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LLC in California

How to Start an LLC in California

Starting an LLC in California is a great way to establish a separate legal entity for your business while enjoying the benefits of limited liability protection. An LLC is a flexible business structure that can be customized to meet the specific needs of your business.

Forming an LLC in California involves several steps, including choosing a unique name, selecting a registered agent, and filing the necessary paperwork with the California Secretary of State.

Three Things To Be Aware Of When Starting Your LLC

The video below covers three things you must know when creating your LLC.

  1. Commingling Funds
  2. Registered Agent
  3. Piercing the Corporate Veil

If you are unfamiliar with these terms, please watch the video below.

It’s important to consider factors such as your business plan, industry-specific requirements, and local business regulations when starting an LLC in California. By taking the time to structure and form your LLC properly, you can lay the foundation for a successful and protected business venture.

7 Steps to Create an LLC in California

Creating an LLC in California involves several steps, including the following:

  1. Choose a Name for Your LLC: Your LLC name must be unique and cannot already be used by another business in California. It must also contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  2. File the Articles of Organization: This document officially creates your LLC in California and must be filed with the Secretary of State. The Articles of Organization must include the name of the LLC, the purpose of the LLC, the name and address of the registered agent, and the name and signature of the person forming the LLC.
  3. Appoint a Registered Agent: A registered agent is a person or business that accepts legal documents on behalf of the LLC. They must have a physical address in California.
  4. Create an Operating Agreement: Although not required by California law, it is highly recommended that all LLCs have an operating agreement. This document outlines the ownership and management structure of the LLC, as well as the rights and responsibilities of the members.
  5. Obtain an EIN: An EIN, also known as an Employer Identification Number, is a tax identification number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you have employees or plan to open a business bank account.
  6. Register for State Taxes: In California, LLCs may be required to register for state taxes, such as sales and use tax.
  7. Comply with Annual Report Requirements: California requires all LLCs to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State each year.

It is important to note that there may be specific requirements for your LLC based on its industry and the nature of its business activities. It may also be helpful to seek the advice of a professional, such as an attorney or accountant, when forming an LLC in California.

How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC?

Costs to Open an LLC in California

The cost of forming an LLC in California varies, depending on several factors, such as whether you hire a professional to help with the process and any additional fees for expedited processing.

Here is a breakdown of the typical costs involved in forming an LLC in California:

  1. Filing Fee: The fee for filing the Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State is $75.
  2. Registered Agent Fee: If you hire a registered agent service, the cost will vary depending on the provider but can range from $50 to $300 per year.
  3. Professional Fees: If you hire an attorney or another professional to help with the formation process, the cost will depend on their hourly rate and the amount of time they spend on the task.
  4. Miscellaneous Costs: There may be other costs associated with forming an LLC in California, such as publication requirements, which can cost several hundred dollars.
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Description Bizee (formerly Incfile) is an exceptional solution for starting and managing your new business in the USA. The best of all: Year one is $0 + State Fee!A company that provides registered agent services, business formation, and compliance solutions for businesses, including Limited Liability Companies and corporations.The process with ZenBusiness involves an automated chatbot that helps determine which package suits your needs.LegalZoom offers a variety of services, including business formation, wills and trusts, intellectual property, and legal consultations.Tailor Brands LLC service has some good aspects to it, but you can overpay by $509 using this service. 
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Overall, the total cost of forming an LLC in California can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the abovementioned factors. It’s important to remember that the cost of forming an LLC is a one-time expense and can be a small investment compared to the long-term benefits that an LLC can provide, such as personal liability protection and tax savings.

Files needed to open an LLC in California

The Articles of Organization are the legal document that officially creates your Limited Liability Company (LLC) in California. The following information is typically required in the Articles of Organization:

  1. LLC Name: The name of your LLC must be unique and cannot be already used by another business in California. It must also contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  2. Purpose of the LLC: The purpose of the LLC should be stated in the Articles of Organization, and it can be as simple as “to engage in any lawful business.”
  3. Registered Agent Information: The name and address of the registered agent, who is a person or business that accepts legal documents on behalf of the LLC, must be included in the Articles of Organization. The registered agent must have a physical address in California.
  4. Names and Addresses of Members: The Articles of Organization must include the names and addresses of the members who own the LLC.
  5. Signature: The Articles of Organization must be signed by the person forming the LLC.

It’s important to note that the information included in the Articles of Organization becomes part of the public record, so it’s important to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep a copy of the Articles of Organization for your records.

Bizee (formerly Incfile) is our preferred choice for LLC formation because they provide all of the services your new business needs while being transparent with pricing. They also offer a free registered agent service for the first year, even in their free package.

Check out a behind-the-scenes of what managing your LLC looks like in your dashboard in this Bizee review.

Real LLC Cost: Comparing it with the 5 most popular LLC formation services

Things to consider when opening an LLC in California

When creating an LLC in California, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that your LLC is properly formed and complies with all state laws. Some of these considerations include:

  1. Choosing a Unique Name: The name of your LLC must be unique and cannot be already used by another business in California. It must also contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  2. Selecting a Registered Agent: A registered agent is a person or business that accepts legal documents on behalf of the LLC. They must have a physical address in California.
  3. Creating an Operating Agreement: Although not required by California law, it is highly recommended that all LLCs have an operating agreement.
  4. This document outlines the ownership and management structure of the LLC, as well as the rights and responsibilities of the members.
  5. Obtaining an EIN: An EIN, also known as an Employer Identification Number, is a tax identification number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you have employees or if you plan to open a business bank account.
  6. Registering for State Taxes: In California, LLCs may be required to register for state taxes, such as sales and use tax.
  7. Complying with Annual Report Requirements: California requires all LLCs to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State each year.
  8. Complying with Local Business Requirements: In addition to state requirements, there may also be local requirements for your LLC, such as obtaining a business license or permit.
  9. Following Industry-Specific Requirements: There may be specific requirements for your LLC based on its industry and the nature of its business activities.
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It is important to seek the advice of a professional, such as an attorney or accountant, when forming an LLC in California to ensure that all requirements are met and that your LLC is properly structured to meet your specific business needs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, starting an LLC in California can be a straightforward process with the right planning and preparation. By taking the time to structure and form your LLC properly, you can protect your personal assets and reap the benefits of limited liability protection.

For more information on starting an LLC in California, visit other resources on our website. Our articles on the various steps involved in forming an LLC, as well as information on the benefits of an LLC, can provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your business.

Our guides on registering for taxes, obtaining an EIN, and creating an operating agreement can help you navigate the legal requirements of starting an LLC in California. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand an existing business, forming an LLC in California can be a great choice. For more information and support as you begin this process, visit our website and take advantage of our comprehensive resources.

How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC?

Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general legal information, does not constitute professional legal advice for your situation, and should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Where Do I Even Begin with Starting a Business?

This depends on where you’re at in your journey. 
Step 1 is deciding what type of business you want to start. 
Step 2 is filling out the BizBuddy Pathway for your business. 
Step 3 is legally forming your business.  
Check out the FAQs below that match up with where you’re at in your process

What Type of Business Should I Start?

If you’re unsure of what kind of business you want to start, you need to assess your situation. Things like your skills, available time, passion(s), money, and risk tolerance all factor into your decision. This post on What Business to Start is a great place to assess your situation and find the right fit for your unique situation.

What is the BizBuddy Pathway?

Research says that 92% of people with a business idea will never start a business. There are no shortages of ideas… execution is the scarce resource. The BizBuddy Pathway is a simplified approach for you to lay out your business journey. 
Think of it like writing a book. The Pathway is like coming up with the title, storyline, and chapters, so you have the outline of where to begin. This is how you become the 8%.

How Do I Legally Form a Business?

It’s not as difficult as you think. That’s because in the U.S. small businesses accounted for 62% of all new jobs created between 1995 and 2020. That’s why you hear people say small business is the backbone of the economy. Check out this Guide on How to Legally Form a Business (in the U.S.). It will give you a full understanding of what goes into forming your legal entity and the options available to you. If you’re unfamiliar with terms like “Piercing the Corporate Veil” you’ll want to check out that guide.

How Do I Grow My Business?

Congrats. You’re already in the game and looking to grow. BizBuddy was founded by Eric Worral who started his first business at 13 years old (sealing driveways). That was well over 20 years ago when he had to figure out how to get new customers. No matter what business you’re in you need paying customers. This is a Guide on How to Get More Customers for Your Business. It’s a comprehensive overview of how to think about your category of business and the marketing strategies to implement. Onward and Upward! 

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About Us

Hi, I’m Eric Worral, and I Want to help you start a business.

You should know I’m one of those people that sees an obscure stat or quote and I won’t be able to shake it… it just follows me around like a shadow.

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