California LLC Service
*Plus state fees
The U.S.' Oldest Privately-Held Incorporation Service Is Currently Offering $0 Filings
A California LLC is the most versatile, low maintenance business entity type you can form. The LLC can protect your personal assets as well as any corporation might. Plus, depending upon your business needs, you can elect to be taxed an S Corp or even C Corp, all while maintaining the versatility and simplicity that comes with operating an LLC.
LLCs utilize ironclad asset protection and help maintain a strict separation between you and your business.
By default, all income in an LLC passes through to the members, but any LLC can elect to be taxed as an S Corp or a C Corp.
No corporate formalities. No resolutions or annual shareholders meetings. An LLC makes executive decisions simple.
How to Incorporate in California with Active Filings
Place Your Order
Choose the state where you want to register your company and whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit. You’ll then be prompted to select an incorporation package. On the signup form you’ll need to enter company details, your personal details, and payment information.
We Get To Work
After placing your company formation order, our professional filers are automatically alerted and begin completing your company formation documents. Once the formation paperwork is completed, we send your company filing off to the state for processing. In the meantime, you’ll be given access to your Active Filings Online Account where you can track filings, request additional services, receive digital notifications, access company maintenance tools and any other forms you may want to file.
Launch Your Business
Once the state has confirmed that your new company has been registered as active in the state database, we will send you a digital notification. You can trust your business is active and ready to launch. We’ll provide all necessary organizational documents and if you’re ever confused, frustrated or just have a question, you can call and our client service specialists will make sure you know how to move forward with your new company.
California Incorporation and Company Registration FAQs
- California LLC Creation: We create, file, and return to your your finalized company.
- Private Documents: Operating Agreement, Resolutions, Membership certificates, and everything you need to show you own the company.
- Registered Agent Service: First 365 days is free and you can cancel anytime or renew for $99.
- Compliance Reminders: For free, we remind you about upcoming business renewal requirements and provide the forms and tools to do them yourself or hire us.
The honest answer is this: unless you’ll be selling shares to investors or have very particular demands on your business that require you to form a corporation, the LLC is the simpler, easier business entity to operate and maintain. Corporations require that you follow a wide variety of formalities in order to ensure your asset protection stays in place (annual shareholder meetings, corporate resolutions for company changes, officers and a board of directors, etc). With an LLC, you don’t need to adhere to any corporate formalities, owners (known as members) can make company decisions on the fly, and you have a greater flexibility in deciding how profits are taxed and distributed.
NO! LLCs can be taxed as S Corps. An S Corporation is simply a tax election obtained by filing a form with the IRS. Every LLC in every state could be taxed as an S corporation (or a C corp). We can file S corp paperwork on your behalf if that’s what you want, however, S corp status does come with restrictions.
- No Foreign Shareholders or Members
- Every owner must be a US resident.
- You Must Pay Yourself a Salary
This requirement often ends up costing company owners. They must pay themselves a salary equal to what the IRS calls “reasonable compensation.” That means you can’t just pay yourself $5 salary and take the rest of the income as a dividend (the IRS will come down on you hard if you try that).
The salary requirement essentially puts its own sort of restriction on what type of companies can reasonably maintain S Corp status: those businesses taking in a high net income. For that reason, if you don’t know how well your business will do, it may make the most sense to start out as an LLC.
All businesses that will be actively engaged in sales or ones that will hire employees need to obtain an EIN. We include EIN service with our Professional and Executive packages, or as an add-on for $100. However, the IRS will provide you an EIN for free if you want to get it yourself. You can apply for an EIN online on the IRS’ website. Once you’ve formed your company, it should only take a few minutes to get your EIN.
California requires you to appoint a registered agent for your LLC, corporation, or nonprofit. Registered agents accept official notices and potential lawsuits on behalf a business entity. They’re a business’ official point of contact and are listed on the company formation documents. Because they’re a necessity, we include a year of registered agent service free when we form your company. With our registered agent service, you’ll receive digital notifications instantly when we accept mail or official documents on your company’s behalf.
Most states don’t require your business to adopt bylaws or an operating agreement, but it’s self-defeating if you don’t. Operating agreements and bylaws are private documents and are not filed with any state office. But they are without a doubt the most important company documents. Operating agreements and bylaws outline how company disputes will be handled, how profits and losses are distributed, how a third party can be admitted into the company─these documents describe how your entire company functions and will be relied upon in court to settle any potential disputes.
Every company we form, no matter which package you choose, comes equipped with either an operating agreement (for LLCs) or bylaws (corporations and nonprofits). Our goal is to provide you with a company that is ready-to-use on day 1.