Registering a foreign LLC in California is a relatively simple process, albeit one that requires a hard copy submission to the office of the Secretary of State. To register your foreign LLC you will need to submit the Application to Register a Foreign LLC to the Secretary of State’s office along with all associated fees (by mail: $70 filing fee, in person: $70 filing fee + $15 special handling fee).

Before embarking on the registration process please be sure that the name you wish for your LLC to carry is both legally unique and available in California. For more information on the processes involved in checking the availability of an entity name and how you can secure the rights to it for 60 days, please feel free to reference our Business Entity Search and Name Reservation tutorials.

How to File

Step 1- You may now download the LLC-5, also called the Application to Register a Foreign LLC.

Step 2- To complete the form you must submit the following data to the form in the provided fields:

  • 1a-LLC name
  • 1b-LLC address
  • 2a-Date of LLC formation
  • 2b-Jurisdiction of formation
  • 3a-Service of process agent’s name
  • 3b-Service of process agent’s address
  • 4-LLC address(es)
  • Your name/signature
  • Your business title


Step 3- You may now complete the second page of the application titled “Mail Submission Cover Sheet”. This document will ask you to provide some basic contact information and return delivery instructions.

Step 4- With the documents completed you are one step away from successful registration. Print the document and submit it either by mail or in person to the office of the Secretary of State. Depending on your preferred delivery method you must use one of the below addresses and send the form attached to a check made out to the Secretary of State to pay for the filing fee. Foreign applicants must also include a certificate of good standing from the initial jurisdiction of formation.

  • By Mail: Secretary of State Business Entities, P.O. Box 944228 Sacramento, CA 94244-2280
    • $70 Filing Fee
  • In Person: Secretary of State 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor Sacramento, CA 95814
    • $70 Filing Fee + $15 Special Handling Fee


Renewal– Each limited liability company in California will be required to provide the Secretary of State with a report within 90 days of incorporation and every two years thereafter. Filing will be done through the mail or in person as the state does not accept online renewals for LLCs as of yet. The link at the heading of this paragraph contains the Statement of Information which you will need to download, fill-in and attach to a check in the amount of $20 before forwarding all articles to the appropriate address 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