Form a Corporation in California or Any State

Form a Corporation in California or Any StateSunDoc Filings submits Articles to the state for filing (see state details). We have three packages to fit your needs:

 
 
 
 
SunDoc Pro: File Only - $79
SunDoc Basic: Prepare and File  $99
SunDoc Complete:  Add Corporate Essentials $279
 
Incorporating a business in any of the 50 US states is a smooth process with SunDoc Filings. We know your time is valuable, so we make it our priority to submit your corporate filing on time. Choose the SunDoc Basic package to prepare your Articles of Incorporation on our online form and we will submit them for filing. Choose the SunDoc Pro package if you have already prepared your own documents and would like us to submit them for filing only. Choose the SunDoc Complete package to prepare and file, as well as add essentials to help launch your business successfully.

 

Select a state to get started:


Frequently Asked Questions

 

"Rush" Filing Services

Why should I include Rush Filing Service with my order?
Using SunDoc Filings' Rush Filing Service secures your name and incorporation date in as little as 24 hours. This service is particularly valuable when you need proof of incorporation to secure a contract or open a bank account.  Our non-rush service is still a "walk-in" service unlike other filing companies who mail in your filings, often taking months to complete.  Our non-rush service takes about two weeks.  
 
Which states offer a rush filing service?
Rush Filing Service is available in the states listed in the chart below. The turnaround time listed adjacent to each state is the time it will take us to receive proof that your incorporation documents have been filed with the state.  Total time for receiving your state-approved incorporation documents from the state and returning them to you may take approximately a week after verification.
 
State
Turnaround Time
State
Turnaround Time
Alabama
1-3 days
Montana
24 hours
Alaska
24 hours
Nevada
24 hours
Arizona
7-10 days
New Jersey
24-48 hours
California
24 hours
New Mexico
48 hours
Connecticut
24 hours
New York
24 hours
Delaware
24 hours
North Carolina
24 hours
Georgia
24-48 hours
Ohio
24-48 hours
Hawaii
1-3 days
Pennsylvania
1 week
Idaho
24 hours
Rhode Island
24-48 hours
Illinois
24 hours
South Dakota 5-7 days
Louisiana 24 hours Texas 24 hours
Maine 3-5 days Utah 24-48 hours
Maryland 5-7 days Virginia 24 hours
Massachusetts 2-3 days Washington 24-48 hours
Michigan 24 hours West Virginia 24 hours
Minnesota 24 hours Wisonsin 24-48 hours

 

Formation Guidelines

How many officers and directors are required?
Every corporation must have three officers:
• President
• Treasurer/CFO
• Secretary (or clerk)
One person may generally serve in all three capacities. In addition to these statutory offices, there may be vice presidents and/or assistant secretaries or clerks.
In most states, only one director is required. In some states, the amount of directors a corporation is required to have is determined by the number of shareholders. For example, if the number of shareholders is four, then the C corporation must have four directors. 
 
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is typically an individual, business entity, or in some states - a corporation that has filed additional paperwork with the state filing agency so they can become a registered agent. If your corporation is ever involved in a lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorney and or the court, will serve your corporation via a process server to inform you of the suit. Even though a corporation is a separate entity, it can not answer the door and physically accept the court document in its hand. Therefore, state filing agencies require that a corporation designates a Registered Agent. The state filing agency requires that the Registered Agent maintains a physical address (no P.O. Boxes or PMB’s) in the state the company is doing business in. The registered agent is also required to be available at the physical address Monday through Friday during normal business hours to accept service of process. The name and address of the registered agent will become public record that anybody can access. SunDoc Filings can eliminate all of the above concerns. For a small annual fee, SunDoc Filings will appoint a registered agent to act on your company’s behalf. The registered agent will take the responsibility of being served and forward all service of process to your company immediately. We can act as a registered agent for your company located in any of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, please click here.
 
What is a share’s par value?
The par value of a share of stock is its minimum stated value. Par value typically does not correlate to the actual value of a share. Common par values are $0.01, $1.00 or no par value. The actual value of a share is its fair market value, or what someone is willing to pay for a share of stock. For public companies, actual value is determined by the price investors are willing to pay for each share on the national exchange. For private companies, it is typically determined by the overall value of the corporation or the book value.
 
How do I obtain or prepare corporate by-laws?
The corporation's bylaws set forth the company's rules and regulations. Similar to bylaws, an operating agreement provides the framework to operating the Limited Liability Company. Companies do not file the bylaws or operating agreements with the Secretary of State. Instead, businesses keep them with their internal company records.  When you order a corporate / LLC kit, sample bylaws are included.
 
What is a publication requirement?
Some states require new corporations or newly qualified corporations to publish in a widely circulated newspaper some information about their business. Currently, the only states that require corporations to publish are Arizona, Georgia, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. SunDoc Filings can help your company meet its filing requirements in all four states for an additional service fee or you can make arrangements on your own. Please contact us for further questions regarding publication.  
 
General Incorporation Questions
How do I form a corporation?
The information required for Filing Articles of Incorporation or a Certificate of Incorporation varies by state and type of business. If you wish to incorporate through SunDoc Filings, simply complete our online order form.  We will file your Articles of Incorporation the Sectretary of State.  You must also pay filing fees and any applicable initial franchise taxes or other fees. 
 
Do I need an attorney to incorporate? 
No. You can prepare and file the Articles of Incorporation yourself, but you should understand the requirements of your intended state of incorporation. If you are unsure if incorporation will benefit your business, or what business type you should form, you should consult an attorney or accountant.
 
What is double taxation?
Double taxation occurs when a C corporation's profits are taxed at both the business and individual levels. Business profits are reported and taxed at the corporate level first. Then, if the C corporation distributes any remaining profits to shareholders in the form of dividends, shareholders must report the dividend as personal income and pay taxes on it at the individual level. To avoid double taxation, many business owners choose to make a special election with the IRS to become an S corporation.
 
Which state is best for me to incorporate? 
Once you’ve decided to incorporate, the next step is to decide where to incorporate. It is not a requirement to form your company in the state where it is physically located (the home state), but there are factors to consider when evaluating which state is best. For small businesses, two factors are typically considered when deciding where to form a C corporation: 
1. Home state incorporation versus foreign qualification:  If the C corporation is a closely held corporation, meaning it has one or few shareholders, and does business primarily within a single state; incorporation within the home state is often preferable. The cost of home state incorporation will usually be less than incorporating in another state and registering to do business your corporation in your home state. 
A corporation that qualifies to do business in another state is subject to taxes and annual report fees from both the state of incorporation and the state of qualification. Another disadvantage of incorporating outside of your home state is the possibility of having to defend a lawsuit in another state.
2. Corporation requirements and taxation:  When deciding where to incorporate, it’s also good to research that state’s ongoing corporate requirements (such as annual report and franchise tax requirements) as well as general state taxation requirements. 
 
What are the advantages of forming a corporation? 
Limited Liability - the owners are not personally liable for debts and obligations of the corporation. They can personally lose only to the extent of their investment in the corporation from purchasing stock.  Capital can be raised more easily than under other forms of business entities through the sale of stock.
Ownership in a corporation is more easily transferable than other business entities. Under most circumstances, shares of stock can be sold without restriction to a third party without having to obtain consent from the corporation itself. 
Unlike a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company, the corporation continues to exist even if an owner (shareholder) dies or sells his shares of the business. Since the corporation is an independent legal entity, it has a continuous existence. It does not cease simply because one of the owners dies or retires.
Corporations are the most well known and widely recognized type of entity. Corporations often have an easier time setting up insurance, retirement funds, defined-contribution plans, money-purchase plans, and other profit-sharing, pension and stock option plans than other business entities.
 
How do I decide if I should form a C "general stock" or Sub chapter S corporation?
C corporations are for corporations that plan on publicly trading the corporation’s stock and intend to have 76 shareholders or more. A C corporation can have multiple classes of stock such as preferred and common shares. A C corporation will be double taxed since both the corporate entity and the individual owners have to file tax returns. For this reason alone, many will find S corporations desirable. However, an S corporation can only be owned by individuals that are U.S. citizens or registered aliens, issue only one type of stock, and is limited to no more than 75 shareholders.
An S corporation eliminates double taxation as the corporation general does not file a tax return. On their tax returns, the S corporation's shareholders include their share of the corporation's separately stated items of income, deduction, loss, and credit, and their share of non-separately stated income or loss.
 
Still can't decide? Click here to view our business entity comparison table for more information.
 
What is a Professional Corporation/Professional Limited Liability Company and how do I form a PC or PLLC? 
A professional corporation (PC) or professional limited liability company (PLLC) is a C corporation, S corporation or limited liability company (LLC) formed to provide professional services in industries that require a state license in order to practice. They are also referred to as professional association (PA) or service corporation (SC) in some states. 
Examples:
Typically they are professions that require a state license, such as:
• Accountants 
• Architects 
• Chiropractors 
• Dentists 
• Doctors 
• Lawyers 
 
Forming a PC or PLLC often involves additional steps, such as:
• Approval of the incorporation by the state licensing department for that particular profession 
• Signature on the incorporation documents of a licensed professional as the incorporator or organizer
 
To file a PC or PLLC formation with SunDoc Filings you must:
Choose the "upload" option to send us your already prepared documents.  If you are not sure of the requirements for your profession, please seek the advice of an attorney.
In the order comments field, you may also note that you wish to be a PC or PLLC.
 
How is a corporation taxed?
C-Corporation
At the federal level
In forming a corporation, prospective shareholders transfer money, property, or both, for the corporation's capital stock. A corporation generally takes the same deductions as a sole proprietorship to compute its taxable income. A corporation can also take special deductions.  The profit of a corporation is taxed to both the corporation and to the shareholders when the profit is distributed as dividends. However, shareholders cannot deduct any loss of the corporation.
At the state level
Depending upon the state, your corporation may be required to pay an annual tax or franchise tax. In addition, the corporation may be required to pay the minimum tax every year for the life of the corporation. Since each state is different, we recommend that you speak to your accountant or tax preparer for specific tax questions. 
 Return to top
 
S-Corporation
At the federal level
An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (once to the shareholders and again to the corporation) by electing to be treated as an S corporation. Generally, an S corporation is exempt from federal income tax other than tax on certain capital gains and passive income.  On their tax returns, the S corporation's shareholders include their share of the corporation's separately stated items of income, deduction, loss, and credit, and their share of non-separately stated income or loss.
 
At the state level
Depending upon the state, most S corporations have to pay the same annual tax or franchise tax as C Corporations. In addition, the corporation may be required to pay the minimum tax every year for the life of the corporation. Since each state is different, we recommend that you speak to your accountant or tax preparer for specific tax questions. 
 
Should I form an LLC or Corporation?
Corporations and LLCs are both excellent choices for business owners looking to minimize their personal liability and build greater credibility. But each entity also offers distinct tax and business advantages. Choosing the right one depends on the specific needs of your business.   Depending on the type of industry that you are in may dictate the type of entity that can be formed.  If you are not sure, contact a CPA or an attorney.
Corporations offer personal liability protection, tax savings, and increased opportunities for raising capital. Corporations are also required to perform certain formalities such as holding annual meetings and keeping detailed corporate records (minutes). 
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) offer the same personal liability protection as a corporation, but with fewer of the corporate formalities. They typically are not required to hold formal meetings or keep detailed corporate minutes. LLCs also offer great tax flexibility. Members can choose to be taxed as either a traditional corporation or as a "pass-through" entity.
 
What is a DBA (assumed name)?
 
A DBA (Doing Business As) or assumed name is the legal term for registering your business name. In some jurisdictions it is called a fictitious owner affidavit or fictitious business name. The purpose is to avoid confusion and fraud in the marketplace. Because real names and addresses are required on the application, creditors and other interested parties can connect a business name to the actual owner of the business by looking up the DBA.  Filing a DBA protects the public from fraudulent use of a name – preventing someone from ‘hiding behind a business name’ – and protects the registered business from others who might try to impersonate them by doing business under that name.
 

SunDoc Filings provides the above information for general guideline purposes only, it is not intended to replace professional legal, financial or tax advice. Please retain the services of lawyer or accountant to obtain current, complete and accurate information and professional recommendations pertinent to your specific business situation.