Incorporating as a foreign entity in California is less complicated than it may appear on the surface. You will be required to submit a short form, through the mail or in person (the latter requiring and extra $15 special handling fee) to the office of the Secretary of State in Sacramento. Please select the corporate structure which you would like to apply under in the links to the right to be redirected to the tutorial corresponding to your needs.

Before filing we recommend that you check the availability of your entity name. For help with this process feel free to reference our Business Entity Search page. Once your name is decided upon you may reserve it for 60 days by filing a Name Reservation application ($10 by mail, $20 in person).

How to File a General Corporation

Step 1- Filers looking to register a general corporation must first download the Statement and Designation PDF application.

Step 2- The information required on this form is as follows:

  • 1-Corporation name
  • 2-State/country of original incorporation
  • 3-Service of process agent’s name and address
  • 4a-Street address of principle executive office
  • 4b-Street address of principle office in California
  • 4c-Mailing address of principle executive office (if not either of the above)
  • Incorporator name/signature

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Step 3- You must now complete the second page of the application titled “Mail Submission Cover Sheet”. The information required on this form includes the contact person’s name and phone number, some general entity information and the return delivery instructions.

Step 4- Once all forms have been completed you will need to attach a check made payable to the Secretary of State. Foreign entities must also include a certificate of good standing from the initial jurisdiction of formation. Send all articles by mail to the first address below or hand deliver them to the second address.

  • By Mail ($100): Secretary of State Business Entities, P.O. Box 944260 Sacramento, CA 94244-2600
  • In Person ($100 + $15): Secretary of State 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor Sacramento, CA 95814

How to File a Non-Profit Corporation

Step 1- To file a non-profit corporation you must first download the Statement and Designation PDF application. Note that this form is the same document used when filing a general corporation.

Step 2- Open the application with your PDF viewer and enter the following information into its empty fields:

  • 1-Corporation name
  • 2-State/country of original incorporation
  • 3-Service of process agent’s name and address
  • 4a-Street address of principle executive office
  • 4b-Street address of principle office in California
  • 4c-Mailing address of principle executive office (if not either of the above)
  • Incorporator name/signature

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Step 3- You must now complete the second page of the application (Mail Submission Cover Sheet). The information required on this document includes the name and phone number of the contact person, some general entity information and the return delivery instructions.

Step 4- With all forms completed you will need to attach a check made payable to the Secretary of State to cover the filing fee. Foreign non-profit entities must also include a certificate of good standing that indicates the non-profit status of the corporation. Have all articles sent by mail to the first address below, or hand delivered to the second address.

  • By Mail ($30): Secretary of State Business Entities, P.O. Box 944260 Sacramento, CA 94244-2600
  • In Person ($30 + $15): Secretary of State 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor Sacramento, CA 95814

How to File a Professional Corporation

Step 1- Filers must begin by downloading the Statement and Designation PDF application.

Step 2- Continue by providing the following information:

  • 1-Corporation name
  • 2-State/country of original incorporation
  • 3-Service of process agent’s name and address
  • 4a-Street address of principle executive office
  • 4b-Street address of principle office in california
  • 4c-Mailing address of principle executive office (if not either of the above)
  • 5-Purpose of corporation
  • Incorporator name/signature
  • Incorporator officer title

ca-foreign-professional

Step 3- The second page of the application titled “Mail Submission Cover Sheet” must be completed before proceeding. This document asks you to provide the contact person’s name and phone number, some general entity information the return delivery instructions.

Step 4- Lastly, you will need to attach a check made payable to the Secretary of State as well a provide a certificate of good standing from the initial jurisdiction of formation. Send all articles by mail to first address below or hand deliver them to the second.

  • By Mail ($100): Secretary of State Business Entities, P.O. Box 944260 Sacramento, CA 94244-2600
  • In Person ($100 + $15): Secretary of State 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor Sacramento, CA 95814

How to File an Insurer Corporation

Step 1- Start by downloading the Statement of Designation PDF application.

Step 2- To complete this form the following data will be required:

  • 1-Corporation name
  • 2-State/country of original incorporation
  • 3-Service of process agent’s name and address
  • 4a-Street address of principle executive office
  • 4b-Street address of principle office in California
  • 4c-Mailing address of principle executive office (if not either of the above)
  • Incorporator name/signature
  • Incorporator officer title

ca-foreign-insurer

Step 3- Continue by completing the second page of the application (Mail Submission Cover Sheet). The information required on this document includes the return delivery instructions, basic entity information and the contact person’s name and phone number.

Step 4- Your completed documents must be attached to a check made payable to the Secretary of State, a certificate of good standing from the initial jurisdiction of formation and a certificate from the California Insurance Commissioner approving the corporate name. Send all articles to the appropriate address below.

  • By Mail ($100): Secretary of State Business Entities, P.O. Box 944260 Sacramento, CA 94244-2600
  • In Person ($100 + $15): Secretary of State 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor Sacramento, CA 95814

Tips

Renewal– Corporations can renew their registration with the Secretary of State through the filing of an annual report. This process can be accomplished online using the government website filing portal. In fact all new corporations will be required to file their first Statement of Information within 90 days of incorporation. Filers can expect to pay a filing fee of $25 upon submission of the report. Through this process you will be able to update the state with any changes to your business that may have occurred over the previous year.