Article 15.

Foreign Corporations.

Part 1. Certificate of Authority.

55-15-01. Authority to transact business required.

(a) A foreign corporation may not transact business in this State until it obtains a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State.

(b) Without excluding other activities which may not constitute transacting business in this State, a foreign corporation shall not be considered to be transacting business in this State solely for the purposes of this Chapter, by reason of carrying on in this State any one or more of the following activities:

(1) Maintaining or defending any action or suit or any administrative or arbitration proceeding, or effecting the settlement thereof or the settlement of claims or disputes;

(2) Holding meetings of its directors or shareholders or carrying on other activities concerning its internal affairs;

(3) Maintaining bank accounts or borrowing money in this State, with or without security, even if such borrowings are repeated and continuous transactions;

(4) Maintaining offices or agencies for the transfer, exchange, and registration of its securities, or appointing and maintaining trustees or depositories with relation to its securities;

(5) Soliciting or procuring orders, whether by mail or through employees or agents or otherwise, where such orders require acceptance without this State before becoming binding contracts;

(6) Making or investing in loans with or without security including servicing of mortgages or deeds of trust through independent agencies within the State, the conducting of foreclosure proceedings and sale, the acquiring of property at foreclosure sale and the management and rental of such property for a reasonable time while liquidating its investment, provided no office or agency therefor is maintained in this State;

(7) Taking security for or collecting debts due to it or enforcing any rights in property securing the same;

(8) Transacting business in interstate commerce;

(9) Conducting an isolated transaction completed within a period of six months and not in the course of a number of repeated transactions of like nature;

(10) Selling through independent contractors;

(11) Owning, without more, real or personal property.

(c) Reserved for future codification purposes.

(d) Foreign insurance companies that are licensed by the Commissioner of Insurance are not required to obtain a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State.

(e) The following foreign corporations are not required to obtain a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State:

(1) A nonresident business solely performing disaster-related work in this State during a disaster response period at the request of a critical infrastructure company. The definitions and provisions of G.S. 166A-19.70A apply to this subdivision.

(2) A person issued a temporary license by the Department of Revenue under G.S. 105-449.69A to import, export, distribute, or transport motor fuel in this State in response to a disaster declaration. (1901, c. 2, s. 93; Rev., s. 1193; 1915, c. 196, s. 1; C.S., s. 1180; G.S., s. 55-117; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 12.20; 1993, c. 552, s. 16; 2019-187, s. 1(b).)