Steps to start LLC in california [Expert Approved]



Last updated : Sept 25, 2022
Written by : Tula Chimento
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Steps to start LLC in california

What are the steps to forming a LLC in California?

  1. Name your California LLC.
  2. Choose your registered agent.
  3. Prepare and file articles of organization.
  4. Receive a certificate from the state.
  5. Create an operating agreement.
  6. File a statement of information.
  7. Get an employer identification number.
  8. Pay the annual franchise tax.

Do you have to pay the $800 California LLC fee the first year?

If your California LLC goes into existence on or after January 1st, 2021 (but before December 31st, 2023), there is no $800 payment due the 1st year. The first $800 payment is due in the LLC's 2nd year.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved in California?

Mail filings: In total, mail filing approvals for California LLCs take 2-3 weeks. This accounts for the 3-5 business day processing time, plus the time your documents are in the mail. Online filings: In total, online filing approvals for California LLCs take 3-5 business days.

What documents are needed for a California LLC?

Creating your LLC in California requires two separate filings: Articles of Incorporation, and a Statement of Information. Your Articles of Incorporation form your business in California and the Statement of Information is a periodic filing first required within 90 days of formation.

Is it easy to file an LLC in California?

Starting an LLC in California is Easy. To start a California LLC you'll need to file your Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State, which costs $70 online. You can apply online, in person, or by mail or fax.

How much can an LLC write off?

If you have $50,000 or less in startup costs and are in your first year of business, the IRS allows you to deduct $5,000 in startup costs and $5,000 in organization costs from your taxes. If your startup expenses exceed $50,000, the total deduction will be reduced by however much your expenses exceed $50,000.

Is it worth having an LLC in California?

The key benefit of forming a limited liability company (LLC) in California is limited liability protection. Limited liability can protect your personal assets in the event your business is sued or can't pay its debts. Other California LLC benefits include: Pass-through taxation.

Is an LLC in California worth it?

Is LLC Worth It in California? Having an LLC in California offers liability protection, which is worth the additional costs. In addition, an LLC protects all of your assets should your business get sued or be unable to pay its debts.

Can LLC Get tax Refund?

Do LLCs get tax refunds? Generally, no. However, LLCs can elect to be treated like C corporations for tax purposes by filing Form 8832. If an LLC elects C corporation status and makes quarterly estimated payments higher than its tax liability for the year, the LLC can receive a tax refund.

Why is California LLC fee so high?

Every business pays the $800 annual franchise tax, which is applied to taxes owed, but LLCs are the only ones subject to California Gross Receipts tax. This is one of the biggest reasons why a California LLC is so expensive.

How do I avoid LLC tax in California?

Can I avoid the California Franchise Tax? There's no way for a registered business to legitimately avoid the California Franchise Tax. Sole proprietors and general partnerships don't have to pay the California Franchise Tax, but they also don't have any personal liability protection.

Does an LLC need a business license in California?

LLCs, Corporations, LPs, LLPs, or GPs operating in California need to register and form their legal entity with the California Secretary of State's Office, file appropriate taxes, register as an employer, and obtain business licenses and other permits from appropriate cities or counties.

Do I need a registered agent for my LLC in California?

The California Corporation Code Section § 1700-1702 requires that all corporations, LLCs and other business entities appoint and maintain a registered agent. You can't start a business without one (unless you're a sole proprietor, in which case you don't have to form an entity at all).

Do I need a DBA for my LLC?

No, you do not need a DBA for an LLC. This is because when you register an LLC, you'll also register your company name eliminating the need for a DBA. However, in some instances, you may use a DBA for your LLC to expand your business and operate part of it under a name other than your original business name.

What should I put as the purpose for my LLC?

Most states do not require you to be specific about the purpose of your LLC. Instead, a statement such as "The purpose of the Limited Liability Company is to engage in any lawful activity for which a Limited Liability Company may be organized in this state" is usually sufficient.

Do I need a California state tax ID number?

If you plan on selling taxable goods and services in the state of California, or if you'll owe excise taxes (which are associated with specific products, like alcohol or tobacco products), you'll need a California state tax ID in addition to your federal tax ID.

At what point do I need an LLC?

If you have business partners or employees, an LLC protects you from personal liability for your co-owners' or employees' actions. An LLC gives you a structure for operating your business, including making decisions, dividing profits and losses, and dealing with new or departing owners. An LLC offers taxation options.

What is the downside to an LLC?

Disadvantages of creating an LLC States charge an initial formation fee. Many states also impose ongoing fees, such as annual report and/or franchise tax fees. Check with your Secretary of State's office. Transferable ownership. Ownership in an LLC is often harder to transfer than with a corporation.

What are the benefits of an LLC?

  • Personal liability protection. One of the primary benefits of forming an LLC is that it separates your personal assets from the business.
  • Inexpensive and relatively easy to form.
  • Flexible taxation.
  • Ownership and management flexibility.
  • Appropriate for individuals.

Can I write off my car for my LLC?

The Internal Revenue Service identifies taxpayers who qualify to claim a business vehicle write off as: Self-employed individuals. Sole proprietors and owners of limited liability companies (LLCs) with a tax classification that allows pass-through income on Tax Form 1040 qualify for the write off.


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Steps to start LLC in california


Comment by Suzann Gade

this is gonna be fun this is gonna be fun you wanna start a company i'll show you how so let's go to this california secretary of state website because this is how you start an llc and i think a lot of people are interested in this so here's what we did let's start over we're going to go to sos.ca.gov this is the california secretary of state website this is the only place that you need to go to start a company an llc for that matter let's talk about how to do it click on business and then we're going to go down here to ooh look at that it's under hot topics cool number seven forms samples and fees for business entities and if you need tips those are here too all right so we're going to click on the form samples and fees section so we can look at the type of forms that are available to someone who's just going here and checking it out and trying to figure this out on their own you can see there's two sections there's corporation and there's limited liability company two very different options most people are going to want to form an llc most people need an llc there's very few people that need corporation status all right so file online fastest service i always recommend filing these documents online totally totally the best way to do it if you have to mail it in it's going to take weeks i've done both and filing it online is way better so in order to form an llc in california you're going to want to click on llc formation you can see that the filing fee is seventy dollars there is a certified copy fee which is five dollars copies are free anyways we're gonna hit the start button this is a privacy warning you can scroll through this and read what they do with your privacy and the information that you uh submit some people are interested in reading it some people don't i asked my question or my attorney about it and we were good to go all right so here is where you fill out the limited liability company name notice that it says don't include llc or llc period in the name you don't need to include any of that the llc will be added to the end of your name so if i wanted to start vaniter llc i would simply type in vaniter right here is where you're going to choose the llc identifier so if you want it to be vanity or llc you'll pick vanity or llc if i wanted to be vanader limited liability co that's what i would choose and this is the name that's going to show up on your official tax records and your statement of information and articles of organization with the state of california this is what's going to show up name reservation check this box if you have reserved a name and would like to apply the reservation to this llc program now correct me if i'm wrong somebody but i'm fairly certain that the reservation name is a service that california provides to where if you want to reserve a business name but you're not ready to pay and start for it yet you can pay them to do so but we'll find that out another time okay we don't have one of those so we're gonna go to next here's where you're gonna put up uh put in your business address enter the initial street address of the designated office and if different the initial mailing address of the llc a lot of people have different business addresses and different mailing addresses for their llc's there's a ton of reasons why you'd want to do something like that or why you would have to do something like that and so they want to know if the business resides in california or where it resides in california everybody's trying to get a piece so just put in the address you can use your house i do if it's the same as the mailing address just hit yes just go to next agent of process so you can have an individual or a california registered agent an attorney or there's a registered agent in california you can choose but you can type in uh like a legit like registered agent service or you can just have an individual basically the secretary of state wants to make sure that if they want to get a hold of you they can and so that's why you put the registered agent in there you can't put a po box it has to be a place where you can receive mail it has to be a place where someone could get a hold of you and maybe serve you with papers to uh appear in court for example so if you feel comfortable with that and that's something you can handle you can be your own registered agent i have my attorney be my registered agent because i don't i move around a lot and all the time and you know i just pay him a couple bucks you know a couple bucks a year just to take care of that for me it's not really that big of a burden or you can pay a registered agent that provides that service you can go on online and look for registered agents and they'll they'll teach you and i'll teach you they'll do that all for you we have the first name okay this is all for the service of process of the individual let me go to next and the management structure okay is gonna be this is where a lot of people get confused who will be managing the llc select the management structure now if you have questions you can click on filing tips and this will tell you but it doesn't give you a whole lot of information in my opinion having one manager is the best right to start your own llc and then if you start another venture with another partner or you want to start another partner just start a second llc and both of your llc's can be the managing members that's how i prefer to do it because partnerships are kind of risky but anyways let's circle back to this real quick so i can explain it before i move on the llc will be managed by you have one manager more than one manager or all llc members so one manager is going to be the most common if you're starting your own llc now if you're starting an llc with a business partner for example like your sister or friend or anyone really doesn't matter you can select all llc members and then that will make sure that you all have managing authority however that means that when you want to open up a bank account you have to go down to the bank together these are things that you have to do together right so there are strings attached to it but you can always change this later on too it's not a problem there are forms that you can file with the secretary of state to remove members from the llc so don't think that once you do it it's done forever organizer electronic signature all right so this is the perfect person that's organizing or organizing or putting together the llc right so sometimes it's a company like legalzoom or inc file sometimes it's yourself but basically you're going to put this down right your name your email not the company name or the company email but yours so you have to acknowledge that you're the person forming the llc and that all this information is true and correct they need someone on the hook for that okay so type in the organizer name um your email and then double check the email uh what's this file date the future file date oh okay so this is if you want to file the llc you want to put it all together right now pay for it and then file it in january let me tell you why that might be a good re


Thanks for your comment Suzann Gade, have a nice day.
- Tula Chimento, Staff Member


Comment by raflagnirA

foreign are you wondering how to start an LLC in California today you will learn the most common ways to start your business including the correct forms you'll need registering your LLC critical naming requirements and all other vital tips and tricks then as a bonus later in the video I will reveal a trustworthy registered agent who will help set up your LLC for free so make sure to stick with me until the end the state of California like other states has several specific LLC requirements there are three main ways you can start an LLC in California first is the DIY or do-it-yourself process where you mostly depend on California state's website the second way is hiring a professional service that practically offers more efficiency and Security in creating your LLC while the third is hiring an attorney we will skip the attorney hiring portion because that's expensive and most business owners won't need that service first let's take a look at the steps required for starting an LLC Step 1 choose a name for your LLC you must choose a name for your LLC that is unique it cannot be the same or too similar to an existing name in the California Secretary of State records and it cannot be misleading to the public names may be checked for availability by searching the California Secretary of State's business name database an available name may be reserved for up to 60 days by filing a name reservation request form the form must be postal mailed or hand delivered to the California Secretary of State's office under California law an llc's name must end with limited liability company or LLC or l.l.c abbreviations the words limited and Company may be abbreviated to limited and Company the llc's name may not contain the words Bank trust trustee Incorporated Inc Corporation Corp insurer insurance company or any other word suggesting that it is in the insurance business Step 2 appoint a registered agent every California LLC must have an agent for the service of process called a registered agent in other states this individual or company agrees to accept legal papers on the llc's behalf if it is sued an LLC may not serve as its own agent for the service of the process the agent should agree to accept the service of process on behalf of the limited liability company before designation individual agents must reside in California and their street address not a PO Box must be listed in the llc's Articles of organization the agent may be a member manager or officer of the LLC but doesn't need to be affiliated with the LLC step 3 file articles of organization a California LLC is created by filing articles of organization form LLC one with the California Secretary of State's office the Articles must include the llc's name its purpose information on how it will be managed its address and the name and address of its registered agent you can complete form LLC one online or mail or hand deliver the form to the Secretary of State's office the filing fee is seventy dollars for both domestic and foreign llc's with hand-delivered filings at the Sacramento Secretary of State's office you can request expedited filing for an additional fee step 4 decide on member versus manager management most small multi-member LLCs choose to be managed directly by their members still LLCs can appoint a manager or small group of managers to manage the LLC somewhat like a board of directors oversees a corporation managers vote on key issues such as taking out a loan purchasing real estate or changing strategic plans step 5 prepare an operating agreement an operating agreement is a good idea to have in place with the other members if your LLC has more than one member although a limited liability company operating agreement is not necessary for California your operating agreement should clarify how your company or business will handle big picture issues such as allocating earnings and losses and dissolving the company your operating agreement should also cover the transfer of membership interest profits or losses and distributions initial Investments decision-making Powers voting rights and management and lastly dissolving the business step 6 file biennial report every California and foreign LLC registered in California must file a statement of Information Form LLC 12 with the California secretary of state within 90 days after filing their articles of organization thereafter a statement of information must be filed every two years biennial the filing period is the calendar month when the original articles of organization were filed in the prior five calendar months you can file the statement online print it out and mail or hand deliver it to the California Secretary of State the filing fee is twenty dollars step 7 pay your California state tax obligations all LLCs and foreign LLCs must pay California taxes to the California Franchise Tax Board FTB if one they are organized in California registered in California or conduct business in California and two they have not elected to be taxed as a corporation that is they are taxed as a partnership or sole proprietorship disregarded entities llc's taxed as corporations must comply with California's corporate tax rules all llc's in California must pay an annual minimum franchise tax of eight hundred dollars LLCs with net income over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars must pay an additional fee based on their total annual income step 8 obtain an EIN an EIN or employer identification number is a federal tax ID issued by the IRS they use your EIN to identify your firm and tax filings readily all California firms pay a business privilege tax and the state requires you to have an EIN to file you may also be required to provide your EIN when opening a bank account or applying for municipal permits or licenses obtaining an EIN is a slightly longer process compared to their previous steps I'm sure you know anything to do with the IRS is confusing first you must have complete knowledge of your LLC such as your company information managing member information business address business information company details and even critical information regarding vehicular assets and federal excise taxes this is another reason why getting a professional registered agent is way more convenient as they can do this for you as part of their service now let's talk about the second option to form an LLC and that is hiring a professional formation service professional formation services do all the steps you should be doing on your own from filing necessary forms to acting as your registered agent you usually have to allocate a specific budget for this option as I already mentioned earlier Inc file is one of the best companies out there to help you form your LLC you can click on the link in the description to get access to this deal Inc file is one of a kind as it offers a free package with services such as preparing and filing your articles of organization well you still have to pay 237 dollars for the state fees which you would have to do anyway if you chose the DIY option but looking at the bigger picture all other companies will still charge their service fee on top of


Thanks raflagnirA your participation is very much appreciated
- Tula Chimento


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