Register A Business In California In 12 Steps

If you’re ready to form a corporation, file your Articles of Incorporation for a California corporation online, by mail, or in person, along with the $100 filing fee ($115 for in-person filings). A California LLC does require a bit of paperwork, more than an unregistered business like a sole proprietorship or general partnership. You’ll have to file Articles of Organization, name an agent for service of process, and pay a fee. You can file for your California LLC online, but if you need it rushed, it will cost you extra. All businesses within LA city limits need to apply for a BTRC.

You can find out about the specific licenses applicable to your business by checking with the city offices where you will conduct business, or by using MyCorporation’s business license compliance package. Our team of skilled professionals will identify the licenses required by your business and provide you with all the information you need to file. Registering your business as a legal entity with the State of California creates separation between you and your company. It is this separation that provides you with limited liability protection, an important protection that prevents you from being held personally responsible for lawsuits filed against your business. Creating a legal structure for your business demonstrates credibility and longevity to potential investors and customers, and is an important step to building a strong foundation for a successful business. A corporation is a structure that entirely separates the individual owners from the business, protecting personal assets from financial and legal liabilities.

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. To drop your forms off in person, take them to “” th Street, 3rd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814.”” We’ll send you information about events and webinars, tips & tools, and legislation impacting the nonprofit community. Attorneys Emily Chan and Gene Takagi wrote this guide for the California Association of Nonprofits as part of their commitment to pro bono work and community service. Apply for California tax exemption with the California Franchise Tax Board and receive an affirmation of exemption letter from the FTB.

You are responsible for reviewing and using this information appropriately. This content doesn’t contain and isn’t meant to provide legal, tax or business advice. Requirements are updated frequently and you should make sure to do your own research and reach out to professional legal, and tax and business advisors, asif needed. Businesses outside of California will have different steps and requirements.

Once your sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation is registered, it’s time to prepare for launch by getting your business ready to show off to the public. While this is yet another thing to do on your startup checklist, a board of directors is a great way to assemble a group of people with useful knowledge and experience that can help your business become a success. Once you have a business name and an EIN, you can register your LLC with the California Secretary of State by filing a Statement of Information online, using the California bizfile service. Filing tips are also available on the California Secretary of State website

This includes ensuring that you are registered with the IRS for employee taxes and reporting new hires to the State of California. Once you’ve completed the initial steps to start your LLC in California, you’ll need to ensure your business complies with California’s tax rules. All LLCs must pay taxes in California if they are organized, registered, or conduct business in California, and if they have not elected to be taxed as a corporation. LLCs taxed as corporations must instead comply with California’s corporate tax rules. There is a template you can fill in and print on the Secretary of State’s website.

This means you don’t have to pay the full business tax when you first register for a BTRC. Instead, you’ll pay your minimum tax up front and wait until you renew your BTRC to pay the back tax. Many people start to look for financing before they file official paperwork. Look at California’s business website for ideas on who to contact.

Your business needs to pay state payroll taxes in addition to federal taxes. To register, you will need an EIN, a business type, a legal name, a DBA, and a Secretary of State account number. Before you start interviewing potential hires, make sure you know your employment requirements, such as registering for the proper employee taxes and setting up payroll. Take a deeper look at the process of hiring employees for your startup by reviewing this small business hiring guide. If you’re doing business on your own without incorporating, you’re automatically seen as a sole proprietorship. Since it’s an informal structure, there is no need to file anything with the state unless you file for a “doing business as” name, which allows you to operate under a name aside from your own legal name).

Opening a bank account for your business is crucial because it allows you to separate company assets from your personal assets, and makes filing taxes a lot easier. This is a recommended step, even if you are operating a sole proprietorship. Forming a corporation is a little more complicated than other business structures such as LLCs. However, for businesses that are well suited to this business structure, the benefits are immense.

The filing form is called the Articles of Organization (Form LLC-1). You may need to file business formation documents with the California Secretary of State. For more information on the different types of business entities, please see LLC vs Sole Proprietorship vs Corporation. A California Partnership is the same as a Sole Proprietorship, but just with 2 or more people.