California LLC Basics & Helpful Information

General Overview of the California LLC

This article is meant to be a general overview of the California LLC formation process and other basic issues related to LLCs.

California Filing Fees

A California LLC is formed when the Articles of Organization are filed with the Secretary of State in Sacramento. The California filing fee for the Articles of Organization is $70.00. The Articles of Organization must be completed on paper and then mailed or hand carried to the Sacramento Secretary of State’s office. The Articles of Organization cannot be completed online at this time. If you hand deliver it there is an additional fee of $15. You can request an expedited filing for an additional fee if you hand deliver the Articles of Organization to the Sacramento Secretary of State.

See full fee schedule and California SOS forms

California Filing Time

Processing times depend on the document filed and when it is received by the Sacramento office.

See current processing times

California Annual Compliance Requirements

LLCs doing business in California are required to pay a minimum $800 yearly tax to the California Franchise Tax Board.

Read more about franchise taxes

Also every California LLC is required to file a Statement of Information with the Secretary of State, within 90 days after the filing of its original Articles of Organization, and every two years thereafter during a specific 6-month filing period based on the original file date, as described in the chart below. Thereafter, changes to information contained in a previously filed Statement of Information can be made by filing a new form at no charge.

Currently, Statements of Information for limited liability companies must be submitted on paper, by mail or hand delivered ($20 fee applies to hand deliveries).

Information about the required Statement of Information

Form an LLC in California

You can use this checklist to help guide you through the process of forming a California LLC:

Step 1: Decide on a Business Name

Step 2: Register your LLC with the State

Step 3: Create and Sign the LLC's Governing Document

Step 4: Get an EIN

Step 5: Get Licenses and Permits

Registering a Foreign LLC in California