Starting a Business in California

Your California Company Formed By:

12:59:53 PM
June 17th
June 17th

California Business Overview

The Basics

We have prepared a number of helpful tips and suggestions for those looking to form a California LLC or a California corporation.  Prior to filing your articles or incorporation or articles of organization, we do a preliminary name search – which is included in our ordering process.  This must be done because you can waste valuable time if you submit a filing for a company name that is not available.  While a name reservation is not always necessary, we do preliminary name research prior to submitting any of our filings. We’ll also include website, email, and phone service at no additional upfront cost so you can get on the web and start fielding client calls in minutes.

The cost of forming or registering your California business will depend on the type of entity you’re filing paperwork for. The cost to file Articles of Incorporation for a California corporation is $100, and the cost to file Articles of Organization for a California LLC is $70. Both entities are also required to file an Initial Statement of Information with the Secretary of State. This filing costs $25 for corporations and $20 for LLCs.

Doing Business in California

Business Maintenance

All California Corporations and LLCs Must File: 

  • Articles of Incorporation
    File your Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State and pay the filing fee. Online filings take 5 business days for both LLCs and corporations. California will process business formation documents hand-delivered to its Secretary of State’s Sacramento office in around 3 business days if you pay a $15 counter drop-off fee. You can also pay the state $350 for 1-day expedited processing.
  • Beneficial Ownership Information Report
    Nearly all businesses formed by filing with the state of California must file a federal Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) following business formation. You can file online through FinCEN at no cost. Or, take advantage of our professional BOI report filing service for just $9.
  • Initial Statement of Information
    California corporations and LLCs must file the Initial Statement of Information within 90 days after formation. The initial fee is $25 for corporations or $20 for LLCs.
  • Subsequent Statement of Information
    California business entities, including corporations and LLCs, have to file additional Statements of Information to stay compliant. California corporations must file and pay the $25 fee every year. California LLCs pay $20 and file the statement every other year.

California Business Taxes

Personal Income Tax
The maximum California individual income tax rate is 12.3%.

Corporate Business Tax
The tax rate for California corporations is 8.84% on taxable income.

California Franchise Tax
The minimum tax is $800.

California Business License

California does not require a state business license. We do suggest using CalGold to find out which local licenses and permits you will need.


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