Detailed and generalized protocols are presented for the synthesis and subsequent purification of four palladium N-heterocyclic carbene complexes from benzimidazolium salts. Detailed and generalized protocols are also presented for testing the catalytic activity of such complexes in arylation and Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reactions. Representative results are shown for the catalytic activity of the four complexes in arylation and Suzuki-Miyaura type reactions. For each of the reactions investigated, at least one of the four complexes successfully catalyzed the reaction, qualifying them as promising candidates for catalysis of many carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions. The protocols presented are general enough to be adapted for the synthesis, purification and catalytic activity testing of new palladium N-heterocyclic carbene complexes.