Forming an LLC in California
California limited liability companies are formed by filing Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State. The entire filing process in California depends on the season and the choice of expedited options. Generally speaking, it varies from two to three weeks with regular filing, but periodically can be as long as two months and, perversely, as short as one week. For an extra charge, expedited options are available.
Name Identifiers and Abbreviations
The name of the California limited liability company must end with one of the following words/abbreviations:
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Liability Co.
- Ltd. Liability Company
- Ltd. Liability Co.
The Operating Agreement helps protect your company’s limited liability status and prevents your company from being run by the default rules created by the state. Unlike most other states, California mandates all LLCs must have an Operating Agreement.
Depending on the nature of your business, some additional filings could be necessary to complete the proper set-up of your LLC:
- EIN – Tax Identification Number – This is included available as an optional extra for non-US residents with all LLC Incorporations.
- Sales tax registration
- Payroll registration and business licensing
- Statement of information – included in fee
- Most municipal jurisdictions in California require businesses operating within the municipal limits to obtain a Business License. That includes home-based businesses.
Important Note: Once the LLC is formed, you must file a Statement of Information – a document listing addresses, members and managers of the LLC, as well as some other related information. Filing the Statement of Information is included in the incorporation fee.