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North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors

The North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors is established under the provisions of Chapter 89C of the North Carolina General Statutes. The Board is responsible for the administration and regulation of the professions of engineering and surveying in North Carolina.

Contact

Mark Mazanek

Director of Business Licensure & Compliance

mmazanek@ncbels.org

919-791-2000 ext. 102

www.ncbels.org

Below is a summary of the procedures, laws and guidelines to obtain a professional business entity license through the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors.

PLEASE REFER TO THE NC LICENSING BOARD’S WEBSITE FOR OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION.

Bookmark the link to the NC Board Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors for future reference.

There are four types of business entity applications. The procedures for each entity listed are detailed on the following pages.

  1. Professional Corporation - Application for Professional Corporate Licensure to Practice Engineering and Surveying in North Carolina.
  2. Professional Limited Liability Company - Application for Professional Limited Liability Company Licensure to Practice Engineering and Surveying in North Carolina.
  3. Business Firm (Pre-1969) - Application for Business Firm, Limited Liability Partnership and Limited Partnership Licensure to Practice Engineering and/or Surveying in North Carolina.
  4. Chapter 87 Corporation - Limited Engineering on Design/Build projects- Application for Licensure as a Chapter 87 Corporation to practice limited engineering services in North Carolina.

I. Profession Corporation

To qualify as either a Foreign or Domestic Professional Corporation: The firm must be at least 2/3 owned by Licensed Professionals and at least one licensee of each profession being offered must be a NC licensee who is an Officer, Director and Shareholder in the company. Up to 1/3 of the company may be owned by non-licensed employees. No company may be a member of the PC.

Step 1: Application for Licensure
  1. Complete the Professional Corporate Application, which is available at www.ncbels.org.

  2. If filing as a Foreign Professional Corporation, use Section A of the instructions. If filing as a Domestic Professional Corporation, use Section B of the instructions.
  3. Section A - Foreign Professional Corporate Applicants:

    1. Complete the North Carolina Secretary of State Form PC-01 (Application for Certificate of Authority), which is available at http://www.sosnc.com/Corporations/
    2. Lines 6-8 of the form asks for an NC Registered Agent, although you do not have to have an office in NC, you must maintain a Registered Agent with the NC Address where civil correspondence, subpoenas, etc. can be delivered on behalf of your firm. There are several national agencies that offer this service.

    Section B - Domestic Professional Corporate Applicants:

    1. Complete the North Carolina Secretary of State Form PC-05 (Articles of Incorporation - Professional Corporation), which is available at http://www.socnc.com/Corporations/
  4. Send the original Professional Corporate Application and a copy of the Application for Certificate of Authority or Articles of Incorporation to the attention of Mark Mazanek at the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors along with a $100 Application fee. Keep the original of the Application for Certificate of Authority or Articles of Incorporation to file with the NC Secretary of State after your application is approved by the Board.
  5. For Foreign Professional Corporation Applicants Only - In addition to the above, also send a copy of your existing Articles of Incorporation and a copy of a Certificate of Existence from your State of Incorporation less than 6 months old.
Step 2: Approval of Application - Submission to the Secretary of State:
  1. Once the application for Professional Corporate Licensure has been approved by the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, a Certificate for Filing will be issued from the Board. The applicant must then attach the Certificate for Filing to the original Form PC-01 or Form PC-05 and forward them to the NC Secretary of State's Office with the required fee ($125 for domestic corporation and $250 for foreign corporations)
Step 3: Completion of Application Process and Issuance of Professional Corporate License:
  1. Once the Form PC-01 or Form PC-05 and other documents are filed with the NC Secretary of State's Office and the firm receives confirmation of the filing from the NC Secretary of State, the firm is required to send a copy of the recorded/filed paperwork to the Board office via mail, e-mail ( mmazanek@ncbels.org) or fax (919) 791-2011.
Step 4: Annual Renewal of License:
  1. Certificates of Licensure of Professional Corporation under Chapter 55B of the North Carolina Statutes expire in accordance with the provisions of §55B-11 and NCAC 56.0804(b).

  2. Upon written application of the Corporation, accompanied by the appropriate renewal fee, the licensing Board shall renew the Certificate of Licensure of a Professional Corporation as required by statute, providing the Board finds that the Corporation has complied with all regulations and the provisions of G.S. 55B.

  3. If the Corporation does not apply for Renewal of its Certificate of Licensure within thirty (30) days after the date of the expiration of such Certificate, the Certificate of Licensure shall be automatically suspended with the Secretary of State. The Certificate may be reinstated within the calendar year upon the payment of the required renewal fee plus a reinstatement fee if such Corporation is then otherwise qualified and entitled to renewal of is Certificate of Licensure.

  4. Failure of a Corporation to renew its License for a period of one (1) year shall require the Corporation to submit a new application and meet all requirements in effect for Licensure.

  5. Renewal forms will be mailed to Licensees in good standing one month prior to expiration. Upon submitting the appropriate renewal documents to the Board Office, a Certificate of Renewal will be sent to the Corporation.

II. Professional Limited Liability Company

To qualify as either a Foreign or Domestic Professional Limited Liability Company: The firm must be at least 2/3 owned by Licensed Professionals and at least one licensee of each profession being offered must be a NC licensee who is a Member and Manager in the company. Up to 1/3 of the company may be owned by non-licensed employees. No company may be a member of the PLLC.

Step 1: Application for Licensure
  1. Complete the Professional Limited Liability Company Application, which is available at www.ncbels.org.

  2. If filing as a Foreign Professional Limited Liability Company, use Section A of the instructions. If filing as a Domestic Professional Limited Liability Company, use Section B of the instructions.
  3. Section A - Foreign Professional Limited Liability Company Applicants:

    1. Complete the North Carolina Secretary of State Form PLLC-01 (Application for Certificate of Authority), which is available at http://www.sosnc.com/Corporations/
    2. Lines 6-8 of the form asks for an NC Registered Agent, although you do not have to have an office in NC, you must maintain a Registered Agent with the NC Address where civil correspondence, subpoenas, etc. can be delivered on behalf of your firm. There are several national agencies that offer this service.

    Section B - Domestic Professional Limited Liability Company Applicants:

    1. Complete the North Carolina Secretary of State Form PLLC-02 (Articles of Organization - Professional Corporation), which is available at http://www.sosnc.com/Corporations/

  4. Send the original Professional Limited Liability Company Application and a copy of the Application for Certificate of Authority or Articles of Organization to the attention of Mark Mazanek at the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors along with a $100 Application fee. Keep the original of the Application for Certificate of Authority or Articles of Organization to file with the NC Secretary of State after your application is approved by the Board.

  5. For Foreign Professional Limited Liability Company Applicants Only - In addition to the above, also send a copy of your existing Articles of Organization and a copy of a Certificate of Existence from your State of Organization less than 6 months old.
Step 2: Approval of Application - Submission to the Secretary of State:
  1. Once the application for Professional Limited Liability Company Licensure has been approved, a Certificate for Filing will be issued from the Board. The applicant must then attach the Certificate for Filing to the original Form PLLC-01 or Form PLLC-02 and forward them to the NC Secretary of State’s Office with the required fee ($125 for domestic corporation and $250 for foreign corporations)
Step 3: Completion of Application Process and Issuance of Professional LLC License:
  1. Once the Form PLLC-01 or Form PLLC-02 and other documents are filed with the NC Secretary of State’s Office and the firm receives confirmation of the filing from the NC Secretary of State, the firm is required to send a copy of the recorded/filed paperwork to the Board office via mail, e-mail ( mmazanek@ncbels.org) or fax (919) 791-2011.
Step 4: Annual Renewal of License:
  1. Certificates of Licensure for Professional Limited Liability Companies licensed under the provisions of Chapter 57D and 89C of the North Carolina Statutes expire in accordance with the provisions of §55B-11 and NCAC 56.0804(b).
  2. Upon written application of the Professional Limited Liability Company, accompanied by the appropriate renewal fee, the licensing Board shall renew the Certificate of Licensure of a Professional Limited Liability Company as required by statute, provided the Board finds that the Professional Limited Liability Company has complied with other regulations and the provisions of G.S. §89C.
  3. If the Professional Limited Liability Company does not apply for Renewal of its Certificate of Licensure within thirty (30) days after the date of the expiration of such Certificate, the Certificate of Licensure shall be automatically suspended with the Secretary of State. The Certificate may be reinstated within one year upon receipt of the renewal fee plus a reinstatement fee.

  4. Failure of a Professional Limited Liability Company to renew its License for a period of one (1) year shall require the Professional Limited Liability Company to submit a new application and meet all requirements in effect for Licensure.
  5. Renewal forms will be mailed to Licensees in good standing one month prior to expiration. Upon receipt of the completed renewal documents by the Board, a Certificate of Renewal will be sent to the Professional Limited Liability Company.

III. Business Corporation/Firm (Pre-1969)/Limited Liability Partnerships/Limited Partnerships

There are two step one (1) procedures for this application, the first for Business Corporations and the second for Limited Liability Partnerships and Limited Partnerships.

Only corporations formed prior to June 5, 1969 that were offering engineering during that time may apply for licensure using this application. Any corporation formed after June 5, 1969 must use the Professional Corporation Application and meet the requirements of N.C.G.S. 55B (Professional Corporation Act.)

Step 1: Application for licensure as a Business Corporation
  1. Complete the entire Application for Business Firm Licensure, which is available at www.ncbels.org.
  2. Note: Check the box labeled Business Corporation in Section III and list the incorporation date and State in Section IV.

  3. Complete the Application for Certificate of Authority (Form B-09). Send a copy of this form to the Board. Keep the original to file later with the NC Secretary of State’s Office after being approved by the Board.
  4. Note: Numbers 5-7 of this form ask for Registered Office information. While the NC Board of Examiners does not require a firm to maintain an office in the State of North Carolina, the NC Secretary of State’s Office does require that each firm maintain a NC Registered Agent with an NC physical address where civil correspondence, subpoenas, etc. can be delivered to on behalf of the company. There are many National Companies that offer this service. A list of some commonly used Registered Agents can be searched using Google.

  5. Send a copy of the firms existing Articles of Incorporation and any Amendments.
  6. Note: In order to qualify as a Business Corporation and be exempt from N.C.G.S. 55B (Professional Corporation Act), the firm needs to provide evidence that they were offering engineering prior to June 5, 1969. If the existing Articles of Incorporation indicate the firm was offering or incorporated to provide engineering services, then that is all. However, if the Articles do not specify engineering then the firm must provide evidence that engineering work was being performed by a licensed engineer of the company prior to June 5, 1969. A work product signed by the engineer would be sufficient.

  7. Send a copy of a Certificate of Existence less then 6 months old for the firm from their home Secretary of State’s Office.

    Note: The NC Secretary of State requires an original Certificate of Existence no older than 6 months as part of their filing package which you will submit after being approved by the Board.

  8. Send a check made out to the NC Board of Examiners for $100.00 (Application Fee).
  9. Please put Attention: Mark Mazanek, Director of Business Licensure on the envelope.
Step 1: Application for licensure, Limited Liability Partnerships/Limited Partnerships
  1. Complete the entire Application for Business Firm Licensure, which is available at www.ncbels.org .

  2. Complete the appropriate Secretary of State Form (Form LLP-01 for a Domestic LLP, Form LLP-02 for a Foreign LLP, Form LP-01 for a Domestic LP, and Form LP-04 for a Foreign LP.) Send a copy of the applicable form to the Board. Keep the original to file later with the NC Secretary of State’s Office after being approved by the Board.

  3. Note: The Secretary of State Forms LLP-02 and LP-04 ask for Registered Agent/Office information. While the NC Board of Examiners does not require a firm to maintain an office in the State of North Carolina, the NC Secretary of State’s Office does require that each firm maintain a NC Registered Agent with an NC physical address where civil correspondence, subpoenas, etc. can be delivered to on behalf of the company. There are many National Companies that offer this service. A list of some commonly used Registered Agents can be searched using Google.

  4. Send a copy of the firms existing Licensure Registration in its home state.

  5. Send a copy of a Certificate of Existence less then 6 months old for the firm from their home Secretary of State’s Office.

    Note: The NC Secretary of State requires an original Certificate of Existence no older than 6 months as part of their filing package which you will submit after being approved by the Board.

  6. Send a check made out to the NC Board of Examiners for $100.00 (Application Fee).

  7. Please put Attention: Mark Mazanek, Director of Business Licensure on the envelope.
Step 2: Approval of Application - Submission to the Secretary of State
  1. If the firm has not already received a Certificate of Authority from the North Carolina Secretary of State, then upon approval of the Business Firm, a Certificate for Filing will be issued to the firm from the Board.
  2. The applicant must attach the Certificate for Filing to the original North Carolina Secretary of State form and file with the NC Secretary of State with the appropriate fee.
Step 3: Completion of Application Process and Issuance of Business Corporation/Firm Licensure
  1. Once the Application for Certificate of Authority and other documents are filed with the NC Secretary of State and the firm receives confirmation of the filing from the NC Secretary of State, the firm is then required to send a copy of the recorded/filed paperwork to the Board office vial mail, e-mail ( mmazanek@ncbels.org) or fax (919) 791-2011.
Step 4: Annual Renewal of License
  1. Certificates of Licensure for business firms licensed under N.C.G.S. §89C-24 expire in accordance with the provisions of 21 NCAC 56 .0804(b).
  2. Upon receipt of renewal application of the business firm, accompanied by the appropriate fee, the Board shall renew the Certificate of Licensure of the business firm as required by law and the regulations of the Board, providing that the Board determines that the business firm has complied with all requlations and provisions of N.C.G.S. §89C.
  3. If the business firm does not apply for renewal of the Certificate of Licensure within thirty (30) days after the date of expiration of such Certificate, the Certificate of Licensure shall be automatically suspended. The Certificate of Licensure may be reinstated within the one year time period upon receipt of the renewal application and payment of the required renewal fee plus penalty.
  4. Failure of a business firm to renew the license for a period of one (1) year shall require the business firm to submit a new application and meet all other requirements then in effect for licensure.
  5. Renewal forms will be mailed to licensees in good standing one month prior to expiration. Upon submitting the appropriate renewal documents to the Board Office, a Certificate of Renewal will be sent to the business firm.

IV: Chapter 87 Corporation

Companies wishing to obtain licensure as a Chapter 87 Corporation must meet the specific requirements below to qualify.

  1. Corporation must be currently licensed under Chapter 87 of the North Carolina General Statutes.

    a. Article 1 (General Contractors)

    b. Article 2 (Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors)

    c. Article 4 (Electrical Contractors)

    d. Article 5 (Refrigeration Contractors)

  2. Can only provide limited professional services of engineering or surveying that are reasonably necessary and connected with the primary services performed by individuals regularly employed in the ordinary course of business by the corporation.

  3. The professional services may not be offered, performed or rendered independently from the primary services rendered by the corporation.

  4. The exemption is effectively a limitation to design/build contracts where the corporation has the design and build responsibilities from the initial contract.

  5. The corporation cannot do the design and then the project be negotiated or bid for the construction.

  6. The corporation cannot advertise engineering services or hold out that it is an engineering firm.

  7. If the corporation meets these requirements, then it is exempt from the requirements of G.S. 55B.

  8. The corporation must still be licensed by the Board.

Application procedure for Licensure as a Chapter 87 Corporation to practice limited engineering services in North Carolina.

Step 1: Application for Licensure
  1. Download the Chapter 87 Corporation application, which is available at HTUwww.ncbels.org.

  2. Complete the entire application form. Information on all engineers or land surveyors and office locations from which professional services will be rendered must be shown in the spaces provided for this purpose.

  3. The President/CEO/Chairman of the Board of the corporation, as well as a Professional Engineer or Professional Land Surveyor employee of the corporation, licensed to practice in North Carolina, must sign the certificate and have it notarized.

  4. A copy of the Articles of Incorporation and Contractor’s license number must accompany the application. If applying as an out-of-state (foreign) corporation, you must submit a copy of the Certificate of Authority issued by the Office of the North Carolina Secretary of State.

  5. Application must be completed and returned with an original signature. Copies are not acceptable. The non-refundable fee for licensure as a Chapter 87 Corporation is $100.00. The application fee must be in the form of a check or money order made payable to the NC Board of Examiners, at the time of application.

  6. Submit the original application and a copy of the Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Authority along with the Contractor’s license number to the Board office.
Step 2: Approval of Application and Issuance of Limited License
  1. Board staff will review the information provided in the application form, to include verification that all professional individuals noted on the application are properly licensed and in good standing. Once verified, a license to practice limited engineering and or land surveying in conjunction with the corporation’s primary service will be issued.
Step 3: Annual Renewal of License
  1. Certificates of Licensure issued to Chapter 87 Corporations licensed under exemption to Chapter 55B of the North Carolina Statutes expire in accordance with the provisions of §55B-11 and 21 NCAC 56 .0804(b).

  2. Upon written application of the Corporation, accompanied by the appropriate renewal fee, the Licensing Board shall renew the Certificate of Licensure as required by statute, providing the Board finds that the Corporation has complied with all relevant statutes, rules and regulations pertaining to the limited practice of engineering and/or land surveying in North Carolina.

  3. Renewal forms will be mailed to corporate licensees in good standing approximately one month before expiration. Upon submitting the appropriate renewal documents to the Board office, a Certificate of Renewal will be sent to the Corporation.

North Carolina Statutes

Secretary of State

Chapter 55B

Chapter 55D

  • Chapter 55D - Article 2 - Filing Requirements
  • Chapter 55D - Article 3 - Names
  • Chapter 55D - Article 4 - Registered Office and Registered Agent

Chapter 57D-2-02

  • Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors

Chapter 89C - Engineers and Surveyors

  • 89C-18.1 - Licensing nonresidents
  • 89C-23 - Unlawful to practice engineering or surveying without licensure; unlawful use of title or terms; penalties; Attorney General to be legal advisor.
  • 89C-24 - Licensure of corporations and business firms that engage in the practice of engineering or surveying.

North Carolina Administrative Code

Secretary of State

18 NCAC 04 .0318 - Authorization of Foreign Professional Corporations

  • 18 NCAC 04 .0502 - Words Prohibited in Addition to Statutory Prohibitions
  • 18 NCAC 04 .0503 - Deceptively Similar and Distinguishable Names
  • 18 NCAC 04 .0504 - Filing Fictitious or Assumed Name for Foreign Entity

NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Land Surveyors (Full Text)

21 NCAC 56 .0902 - Titles of Business Entities

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