Start an LLC in California - File Your LLC in as Little as 24 Hours

We make it easy to form an LLC

Packages start at $79 (plus state fees)

You can form an LLC through our online ordering system. Or, if you have completed documents, you may upload them on our order page. Please read our "How to Start an LLC in California Guidelines" before to filing. Form an LLC quickly and securely - hand delivered to the state. Trust our experience to file your LLC. Since 1999.

 

24 Hour Rush Service Available

Documents filed and emailed back to you next business day.

 

 

 

Step 1:  Choose LLC Name**
Choose three names in order of preference and we will check which name is available.

Step 2:  Prepare or Upload your Articles

Our online form will walk you through all required information.

Step 3:  Specify Service Level and Service Options

Select the appropriate filing package or choose from the a la carte options.
 

Routine:  5 - 7 Business Days 

Rush:  24 Hours

 

 

Our Rush Service can have your LLC filed and emailed to you the next day. Please note, if the state rejects your LLC filing, it will not refund the rush fee. Documents must be received by 3 p.m. PST on the day of the filing.  

 

Your filing is now on its way!  If we receive your California LLC Articles of Organization by 3 p.m. M-F, your filing will be submitted the same day it was received. The date submitted will become the file date of your new entity. 

 

Compare that to other services that mail in your documents to the Secretary of State. Their process can take SEVERAL WEEKS.

 

Once the state approves your filing, they issue a state entity number along with one copy of your filing. If you need a certified copy, please add it to your order. We will immediately fax or email the filed document to you and return the copy via regular mail. 

 

Your Post-Filing Responsibilities

File a Statement of Information: California requires you to file a Statement of Information within 90 days of forming your LLC. After that, you will need to file an updated Statement of Information once every two years. If you fail to file the Statement of Information, the Secretary of State will assess a $250.00 late fee penalty. When we send you the copy of the Articles of Organization, we will include a statement of information form.  If you would like us to file it for you, please add it to your order.

 

Employer Identification Number (E.I.N.): We can obtain an EIN for you usually within 48 hours of sucessfully filing your new LLC. 

 

California LLC Kit: An LLC Kits helps you keep minutes of company meetings and other important documents, such as your operating agreement. Our LLC Kits include a custom binder, 20 customized membership certificates, printed minutes, operating agreement, LLC seal embosser, and FedEx 2nd Day shipping. You can order the LLC Kit at the time of filing, or order it later if you prefer. 

 

Learn more on How to Form an LLC in California

Learn more on Manager-Managed LLC

Learn more on Member-Managed LLC

Learn more on Single-Member LLC

The SunDoc Filings California Advantage

 

  • We visit the Secretary of State three times daily
  • Most filing companies mail in your filings 
  • All filings received by 3 p.m. PST are submitted same day
  • No expedite fees for same day submission 

 

How to Start an LLC in California - Guidelines

 

Limited Liability Company Name
The name of a Limited Liability Company must end with the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C."  The words “limited'' and “company” may be abbreviated to “Ltd.” and “Co.,” respectively.  An available name may be reserved for a 60-day period.
 
**NOTE: The name availability check or reservation of a name does not guarantee the name meets all federal and state requirements related to a specific entity type. Names are reviewed for compliance by the Secretary of State's office when the documents are submitted for filing. 
 
Organizers / Members
The limited liability company can be formed by any one (1) or more persons. The person or persons who execute and file the articles of organization may, but need not, be members of the limited liability company. The limited liability company must have one or more members. 
 
Duration of LLC
The period of duration of a limited liability company may be perpetual.
 
Purpose Clause
A limited liability company may engage in any lawful business activity, except the banking business, the business of issuing policies of insurance and assuming insurance risks, or the trust company business.
 
Record Keeping Requirements
The LLC must have an office where its records are kept. This office may be (but is not required to be) one of its business locations in California, or its registered office. We cannot provide this service.
 
Registered Agent - Agent for Service of Process
The limited liability company must maintain an agent for service of process in California. If an individual is designated as agent, include the agent’s business or residential street address in California (a P.O. Box address is not acceptable).  If another corporation is designated as agent, do not include the address of the designated corporation.
Note: Before another corporation may be designated as agent, that corporation must have previously filed with the Secretary of State a certificate pursuant to California
Corporations Code section 1505. A corporation cannot act as its own agent and no domestic or foreign corporation may file pursuant to Section 1505 unless the Corporation is currently authorized to engage in business in California and is in good standing in the records of the California Secretary of State.
 
Operating Agreement
The members of a limited liability company should adopt and maintain a separate operating agreement. The agreement may contain any provisions regarding the affairs and conduct of the business of the company to the extent such provisions are not inconsistent with the laws of California or the Articles of Organization.
 
Filing Procedures
Submit to the Secretary of State one (1) executed original of the Articles of Organization. Within 90 days after the filing of the Articles of Organization, the company must file a Statement of Information.
 
California Franchise Tax Board
Pursuant to California Revenue and Taxation Code section 17941, every Limited Liability Company (LLC) that is doing business in California or that has Articles of Organization accepted or a Certificate of Registration issued by the Secretary of State’s office (pursuant to California Corporations Code section 17050 or 17451) AND is not taxed as a corporation, is subject to the annual LLC minimum tax of $800. The tax is paid to the California FRANCHISE TAX BOARD; is due for the taxable year of organization/registration and must be paid for each taxable year, or part there of, until a Certificate of Cancellation of Registration or Certificate of Cancellation of Articles of Organization (pursuant to Corporations Code section 17356 or 17455) is filed with the Secretary of State’s office. For further information regarding the payment of this tax, please contact the FRANCHISE TAX BOARD at 800-852-5711.

 

 

 

California LLC Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why use SunDoc Filings to form your LLC?
We're based in Sacramento, just 10 minutes from the Secretary of State's office. We make three trips per day to the SOS office and submit all filings received by 3 p.m. PST. These frequent visits allow us to offer a 24 Hour Rush Service in California. 
 
How many members (or managers) must a LLC have in California?
You can form an LLC with as few as one member (or manager).   
 
What is a Registered Agent?
Every state requires your LLC to have a Registered Agent who can receive official or legal papers. These may include notices of business registration renewals and annual reports.  A Registered Agent is also required to receive any “service of process” in case someone brings a lawsuit against your business.  Most businesses prefer not to be “served” on-site because it creates a bad image. A third party Registered Agent can receive any such service of process and forward it to you.  The name and address of the Registered Agent is a matter of public record.
 
Can SunDoc Filings help me find a Registered Agent?
Yes, for a small fee we offer Registered Agent services in California and all other states.  Visit our Registered Agent page for details.
 
What are operating agreements and how do I obtain or prepare them?
An LLC’s operating agreement lists the rules by which the entity will operate.  They are to LLCs what bylaws are to a corporation. We offer a free sample of a California LLC operating agreement for both single-member and manager-managed LLCs. You do not file your LLC operating agreement with the Secretary of State. Instead, bylaws or operating agreements are kept with internal company records.
 

Questions about Formation?

How do I form an LLC in California?
To form an LLC, you must prepare and file Articles of Organization with the state authorities. You must also pay filing fees and any applicable initial franchise taxes or other fees. If you want to form your LLC through SunDoc Filings, just complete our order form online. We will prepare and file your Articles of Organization for you.    
 
Do I need an attorney to form an LLC in California?
No. You can prepare and file the Articles of Organization yourself. But if you do so, be sure you understand the state requirements.  An attorney can help prepare your Articles of Organization, and advise you on what type of business structure will most benefit your business.
 
Is California the best state to form an LLC? 
You can form your LLC in any state in the country, not just your home state. Some states such as Nevada and Delaware offer better tax benefits than others. But keep in mind that legal matters must be settled in your state of formation.  You may find it helpful to read our guide “What’s the Best State to Incorporate?” which also covers LLC formation.
 
Should I form an LLC or a Corporation in California?
Corporations and LLCs offers different tax and business advantages. Your specific business needs shold drive which option you choose. 
 
Corporations offer personal liability protection, tax savings and increased opportunities for raising capital. Corporations are required to perform certain duties such as holding annual meetings and keeping detailed corporate records (minutes).
 
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) provide liability protection, while offering simpler paperwork than a corporation. LLCs also offer great tax flexibility. 
 
For more details, you may want to read our guide “LLC vs. Corporation.”
 

 


 
Helpful Links for California

 

Franchise Tax Board - for information regarding franchise tax requirements.

State Board of Equalization - for information regarding sales tax and/or use tax liability.

Department of Corporations - for information regarding issuance and sale of securities in California, Franchise Investment Law, Personal Property Brokers Law and Escrow Law requirements.

Department of Consumer Affairs - for information regarding licensing requirements.

Employment Development Department - for information regarding disability unemployment insurance tax.

California Small Business Assistance Center

 http://www.taxes.ca.gov/Small_Business_Assistance_Center/index.shtml

Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers' Compensation - for information regarding workers compensation requirements.

The county agency where the principal place of business is located - for information relating to city/county business licenses,fictitious business names (if doing business under a name other than the corporate name), zoning, building permits, etc., dependent on business entity activities. To determine the applicable county agency, please refer to the list of California counties provided on the California State Association of Counties website.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - for information regarding federal employer identification numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

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.