To register a domestic LLC in California the incorporator will be required to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. To do so he/she will have to download the PDF form (available here), fill it out to completion and submit it to the Secretary of State by mail ($70 filing fee) or in person ($70 filing fee + $15 special handling fee) with all associated fees included.
We always recommend that filers perform a Business Entity Search prior to registration to check and see if their chosen operating name is available for use. Once a name has been secured, you may reserve it for 60 days by filing a Name Reservation application ($10 by mail, $20 in person).
How to File
Step 1- You will need download the Articles of Organization form which, once submitted, will secure the incorporation of your LLC.
Step 2- Submit the following data to the form in the provided fields:
- 1-LLC name
- 2-LLC street address and mailing address (if different)
- 3-Service of process agent’s name and address
- 4-LLC management structure (check one)
- Organizer name/signature
Step 3- Once the form has been completed be sure to fill-in the “Mail Submission Cover Sheet” (page 4 of the PDF application). This document will ask you to simply provide some contact information, basic entity details and the return address.
Step 4- Attach to your filings a check made out to the Secretary of State to cover the filing fee (fees listed below). Gather all articles and forward them to the address below that correspond with your desired method of delivery.
- By Mail ($70): Secretary of State, Business Entities Filings, P.O. Box 944228, Sacramento, CA 94244-2280
- In Person ($70 + $15) : Secretary of State 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor Sacramento, CA 95814
EIN– Once your filing is complete with the Secretary of State your LLC may be required to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. This number is integral to performing many basic financial maneuvers such as paying taxes, applying for credit cards, and more. Filing is simple and can be accomplished for free either Online or by mail with the PDF Form SS-4. The link at the heading of this paragraph contains more information on both of the aforementioned application procedures.
Operating Agreement– California does not require an operating agreement to be submitted, however it is highly recommended to draft one for your records as it will be the only document officially delineating ownership interests between the various members of your LLC. It can also prevent future disputes between members as each relevant party will be legally required to perform their duties listed within the contents of this agreement. We have provided a template in both MS Word and PDF formats which you can download for free. To access these agreements, click on the link at the heading of this paragraph.
Renewal– In California, the Secretary of State demands that all limited liability companies submit a report within 90 days after incorporation and every two years thereafter. By filing the Statement of Information you will be able to update the state with any changes that may have occurred to the business. You can access this document by clicking on the link at the heading of this paragraph. Once the form has been completed, attach it to a check in the amount of $20 and submit it by mail or in person to the office of the Secretary of State (see addresses below).
- By Mail: Secretary of State, Statement of Information Unit, P.O. Box 944230, Sacramento, CA 94244-2300
- In Person: Secretary of State 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor Sacramento, CA 95814