California LLC Requirements

Each state has different requirements for forming a limited liability company (LLC). Whether you are starting a business or incorporating a business already in existence, you'll want to understand the state requirements for LLC formation.

Cost to form a California LLC

At BizFilings, we clearly outline our fees and the California state fees. When you view our pricing to form an LLC you 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 form an LLC in California with standard turn-around.
  • Expedited turn-around. You will see the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for expedited turn-around.
  • 48-hour turn-around. California has a 48-hour filing option, which is outlined in our pricing.
  • Certified copy. Our pricing also clearly displays the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for issuing a Certified Copy of the Articles of Organization.

Form a California LLC

California LLC name requirement

The LLC name must end with "Limited Liability Company," "LLC" or "L.L.C." The word “Bank” or variations cannot be used in LLC names.

Member/Manager information

The following are California’s requirements for the members/managers of LLCs:

  • Minimum number. LLCs must have one or more members/managers.
  • Residence requirements. California does not have a provision specifying where members/managers must reside.
  • Age requirements. California does not have age requirements.
  • Inclusion in the Articles of Organization. Member/Manager names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Organization.

Requirements for the Articles of Organization

The document required to form an LLC in California is called the Articles of Organization. The information required in the formation document varies by state. California's requirements include:

  • Registered agent. LLCs 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 the 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 LLC formation in a local newspaper or an initial report filing. California requires the following:

  • Initial report. California requires LLCs to file an initial report with the state within six months of incorporating.

Professional services businesses

California does not allow professionals, such as accountants, attorneys and physicians, to form professional limited liability companies (PLLCs).

After forming a limited liability company (LLC) , you must undertake certain steps on an ongoing basis to keep your business in compliance. These steps are also important in preserving the limited liability an LLC provides its owner(s). This guide outlines the ongoing requirements for California LLCs.

California LLC taxes and fees

The following are taxation requirements and ongoing fees in California:

  • Annual report and franchise tax. California requires LLCs to file a Statement of Information biennially during a time period that runs from the first day of the fifth month preceding the LLC's formation anniversary date but no later than the last day of the anniversary month. The fee for the Statement of Information is $20. California also has a minimum franchise tax of $800, which is due within three months of incorporation and annually thereafter.
  • Taxes. For complete details on state taxes for California LLCs, visit Business Owner's Toolkit or the State of California .
  • Federal tax identification number (EIN). An EIN is required for LLCs that will have employees. Additionally, most banks require an EIN in order to open a business bank account.
  • State tax identification number. California does not require a state tax identification number.

Business Licenses in California

Business licenses and/or permits are required for most businesses. The BizFilings Business License Application Package can help you stay on top of these requirements.

Additional California information

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

State Guides

The state in which you form your company can provide certain benefits.

Please select both a state and a topic.

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