This is a complete guide to forming an LLC in California. Learn how to form an LLC in California in this in-depth guide.

You have a lot of options when it comes to how you structure your business. One great option is the limited liability company (LLC). An LLC is a hybrid of a corporation and a partnership. 

It has some benefits for corporations, like limited liability and tax treatment, but it’s also easier and less expensive to form than a corporation. A downside is that LLCs don’t give you as many trademark or copyright protections as corporations do. 

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, do your research on the different options and choose which type best suits your needs.

After selecting your business entity, you need to consider the state where you are planning to form an LLC.

form an LLC in California

Step by Step to Form an LLC in California

In this in-depth guide, I will tell you how to form an LLC in California. For forming an LLC in California you have to follow six steps:

Step 01: Name Your Califirnia LLC

The next step to form an LLC in California is to select the name of your LLC. The name of your LLC is essential in obtaining an EIN and opening a bank account in the U.S. for your business. 

There are a few guidelines to follow when you are about to name your company:

  • The company name must include the term-limited liability company or the abbreviations LLC / L.L.C.
  • Specific terminologies like FBI, State Department, etc. they can mistake your LLC for the government agency. The use of such terms is forbidden.
  • The use of restricted words like University, Lawyer, and Banks requires additional documents and an authorized person.

Step 02: Hire a Registered Agent

The next step to form an LLC in California is to appoint a Registered Agent.

Registered Agent is a person or a company who receives all official mail and processing services on behalf of your business. To keep your business in good standing, you must maintain a registered agent in California, which we do for $99 per year. 

They are required by law and must maintain a physical address and maintain regular opening hours. Since you do not live in the United States, these are requirements that you cannot meet.

Micahguru Formation is best for this task. For Registered Agent service, we charged $99 per year, which is comprehensively cheap and more valuable than others.

Step 03: File Your California LLC Articles of Organization 

To register an LLC in California, you have to file a Certificate of Formation which is known as Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State which costs $70.

The Certificate of Formation must include:

  • Name of your LLC.
  • Name and Address of the Registered Agent of your LLC.
  • Signature of an Authorized Person.

Step 04: File the Initial Statement of Information

If you have formed an LLC in California, you are responsible for filing the Initial Statement of Information (Form LLC-12) with the California Secretary of State within 90 days. 

This is a necessary step to ensure that your LLC is legally registered in the state. You can complete and submit the form online, in-person at a business services office location, or by mail.

Step 05: Create an Operating Agreement 

You must require an Operating Agreement to form an LLC in California. An Operating Agreement is a document which is sets out the rights and responsibilities of the members and managers of an LLC. 

If you do not have an Operating Agreement, state LLC law will govern the operation of your LLC.

Step 06: Apply For an EIN

The next step is to apply for EIN. An EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. You will require an EIN to file and pay taxes and open a bank account.

Once the State of California has verified that your Articles of Incorporation (for California LLCs) or Articles of Incorporation (for California corporations) have been processed, you can apply for an EIN by completing Form SS-4 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The IRS accepts EIN requests online, by phone, or by mail. The form is one page and comes with lots of instructions.

Conclusion

You have two options to form an LLC in California:

To form an LLC in California yourself, you need to follow all the steps select a name for your LLC, hire a Registered Agent, file California Articles of Organization which costs $70, create an Operating Agreement, and apply for an EIN. Forming an LLC in California yourself can be difficult for you if you are completely unfamiliar with the system.

The second option to form an LLC in California is to use a professional service. There are many LLC formation services available online but I recommend our Micahguru Formation

We have a separate package for California which, includes California Filing Fees, Registered Agent Fee $99/year, Expedited Filling Services, Annual Report Services, Operating Agreement Template, (EIN) Employer Identification Number, Banking Resolution Template, Work-Free Compliance with 100% Accuracy Guarantee. For which we charge $269 and we take 4-8 business days.