Forming a C Corp in California

(This article is part of a series. You may also want to read our guide How To Incorporate in California.)


Forming a California C Corporation consists simply of filing a few short statements of information in your proposed Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State, along with a filing fee of $100. There's more detail work behind this filing of course, but it shouldn't be daunting to form a corporation in California. This article will tell you everything you need to know.


SunDoc Filings is a downtown Sacramento filing company specializing in submitting documents to the state. At any stage you can turn to us to help with the paperwork, either in forming your C corporation or for routine documents and services thereafter.




To incorporate you will need to state in your articles:

  • Which of the three types of corporation you're forming (more if we include non-profit).
  • Your proposed company name, available without conflicts for you to use.
  • Your corporation address.
  • Your Registered Agent's contact information.
  • How many shares you're authorizing the corporation to issue.
  • Optionally, the number of shareholders, depending on your choice of corporation type.


Additionally you will need to:

  • Create a separate bank account for the corporation.
  • Hold your first shareholder and/or director meeting to adopt bylaws that establish the rules of how and through whom the company is run (directors, officers, meeting dates etc).
  • Apply for your Federal Tax ID (EIN) with the IRS.
  • Within 90 days from incorporating, file your first annual Statement of Information with the state, providing details of officers and directors of the corporation.


California C Corporation


By law your California C corporation is formed when the Secretary of State accepts your articles, but if any information is incorrect - and your company name's true availability is the biggest pitfall here - then your filing can be rejected.


You can view and download standard articles and other forms from the State of California's website, along with instructions and useful tips for filing, here. From this source if you're a DIY entrepreneur you can also discover information about your name search, applying for your EIN, and the state’s requirements for a registered agent.


The forms you download from the state accord with the California Corporations Code in a minimalist way. Your attorney can create custom articles of incorporation with more options than are supplied in the default forms, along with more customized bylaws to set up the company to your best advantage.


Similarly, your accountant or tax attorney can advise you on all tax matters, including your significant tax obligations as a California C corporation. SunDoc Filings cannot provide such professional advice, and nothing in this article can be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice.


SunDoc Filings


What SunDoc CAN do for you is file forms and provide other services that save you time and effort, at an affordable cost. Follow these links for information on how we can, file papers to incorporate in California, conduct your all-important name search and name reservation for you, supply you with a California Corporate Kit with useful documents including standard bylaws, apply for your EIN on your behalf, and provide Registered Agent services for you.


You can accomplish all this easily through this website, here at To talk to a live voice for immediate assistance call us toll-free during business hours at 1-888-595-2747.