California Corporation Formation

Each state has different requirements for forming a corporation. Whether you are starting a business or incorporating a business already in existence, you'll want to understand state requirements for California incorporation.

Cost to incorporate in California

At BizFilings, we clearly outline our fees and the state fees to form a California corporation. View our pricing to incorporate as a C corporation or S corporation to plainly see:

  • BizFilings' package prices. BizFilings offers three incorporation service packages from which you can choose.
  • State fee for standard turn-around. Our pricing clearly shows the state fee to incorporate in California with standard turn-around.
  • Expedited turn-around. You will see the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for expedited turn-around.
  • 24-hour turn-around. California has a 24-hour filing option, which is outlined in our pricing. (The total time frame for receiving your state-approved incorporation documents from the state and returning them to you may take around a week after verification that the company has been filed.)
  • Certified copy. Our pricing also clearly displays the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for issuing a Certified Copy of the Articles of Incorporation.
Incorporate in California    Incorporation Options





California corporate name

Name endings are not required to be used in the corporate name unless the corporation is being filed as a professional corporation or close corporation, or if it is using a person's name. In such cases, the name must end with "Corporation," "Company," "Incorporated," "Limited" or an abbreviation thereof. The name must not be likely to mislead the public. It must not be the same as, or resemble so closely as to lead to deception, the name of a domestic or qualified foreign corporation, a name under reservation or the registered or assumed name of a foreign corporation. The name needs Superintendent of Bank's approval if it contained the words "Bank," "Banc," "Trust" or "Trustee."

Director information

The following are California's requirements for directors of corporations:

  • Minimum number. Corporations are required to have not less than three directors unless (1) shares have not been issued, then the number can be one or two, (2) the corporation has one shareholder, then the number can be one or two, or (3) the corporation has two shareholders, then the number can be two.
  • Residence requirements. California does not have a provision specifying where directors must reside.
  • Age requirements. California does not have age requirements.
  • Inclusion in the Articles of Incorporation. Director names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation.

Requirements for the Articles of Incorporation

The document required to form a corporation in California is called the Articles of Incorporation. The information required in the formation document varies by state. California's requirements include:

  • Officers. Officer names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation.
  • Stock. Authorized shares and par value must be listed in the Articles of Incorporation. An increase in the number of shares or par value does not affect initial filing fees.
  • Registered agent. Corporations must list the name and address of a registered agent with a physical address (no post office boxes) in California. The registered agent must be available during normal business hours to accept important legal and tax documents for the business.
California Registered Agent Service





Other filings required at time of incorporation

Some states require additional filings or steps at the time of incorporation, such as a county level filing, publishing notice of the incorporation in a local newspaper or an initial report filing. California requires the following:

  • Initial report. California requires corporations to file a Statement of Information within 90 days of incorporation.

Professional services businesses

California allows professionals, such as accountants, attorneys and physicians, to form a professional corporation (PC).

Additional California information

View the following additional resources BizFilings has for forming and maintaining companies in California: