California Corporation Requirements

After forming a corporation, 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 a corporation provides its owners. This guide outlines the ongoing requirements for California corporations.

California corporate records

Corporations are required to keep the following items at the principal executive office or principal business office in the State of California:

  • Bylaws
  • Minutes of director and shareholder meetings

California corporate taxes and fees

The following are taxation requirements and ongoing fees in California:

  • Annual report and franchise tax. California requires corporations to file a Statement of Information annually during the first six-month period ending on the last day of the anniversary month of the incorporation. The fee for the Statement of Information is $25. California also has a minimum annual franchise tax of $800 due the 15th day of the third month after the close of the year, but corporations are exempt from this tax for the first year.
  • Taxes. For complete details on state taxes for California corporations, visit Business Owner's Toolkit or the State of California .
  • Federal tax identification number (EIN). An EIN is required for corporations 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.

California business licenses

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.

S corporation election

California recognizes the federal S corporation election and does not require a state-level S corporation election.

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.

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Guide to Incorporation

Learn what to expect when you're incorporating.