Simple guide – How to form an LLC in California

If you are seeking a light-hearted way to learn the basics of LLC filing, look no further. It is important to realize that this article is not meant to be taken seriously. The reason for this is that I am going to make some outrageous claims about who the best LLC filing companies are.

If you are thinking of starting your own business, it is important to know the many different steps involved in forming an LLC.

How to start an llc in California?

  1. The first step towards setting up an LLC is to choose a business name that will be used on your official documents. This should be done by creating a trade name registration, which can be done online for $38 in California.
  2. This may seem like a hassle but it is necessary before you can start the next step in forming your own llc in California .  
  3. The next step is to file your Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State.
  4. The cost for filing your Articles of Organization will be $100 per LLC member. This can be paid online, by credit card.  
  5. If you are forming an LLC that has more than one member, each member would need to pay the $100 fee, for a total of $200 per LLC member.
  6. If you are hoping to be granted an EIN before opening your business bank account, you will need to file everything under your Social Security number.  You can do this without having to also file Articles of Organization and start a registered agent service.  

To form an LLC, you will need to follow specific steps.

  1. If you are forming a company or LLC in another state, then this article will give you a basic idea of what to do. If you are more concerned with how to file papers than how to setup a company, I recommend reading How To Open A Company And How To Form It in California.
  2. The ability to form an LLC can be a great asset for businesses that require multiple owners or shareholders. It is important to know what the tax implications of forming an LLC are before making a decision on whether or not it is right for your business.
  3. The tax implications of forming an LLC should be discussed with your CPA before you make a decision to incorporate. This can save you money and prevent a lot of headaches later on.
  4. As more and more people start their own businesses, it becomes necessary to know the different steps involved and understanding how to setup taxes on your company.
  5. You will find these forms and information on the IRS website.
  6. You can access the information on the IRS website by clicking here.,,q=6517,00.html

How to form an LLC in California

A. Filing the Articles of Incorporation

You must file the Articles of Organization with your secretary of state.

The cost is $110 and you will need to pay this fee when you officially file the articles with your secretary of state. You can also do this online, the cost is $50 but there are no home delivery options.

There are two options for filing the Articles of Organization: by mail or by fax or by email.

When filing online you will need to get a picture identification from the same state you are and the document must be valid for at least 60 days from the issue date.

To file by mail, follow these steps

  1. Fill out Form LLC-1, Articles of Organization. The form can be found on the California Secretary of State website.
  2. Make out the check to “Secretary of State” for the exact amount of the filing fee, which is $65 for filing online and $110 for home delivery or overnight delivery.
  3. Fill out and sign the Declaration of Domestic Representative with your personal information, including your Social Security Number (SSN) and California driver’s license number. The Declaration can also be found on the California Secretary of State website .
  4. Mail or deliver the original Articles of Organization, declaration, and check to: California Secretary of State Sacramento Office 1500 11th Street Sacramento, CA 95814
  5. The Articles of Organization must be filed with the California Secretary of State within 6 months from the date the LLC was formed. If it is not filed inside this time frame, the LLC will automatically be dissolved.

B. Filing for your Business ID

The California Secretary of State sent you a Notice of Formation when you filed your form. This notice is required to be mailed to the CA SOS Numberholder at least one day before the deadline to file for an EIN or ITIN.

The EIN is an acronym for an employer identification number. This is a number that the IRS issues to businesses that pay income taxes in the US and certain foreign countries.

C. Filing for a Tax ID Number

Also, if you are exporting goods, you will need to get a Federal Tax ID number or EIN. This is not a requirement in California, but it is good practice to get one.

This is the same as an EIN, only it is used for income taxes and figuring out how much sales tax you owe on your exports.

D. You can file for the LLC with your secretary of state

The California Secretary of State sent you a Notice of Formation when you filed your Articles of Organization.

E. Registering with the ZenBusiness online in California

You can file for your business tax identification number by clicking the ‘New Company’ on the ZenBusiness website and filling out the form online.

Zenbusiness #1

We offer a one-stop shop for all your business filing needs. We make the process fast and easy, complete with support, free advice, money-saving discounts, and more.

To access this service, you will need a California business address.

There is no charge, just fill out the form with your business information and pay an annual registration fee of $35. This fee is for registering, not for filing taxes or paying taxes if you do not file a return.

F. The Benefits of Creating Your LLC at Zenbusiness

  • We offer a one-stop-shop for all your business filing needs. We make the process fast and easy, complete with support, free advice, money-saving discounts and more.
  • We offer no additional charge services such as making filings with the Secretary of State
  • We will help you create a business plan to make sure that you are setting up your business on solid financial footing.
  • Zenbusiness has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We are dedicated to customer service, and you can have a representative call you if you would like one.
  • If your business is an S corp, we will handle all of the paperwork with the IRS for you. We will also file all of your quarterly estimated taxes throughout the year for free.
  • If your company is a LLC or C corp, we will help you file your taxes at no additional cost to you during one of our consults with a certified public accountant if needed.

G. How we process your request

When you use to create an LLC for your business, we send this information to the California government so that you do not need to file it yourself.

California does not require an Annual Report, but if you want one, you can fill that out on this page.

California Secretary of State Website

File Online:

Annual Report (Optional):

The Benefits of Creating Your LLC in California

You can do business anywhere in the world, not just within California.

The liability protection provided by a limited liability company is the same no matter where you do business. A registered agent does not need to live or work within a particular state.

A limited liability company is treated by the IRS as a separate entity from its owners.

How much does it cost to form an limited liability company in California

Because there are many factors to consider, we are not going to try to make a blanket calculation for you today. However, here are some general guidelines as to how much it will cost you:

  1. The first thing that you must decide before making any further inquiries about how much it costs to form an LLC is whether your business will be registered as a sole proprietorship or a corporation.
  2. The major difference between these two types of business concerns liability protection. With a sole proprietorship, you are personally liable for any debts that your business incurs.
  3. If you choose to form a corporation, however, then the corporation itself will be held responsible for the debts and liabilities that your company accumulates.
  4. By and large, an LLC is treated as a pass-through entity by the IRS. In other words, the IRS considers it to be a partnership unless it is taxed like a corporation.
  5. As a pass-through entity, a corporation does not need to pay taxes on the income that it earns. Instead, the shareholders in the corporation are personally liable for any corporate income taxes that might be due.
  6. If you choose to form an LLC that is taxed like a corporation, then you will need to file quarterly tax returns and pay income tax on your business activities.
  • The cost of incorporating varies depending on whether you live in California or the rest of the United States. In California, the filing fee is $125.
  • The annual fee is $100. The annual report only costs $25 unless you want the record search and download. If you want to keep your corporation in good standing, then you will need to file a dissolution report every year and pay a $30 fee.
  • That said, the cost of incorporation is capped at $5,500 for corporations and $1,250 for LLCs. These are just some general figures that you will want to keep in mind as you begin to explore the cost of incorporating in California.

Another thing that you need to consider is how much it will cost to make sure that your LLC is doing what it is supposed to be doing.

You can register a C corporation for just $10 and then pay an additional fee of $50 every year if you do not have a registered agent, or $200 every year if you do have one.

Limited Liability Company Purpose Statement and Name

Before you even think about taking the next steps, there are a few things that you need to do. First of all, make sure that your business name is available in California.

If your LLC name is already taken, then I suggest brainstorming for names using an online tool like LegalZoom. If you are not sure about your business structure, then you can look at all the options on LegalZoom’s website and decide which one is best for you.

Can a real estate agent form an limited liability company in California?

A real estate agent can form a limited liability company in California. While the concept seems a little counter-intuitive, it makes perfect sense.

The reason is that if you work as a real estate agent for yourself, it can be problematic if your income varies substantially from year to year.

In addition, sellers and agents can sometimes get into trouble when the seller has not fulfilled his or her obligation to disclose defects in the property. Sometimes sellers hide certain facts about a property to increase their chances of selling it.

How long does it take to form an limited liability company in California?

In general, it takes about 2-3 weeks to form a limited liability company in California.

There are some steps that you must go through to make sure that you form your business the right way.

For example, you need to file certain paperwork with the state and then create a bank account for your LLC as a secondary step.

What is California Franchise Tax?

The franchise tax is the most common tax that you will pay when you form a limited liability company in California.

The franchise tax is basically what it sounds like — a tax on how much profit your company makes. In other words, the state does not want to charge you income taxes if your company is not making enough income.

On the other hand, if your LLC starts making more than $250,000 in business income per year, then California will start to get interested in collecting that extra revenue.

Do you have to pay the $800 California LLC fee the first year?

The $800 LLC fee applies to most new or newly formed companies. There are some exceptions for this fee in California.

The California Franchise Tax is a tax that you will need to pay if you are doing business in California for the first time and do not own any real estate in the state immediately before you form the LLC.

How much does it cost to register an limited liability company in California?

To register a limited liability company in California, you must pay $800 for every year that your company is in business. This cost is applied regardless of the size of your company. Once it is official, you can file documents with the state to make sure that your company meets certain requirements.

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent is basically a person who will receive any legal documents regarding your business on behalf of the company. The registered agent can also be a lawyer who will register your company with the department of state.

Why is California LLC so expensive?

The reason that California LLC is so expensive is that it is a great deal in states that require an annual franchise tax or tax on business income. The $800 fee is only applied once, although you will pay it for each year that you register your company with the state.

Can I file for an LLC on my own?

Yes, if you are a California resident and you have established your business in the state for more than six months. If you want to make sure that you file everything correctly, you should consult with a lawyer or an accountant.

Form LLC-12 Attachment to Statement of Information

In California, you can file the LLC-12 form online by visiting this website:

You will need to answer all of the questions on the company formation application and then confirm that you are a California resident before you proceed with filing the LLC-12 form.

Statement of Information

  1. You will need to file a Statement of Information every year that you do business in California. If you are planning on doing business with more than one person, then this is the form that you will need to sign and submit along with your LLC-12 form.
  2. Statement of Information explains your company’s basic information as well as any statement about employees or officers. Every two years after filing the initial Statement of Information, the LLC must pay a fee in order to file either Form SI-550 or an updated version.How can I check if an LLC is active?
  3. If you are planning on buying a new house or renovating, then checking the status of an LLC is important. The reason it is necessary to do this is because there might be liens against the property that need to be paid off before you purchase it.
  4. Remember that after you form your new California LLC, it only takes 90 days for the CA SOS to require you submit an Initial Statement of Information.

Corporate Disclosure Statement Form SI-PT

This document has a legal requirement if you want to be exempt from paying the annual franchise tax.

To receive this exemption, you will have to include your company’s federal employer identification number on the Corporate Filing Fee Exemption ( CT-6B ) form.

Single-member LLCs

Not responsible for the $800 fee if they do not have employees or capital assets in California

Exemption from Franchise Tax ( CT-6B ) – Must be filled out if you don’t want to pay a tax of 8.84% on your net income

CT-11: Electronic Filing Declaration and Signature Authorization – Can only be required to file the Statement of Information form, which is discussed above.

LLC in California for Rental Property

For rental property LLC, California is a great option. If you own a rental property, then you will want to think about getting an LLC for your rental property.

In some states, such as Texas and New York, LLCs are only for business activities, not real estate activity. However, in California and other states like Nevada and Delaware, LLCs are specifically for business activities.

LLC in California for car wash

If you do a lot of business or personal exchanges with cars, then a California LLC is the best option. Getting an LLC for your car wash will allow you to separate personal and business expenses from one another. This is helpful when doing taxes as it will make things much easier down the road.

LLC in California for corporations

There are many different benefits to forming a corporation or California LLC. The most obvious one is the tax savings if you qualify for the Small Business Corporation (SBC) exemption. If you do not qualify for this exemption, then you will need to pay fees of 8.84% on your net income.

Operating agreement template

If you do not have a place to store your operating agreements, then an LLC in California will allow you to get away with this easily. This is because the state of California does not require those operating agreements to be filed in their local office or anywhere else.

Types of business entities

If you want to register a business entity, then the first decision that you will need to make is whether or not you are going to form a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or LLC.

All types of organizations are required by law to file some kind of document and keep it on file at all times

What are some advantages of an LLC?

  • Limited liability means that they can only lose what they have invested in the business.
  • Limited tax liability for members as long as an LLC is classified correctly and taxes are paid correctly.
  • LLCs give you flexibility to create your own corporate structure for the company. For example, if you form a corporation this will be more rigid than an LLC or partnership. 

Registered agent service vs. Registered office

If you are thinking of forming a company or LLC in California, then you will want to find out what the registered agent service is and what registered offices are for.

Registered Agent Service

The main purpose of a registered agent in California is to give your corporation or LLC an address during the renewal process. A lot of people think that the registered agent in California will also send out documents on your behalf. This is not true and it cannot legally do anything for you concerning communication to the state of California.

Registered offices in California can be useful if you are planning to file additional paperwork or filings, such as a Statement of Information (Form CT-11).

Substituted Service of Process

If you are thinking of forming an LLC in California, then it is best to get help from an expert for the legal process. You can use their services to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Make sure that you have your correct registered agent or officeholder information before filing forms as mistakes can delay your filings.

Agent for Service of Process Form (Form CT-2)

If you want to have a representative that will be able to receive documents from the state, then you need to file an Agent for Service of Process form (CT-2). This is also called the Statutory Agent. If your LLC is registered in California, then this must be filed within 90 days after filing your service of process must either be served personally or sent by registered mail.

File Articles of Organization

If you are thinking of forming a company or LLC in California, then you will need to file Form LLC-1. This is done by filing the following documents:

An original and eight copies of the articles,  signed only by the organizer.

The date that they were signed, which should be written in the lower right-hand corner of each page.

An original and two copies of a certificate of acceptance for filing, signed only by the organizer.

The date that they were signed, which should be written in the lower right-hand corner of each page.

The Secretary of State will send you a Statement of Information (Form LLC-12) to fill out within 120 days of filing.

If you have a Statement of Information (Form LLC-12) that is more than four months old, then the Secretary of State will send you a second one. This can be sent by either certified mail, overnight delivery or it can be hand-delivered to your registered office in California.

Franchise Tax Board

If you are thinking of forming an LLC with a business license, then it will be necessary to file Form FR-100 with the Franchise Tax Board. If you are already filing taxes in California this is still required. It is a one-time fee and is $125.

This makes sure that your LLC does not duplicate tax numbers with another company in California.

Secretary of state’s office

  1. If you are thinking of forming a LLC that will have an office in California, then there is something else to keep in mind. The Secretary of State’s office requires an agency disclosure form to be filed each year.
  2. The Secretary of State’s office does not make any refunds on the $200 filing fee. The only way to get it back is if you dissolve your LLC before the end of the month, so it is best to avoid this by paying close attention to deadlines and mailing dates. You should write “DISCLAIMER” across the envelope and return it to them with a letter explaining that you did not need to file.
  3. The state of California will only accept forms that are mailed within 10 days from the due date, so be sure to mail your form on time or get express delivery if necessary. The Secretary of State’s office does not make refunds

What is limited liability company llc?

A Limited liability company is a business structure created by state law. There are other companies, such as corporations and partnerships that are also set up in the state laws. The main difference between a company set up under the LLC Act (an LLC) and other business types are that an LLC limits its owners’ liabilities to the amounts they have invested in the business and not for the full value of the company. In other words, an LLC protects its owners from being held personally liable for any business debts, losses, or legal claims against the company.

A limited liability company is a popular choice among entrepreneurs because it gives them many benefits similar to those offered by corporations but without some of their limitations and restrictions

How to open a business bank account in California

  • When starting a Limited liability company, the first thing you will need is a business bank account.
  • Business bank accounts are required by law when registering your LLC with California’s secretary of state and federal government.
  • You’ll also want to set up business checking accounts if you plan on selling products online or offering services to customers who pay for their purchases with checks.

What is a filing fee for it?

When you register your LLC with California’s secretary of state you will need to pay a $200 filing fee. This fee is non-refundable, even if you decide not to pursue the business further.

If you are considering forming an LLC and would like more information about possible tax savings or any other aspect of this process, then I recommend consulting with an accountant.

The purpose of it all? To expose how people get so swept up in rankings and ratings when choosing top corporate service providers. The fact of the matter is that a good quality company can come from any number of different places and fall under different categories depending on what your needs are.

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