Supported by a rich pool of small enterprises, California is known as a startup-friendly state and eagerly welcomes newcomers on board. So, if you are about to launch your own private venture here, a single-member LLC will fit you just right.
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Or hire a dedicated company to do the formation legwork for you:
Technically, creating a single-member LLC in California is about submitting your LLC statute to the Secretary of State and getting it approved by the regulator.
In practice, though, to open a single-member LLC in California and make it operational, you’ll have to take more steps. Simply read our guide to get your CA LLC off the ground without a problem.
The process of your single-member LLC formation in California will start with choosing a name for your future company. For the state to accept your application, the business moniker should match the following naming requirements valid in CA:
Before you file with the state, make sure the company name you target is available in CA by completing a name search on the CA government website.
All limited liability companies in California including SMLLCs should have an agent for the service of process that is known as a registered agent in other jurisdictions.
The agent’s function is to receive legal documents, tax forms, statutory notes, government statements, regulatory requests, and other official mail on behalf of your SMLLC in CA. As such, an agent will serve as an intermediary between your business and state authorities.
A registered agent could be any permanent California resident older than 18 years or a company legally entitled to operate a business in the state. Hence, for this function, you can appoint:
The Articles of Organization or statute is your key formation document that gives formal birth to your company, makes it operationally independent, and enforces all of the benefits offered by the limited liability company’s framework.
In California, you can file the Articles of Organization:
Secretary of State
Business Entities Filings
P.O. Box 944228
Sacramento, CA 94244
1500 11th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
To lawfully operate within the California jurisdiction, all SMLLCs will have to register the so-called Statement of Info with the Secretary of State within a 90-period after the date of state registration.
This document should enlist:
Similar to the Articles of Organization, you can file the Statement online, by mail, or in person. The filing also entails a $20 state fee.
To open a single-member LLC in California, you’ll also have to register an Operating Agreement. An option in most US states, this document is mandatory in CA.
As the name suggests, the document is an operational tool. It states the ownership structure, management system, and ongoing operation procedures for the company as approved by its owner or owners.
The state doesn’t call SMLLCs to file an agreement along with the statute. However, the document should be duly executed and kept in the company’s office together with other formation papers.
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a business taxpayer identifier issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Single-member LLC owners in California might skip getting an EIN and use their own Social Security Number for business tax purposes. However, obtaining an EIN is important since you’ll need it to:
Besides, IRS issues EINs for free and it won’t take more than 5 minutes to register online.
The single-member LLC cost in California is a state filing fee which varies depending on the filing method you choose. Thus:
Notably, the final cost of your SMLLC in CA is more than just a filing fee and will also cover expenses related to any added services you might need to set your business up and running.
Though a formal registration stage is over once you get your California SMLLC filed with the state, the first post-formation steps also matter a lot for the efficient daily operation of your newly formed entity. Here are a few important tasks to complete after SMLLC registration:
To maintain your California SMLLC in good standing with the state, you’ll have certain commitments to match on a timely basis: