I live in Kentucky and I would guess that the fees and everything else is similar to NC. All we have to do here is go onto the Kentucky Secretary of State home page on the internet and find the documents that establish yourself as an LLC, print 2 copies, sign them, send them to the capital with $40 check, receive back stamped from capital and file with the county clerk for an additional $9. Total cost for me, $49.
I am registered with the state and county just as you would be with an attorney or online filing service but as you see, for much less. If you need help in NC, call your local SBDC or check with the local library.