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hey this is attorney elizabeth weinstein and today we're going to talk about how to file an llc in california step by step so the first thing you need to do before you go ahead and create your llc in california your limited liability company in california you need to have a few decisions already made and a few pieces of information put together the first thing is the name of your llc most people just call it such and such llc there are other suffixes that you can use and you will talk about that when we dive into the website the second is you need the address for your business you're going to need both a street address a physical address and you can also have a mailing address that's different like a p.o box usually a po box isn't going to count for a street address the next thing you're going to need is the name of your registered agent a registered agent is someone it could be a person or another business that has a street address that's it's going to accept any legal documents on your behalf which doesn't happen at very often but you still have to have this requirement you can do it yourself but if you work from home that means that your home address is going to be on the public record which you may not want to do so you can select an outside registered agent to provide this service for you some registered agents will also let you use that address as the street address for your small business so when you want to create your llc in california you can do that straight at the website for the california secretary of state here's what it looks like filing online there's a number of filings that you can do including also forming a corporation or a state registration for your trademark and things like that but we're going to be filing an llc today so we click on llc formation here they are letting you know that the filing fee in california is seventy dollars plus an extra five dollars if you want a certified copy of your filings i recommend paying the extra five bucks to get that certified copy because sometimes you need it for for setting up your bank account or other purposes this is letting you know that everything that you file is public so something to be aware of if you're if you're not aware of this already is that any information you put in here including any addresses are in the public record in the database that anybody can search so you're accepting all the various policies so the first decision is putting in your name of your llc so let's say i'm going to put in weinstein consultant and i'm just going to use the llc designation but there's a lot of other choices you can put dots with the llc you can call it a limited liability company and limited liability co ltd liability company ltd liability co i would recommend most of the time you want to just do llc because it keeps the name shorter okay but in some cases if you're just using one word it maybe make more sense to have a different ending here i'm just going to put llc now you can reserve the name of an llc that you're going to file later i don't hardly ever do this because we just decide we're going to do it and go ahead and create the filing but just be aware this is something you can do also before you go ahead and form your llc you may want to search the database and make sure no one else has dibs on that name so here we're filling out the street address for the business you can use the address lookup tool which will help you format the address correctly but you don't actually have to do this if your street address is also your mailing address because you have an office then you would go ahead and just click yes here if it's not it gives you an opportunity to put in any address including addresses in other countries but i'm just going to say yes now the service of process is who is going to be there to accept legal documents on your behalf if you click individual you can fill in anything your name with your address if you click california registered agent you're going to be selecting something from this list below now you don't want to just randomly select something here you want to have already set up an account with them otherwise it's very awkward so let's say i set up an account with northwest registered agent and i'm going to use them as a registered agent for this business but i could also put myself as an individual with my address the management structure of your llc is who is going to have control over the day-to-day aspects of the business to do filings etc if you're a one-owner business most the time i just have all llc members here because it makes the operating agreement that much more simple however if you have an llc where you have three or 10 or 50 different members or which is the name of what an owner is called for an llc it doesn't make sense to have 20 different people who can all do stuff on behalf of the llc that's just a mess so it can make sense to have the members be more owners like the shareholders of a company like i own shares of stock in public companies but i can't like tell the companies what to do on a day-to-day basis right so you may have one manager or multiple managers running that business in this case i'm just going to say all llc members the organizer of the business is the human person who is filing this so for my clients i'm putting myself if you're doing it for yourself for your own lsa you'd put your own name here so i'm putting myself and then we have the file date the file date is the date that your llc actually starts most the time you're going to have it be the same time that you're filing however occasionally you want to be some future date so for example let's say you're creating an llc in mid-december and you're not planning to actually start this business until january 1st so what you can do is you can create the llc in mid-december and have it be effective as of january 1st that's the best way to start a business on january 1st is to file it sometime in december so that we can go through the process and be effective on january 1st because otherwise if you try to file it on january 1st it'll end up not going through until later because it's a holiday right but here i don't want a future date now the last thing that you're going to do is review all this information and make sure that it's correct and then you're going to enter in a payment one thing to be aware of you want to do the filing and certified copy that's what i generally recommend and for the credit card here you can't use american express which is always an issue for me because that's my main credit card for my business you have to use a mastercard or a visa now if you don't have a credit card to use to file this you're not going to be able to file it online so you're going to be able to write a check to file it via mail that will take longer i'm not submitting this right now because this isn't a real filing but the next last thing you do have to put in the money is submit and then it's going to take a few days to be approved hopefully it will be approved a human person looks at this to make sure that it's correct so it might take two days it might take a
Thanks for your comment Palmer Angst, have a nice day.
- Prince Loeffler, Staff Member
so you want to form an llc in california let me show you exactly how to do it directly with the state let's open up a new tab and go to sos.ca.gov this will take you to the california secretary of state website the next thing that we're going to do is we're going to scroll down to business and we're going to click on this little arrow this will take us to the business section of the website the next thing that we want to click on is biz file online if you want to learn more you can click on these links down here but biz file online will get you to where you want to go we have a couple categories here entities liens info trademarks we're going to stick to the business entity section and we're actually going to click on register a business however remember the screen it's important because every year you have to file a statement of information with the state so if you have an llc make sure you come back here every year and fill this out i think it's like 20 bucks if you want to reserve a name you can do that here but we're just going to go ahead and register the business so let's click on the top option ok we have all kinds of stuff on this page so which one should you choose well if you want to just reserve a name you can do that by clicking these but what we want to do is limited liability company initial filings this is the category we're looking for so now you have three options you can register it if you're an out of state llc and you need to register in california you can do that there if you want to convert your corporation into an llc you could do that here or if you want to form a new one you can do that right here the articles of organization or california llc you can see that it's going to cost us about 70 bucks to do it this is the cheapest method go ahead and click file online i'm going to create an account sign in and show you how to do the rest three hours later great you made an account and you got to this page the system just recently changed with the secretary of state this right here is the privacy warning basically telling you that everything that's contained in your application is public the refund policy intellectual property rights etc you have to agree to it to get to the next step now we're going to get to the submitter information the submitter information is whoever is actually filling out the paperwork this is not public this is just for this state to communicate with you on this specific application now we're at the professional services notice section so what this is telling you is that not all professional services can be llc's in california llcs offer so much protection that they don't want doctors and chiropractors and people that practice a licensed trade to have that much protection so in order to find out if that's you you need to go to this website right here which looks like this very useful tool i highly suggest you put in your trade to see what kind of licenses and permit requirements are required for you as a good rule of thumb if you're someone who has a high chance of getting sued for malpractice like chiropractors dentists doctors lawyers things like that definitely double check on this section we're going to hit next step and we're not going to worry about it we're going to form an llc anyway okay now we're getting to the naming part so if you've already reserved a name you can click yes and it will give you the option to select your reserved name for your account but if you haven't reserved a name for your limited liability company click on no and then we're going to type in the name here in this case we're going to do vanitar business school because i have one and then we're going to confirm the name as well uh i didn't put an llc or a valid designation at the end that's because you have to put the words llc ltd l.l dot c something like that i always stick to the default llc because it's the easiest to type it's the least amount of characters and it looks the best so once you have llc at the end of your name it will accept it and you can hit next this next part is the street address of the principal office of the llc so wherever your business headquarters are going to be you need to use that as an address you can't use po boxes but you can use your house you can also use ups mailbox as long as it's not a po box just know that whatever address you put in here it is going to be public record anybody that looks up your company on the california website will be able to see your address if you don't want to use your home address or if you want to pay somebody to use their address for you you can abandon this process here and go to inkfile.com i'll leave a link in the description below it's a website or in a service that helps you file llcs but also gives you the option of paying them 20 a month and they'll use their own address for you so you can remain anonymous whenever you get mail they scan it open it email it to you it's great that way you don't have to be tied to one address or if anonymity or having your stuff public is important to you it's a great option you can also go get a virtual address in california and use the virtual address in this section if you want to but some people still like to use their homes i'm going to fill all this out and we're going to go to the next section 3 hours later we've now reached the agent for service of process also known as a registered agent registered agents exist to accept mail on your behalf in case the government needs to reach you or send you something important they don't want to have to go track you down in cancun if you're on spring break they want to be able to get it to you directly so we every business has to have a registered agent you can be your own registered agent that's totally fine as long as you're willing to accept mail and there's someone there to take it if you don't want to be your own registered agent you can do a couple things you can hire another company and set up something with them for like 100 bucks a year and they will give you their address to use and be a registered agent you can ask your attorney to be a registered agent you can ask a parent or a friend who is always at home to be a registered agent you can be your own registered agent or once again you can bail on this process go over to inkfile.com using the link below and during the application process they will give you the option to just click a button and use them as your registered agent i think they charge about 100 a year and the first year is free lots of options choose whatever is best for you if you choose a corporate agent you'll have to choose them from the list because there's a list of approved agents if you're going to choose an individual just go ahead and put the address in right now i'm going to do this now we'll move on three hours later this part's fun this is how your llc is actually set up and who's in control you have three options you have one manager you have more than one manager or all members all members is the most common choice it's considered a member managed llc when all members of the llc have equal rights you can choose all llc mem
Thanks elitelags your participation is very much appreciated
- Prince Loeffler
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I've studied film preservation at Watkins College of Art in Nashville and I am an expert in growth economics. I usually feel listless. My previous job was social psychologist I held this position for 17 years, I love talking about jukskei and hang gliding. Huge fan of Drew Carey I practice skeleton and collect antique.
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