back the Account ID registered to your company's FEIN to the mailing address that was completed on the form. 

- For more questions, please review the bottom of page two. 

General Notes: 

Based on the booklets you receive; you can determine your tax deposit schedule:

  • Quarterly Withholding Return, (Form NC-5)—this means you have a quarterly tax deposit schedule (most common for new employers)
  • Monthly Withholding Return (Form NC-5)—this means you have a monthly tax deposit schedule. 
  • Withholding Payment Voucher (Form NC-5P) and a North Carolina Quarterly Income Tax Withholding Return (Form NC-5Q)—this means you have a semi-weekly tax deposit schedule.

Register for an Employer Tax Account Number (Needed for the SUI registration)

You will need to register for a EAN-Employer Tax Account prior to creating your online portal. Here is the link to create the EAN with the state - Employer Tax Account Registration 

1. Enter your company's information on the first screen, EIN and NC Department of Revenue Withholding ID. Note, you will not be able to complete the registration for EAN unless you have registered for a SIT account number first. 

2. Click the grey next  button at the bottom of the screen and continue to enter your company's information.

3. Once the registration is completed, the state will send TWO pieces of mail to the mailing address listed. One will be a 7 digit EAN and the other will be a 6 digit PIN. These letters may take up to 4-6 weeks to receive.

4. Continue to register for your SUI account number. Steps below. 

Register with the NC Department of Commerce (State Unemployment) 

1. Go to the state's website and select the "click here" link to create an account. 

2. Select the "I am a Business/Remitter/Third Party user, requiring DES claim/tax services for businesses"

then verify yourself. 

3. Click "Next" 

4. Enter the company EAN that was completed prior to step 1, twice. 

5. Create your sign in credentials (username and password).

6. Enter a valid email address. You will need to access this email to activate your account. 

7. Check your email for instructions on how to activate your account. 

8. Click on the link in the email and use the username and password you created in step 5 to log in. 

Agency Website and Contact Information


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