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Forming an LLC in California

Each state has different requirements for forming a limited liability company (LLC). Whether you are starting a business or incorporating a business already in existence, you'll want to understand the state requirements for LLC formation.

Acceptable LLC Names in California

The LLC name must end with "Limited Liability Company," "LLC" or "L.L.C." The word “Bank” or variations of that name cannot be used. The name cannot be the same as or deceptively similar to that of another company formed or registered to transact business in California.

California’s Requirements for LLC Members and Managers

  • There must be at least one member/manager.
  • Members or manager are not required to reside in the state.
  • There are no age requirements to be an LLC member or manager

Requirements for California Articles of Organization

A California LLC is created when Articles of Organization are approved by the state. California does not require that the names and addresses of members/managers be listed in the Articles of Organization.

LLC Must Have a Registered Agent

Every California LLC must appoint a registered agent as part of the formation process. The Articles of Organization require the name and address of a registered agent. The registered agent must have a physical address (no post office boxes) in California and must be available during normal business hours to accept important legal and tax documents for the business.

Other Filings Required at the Time of Formation

California requires LLCs to file an initial report with the state within six months of incorporating.

Can Professionals Operate as an LLC in California?

Professionals, such as accountants, attorneys and physicians, are not allowed to form professional limited liability companies (PLLCs) in California.

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