Global Corporate Compliance
by local Corporate Guides™

California LLC


$100 gets our Corporate Guides™ who will form your California LLC, plus:

  • Custom LLC articles of Organization
  • We form your LLC
  • Resolutions showing you own it
  • CA LLC operating agreement
  • CA LLC membership certificates


We include a year of CA registered agent service, which includes:

  • CA Statement of Information reminder
  • Registered office address
  • CA forms and information
  • Talk to a Corporate Guide™ any time

California Limited Liability Company

How to form an LLC in California:

You form California LLCs by filing articles of organization with the CA SOS.

What is required to file California LLC Articles of Organization?

To form a California LLC, you file articles of organization. Your LLC articles can be basic or complicated. They cost $70, payable to the California Secretary of State. When you hire Northwest to do your California LLC registration, we custom draft your California LLC articles of organization.

If you’d like to save some money, you could just hire us as your California registered agent, and then we provide you with all the proper forms to file, along with filing instructions. It’s all in your online account immediately.

The basic California LLC requirements are:

  1. The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it.
  2. New California LLCs name must be different than already registered California companies.
  3. Duration of the California LLC.
  4. The purpose of the California limited liability company.
  5. The California registered agent and the physical address.
  6. If the limited liability company is to be managed by one or more managers or members.  The members or managers names are not required on the initial articles.
  7. The California organizer must sign.
  8. California does not require original signatures on filings. The registered California LLC paperwork will be mailed to the person who made the filing. You must mail your order in duplicate if you expect to get anything back.

What’s the actual process to start an California LLC?

  1. California LLC registration is started when you file the articles of organization for an California LLC with the Secretary of State.
  2. You’ll get an initial statement of information request back with your confirmation copy of your CA LLC.  You must send this in within 90 days or your new LLC will immediately get dissolved.
  3. You obtain a federal tax ID number with the IRS after you have confirmation from California that the LLC is completely filed.
  4. You should be able to open a LLC banking account with these two items.
  5. Technically speaking, California wants you to pay the $800 franchise tax payment before you even start doing business… But it’s only a $25 late fee if you wait to do it till your tax preparer gets your regular tax return ready.
  6. You register your California LLC with the department of revenue or labor if you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax.
  7. You obtain a trade license, if you actually need one. (Most businesses don’t.)
  8. You obtain a local city or county general license, if you need one.
  9. You obtain a local trade license, if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.
  10. If you’re going to have an office or shop, you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? You can save some money:

If you want to form a California LLC yourself, you can just hire us to be your California registered agent. You’ll instantly have the California LLC forms to file and filing instructions for the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to file a California limited liability company. You’ll get the ongoing support of a professional California LLC agent, compliance reminders and our online tools.

What is a California LLC?

A limited liability company is a relatively newer alternative to the traditional corporate entity. The LLC offers similar liability protections, but it is easier to manage. All states now have separate statutes that govern limited liability companies. If you are not sure what business entity is right for your situation, you may want to learn more about California corporations.

What is included in your California LLC service?

  • Drafting custom California company articles of organization.
  • We make the state filing with the CA Secretary of State.
  • The organizer initial resolution.
  • California limited liability company operating agreement.
  • The California LLCs state filing fees.
  • California registered agent service.
  • Our fees are: $100 California limited liability company service and $125 California registered agent service.

What is the total California company cost if you use our services?

$295 for a California limited liability company. That includes the states California LLC filing fee and a year or California registered agent service.

Any CA company expedited options?

We can walk the filing in and it will get done in about 25 business days. Paying an additional 24 hour expedite fee can get it done in about 1-3 business days. You can add these options when signing up for our services.

Do I need a California registered agent?

All California LLCs must list a registered agent in their Articles of Organization.

Do I need a Federal Tax ID number?

If you want to open a bank account and/or hire employees, you will want to get your federal tax ID first.

How much does an CA LLC cost each year?

California has biennial statement of information reports due on the last day of the month you formed your CA LLC in. The CA Statement of Information costs $20. You also have an initial report due within 90 days of formation that costs $20 also. Additionally, you’ll have to pay a minimum $800 a year franchise tax payment.

What are the California LLC taxes?

California LLCs are subject to California taxes. The personal income tax in California ranges from 1.25-9.55% for up to 1 million in personal income. Most everyone will fall in the 8.25-9.55% net income tax bracket. The California LLC is defaulted to be taxed at the personal level, making it very easy from an California state tax perspective.

The average combined California sales tax rate is 9.1%.

What else do I need to know about my California LLC?

You will need to know more than simply, How to start a California LLC. You will be responsible for filings and updates throughout your California LLC’s life. For example:

Any other LLC forms/documents I may need?

We try to make managing your LLC as easy as possible, that is why we provide the following Free LLC Forms :