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Incorporating in California

When you incorporate in California, it’s good to know about California’s incorporation requirements. These include the words in your corporation’s name, information in your Articles of Incorporation when you incorporate, the number of corporate directors you should have, and more.

Corporate Name When Incorporating in California

When you incorporate in California, your corporate name will have to meet some basic standards, similar to many other states. One standard relates to the type of words in your business name. The Superintendent of Bank’s approval is required if your corporate name contains these words:

  • “Bank”

  • “Trust”

  • “Trustee”

  • “Banc”

Another standard is that your corporate name can’t be likely to mislead the public. With respect to similarity to other names, when you incorporate in California the corporate name can’t be the same as (or resemble so closely as to lead to deception): a domestic or qualified foreign corporation; a name already under reservation; or a foreign corporation’s registered or assumed name.

Corporate name endings are generally not required. But, the corporate name does have to end with “Incorporated”, “Company”, “Limited” or “Corporation” if the corporation:

  • is a professional corporation

  • is a close corporation

  • uses a person’s name

Articles of Incorporation in California

If you’re wondering how to incorporate a business in California, a document needed to form a corporation in California is the Articles of Incorporation. When you incorporate, your Articles of Incorporation include the name and address of your registered agent with a physical address in California (no post office boxes). Your registered agent has to be available during normal business hours.

When incorporating in California, authorized shares and par value are listed in the Articles of Incorporation, but an increase in the par value or number of shares doesn’t affect initial state filing fees.

CT Tip: Different states ask for different information in the Articles of Incorporation.

When you incorporate in California:

  • Officer names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation

  • Director names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation

Corporate Directors

California doesn’t have age requirements in its standards for directors and it doesn’t have a provision specifying where directors must reside.

But, California does require a minimum number of directors. Corporations generally need at least three directors.

Exceptions allow the number of directors to be only one or two if:

  • shares have not been issued

  • the corporation has only one shareholder

  • the corporation has only two shareholders

Other Filing When Incorporating in California

California also has an initial report requirement. Within 90 days of incorporation, corporations need to file a Statement of Information.

Professional Services Businesses in California

Professionals such as physicians, attorneys and accountants may form a professional corporation.

Cost to Incorporate in California

For more information on California state fees when incorporating in California and our incorporation services, contact a CT Specialist.

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