how much is it to file an llc in california [Expert Answers]

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Last updated : Aug 14, 2022
Written by : Natividad Carlozzi
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how much is it to file an llc in california

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how much is it to file an llc in california

Comment by Antony Scharmer

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 Antony Scharmer, have a nice day.
- Natividad Carlozzi, Staff Member

Comment by on2otO

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 on2otO your participation is very much appreciated
- Natividad Carlozzi

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