How To Start An Llc Business – Get fast, easy, fast and accurate online California LLC registration services starting at $0 plus state fees
Note: California has temporarily disallowed most business formations, including LLCs. The cost to file Articles of Organization in California used to be $70, but is now $0. You must submit your application before June 30, 2023 to take advantage of this free application.
How To Start An Llc Business
Want to start your own business as a California Limited Liability Company (LLC)? California may be the place for you. With millions of residents and tons of potential industries, the Golden State offers plenty of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. In 2021, WalletHub ranked California #3 among the top ten states to start a business. Some of the reasons for this high ranking are access to resources and the availability of human capital.
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Forming a California LLC is a smart way to provide security for your business. This type of business entity can protect your personal assets, give you the flexibility to run your business, and identify your business with the state of California. An LLC can help add legitimacy to your business idea.
However, setting up an LLC in California seems more difficult than trying to merge lanes in LA traffic. But don’t worry. This guide will take you through the entire process, step-by-step, of setting up your LLC in the state of California. We’ll also show you how our professional services can help you cut red tape so you can focus on running and growing your business.
Wondering how to form an LLC in California? You will have to submit documents to the state. Our filing service can process these legal documents for you, but we can also show you the process.
Forming a California LLC begins with choosing a name. You will need to check that the name you want is not already registered with another business owner. Your name must also meet all state guidelines. For example, California LLC names should not be generic or contain words that could mislead the public.
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Next, you’ll need to find an agent to serve process and fill out paperwork, such as your articles of incorporation and affidavit of information. These forms provide the State of California with basic information about your business, such as who is involved, where you are located, and what type of business you do. Completing these forms will allow you to move forward with your new venture. California also requires the creation of an LLC operating agreement that outlines how your business will be run.
Finally, you will establish yourself with the IRS and apply for any business licenses, permits or insurance policies that your business requires.
Below, we’ll explain how to form an LLC in California in six easy steps. We will also include other helpful information to help your LLC succeed.
Note that these instructions are for creating a domestic LLC that is incorporated in the state where you live. A foreign LLC is one that was formed in another country. To register a foreign LLC in California, you would need to complete a foreign LLC registration statement and follow another process.
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The first step in starting your business is to register your California LLC. Unlike sole proprietorships (which usually have the same name as the person who runs them), LLCs often choose branded company names.
Your name plays a big role in how the public sees and perceives your brand. So it is important to make a good choice.
When forming an LLC – California uses the words “Limited Liability Company” or “L.L.C.” requires abbreviations. or “LLC” in your legal name. You can also shorten “Limited” to “Ltd”. and “Company” to “Company”.
Read your state’s naming guidelines to make sure you meet all the rules. Some general guidelines include:
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It is important to verify that the name you wish to verify is no longer in the state of California. Our California business search page can help you do just that. If you see that your name is available, but you are not yet ready to file a charter with the State of California, you can reserve it. Our business name reservation service not only reserves the name for you, but also searches for your preferred name to ensure it is available.
Next, you may want to consider a California FBN name. Some businesses use an FBN (or “fictitious business name”) when they register under a different nickname. In most other countries it is also known as “company name” or DBA name.
There are many reasons for a company to use the DBA name, such as introducing a new product line. Some examples where the DBA title would be used are:
By applying for fictitious names, you can avoid having to re-enter the state of California every time you want to do business under a different name.
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In California, FBNs are not registered with the California Secretary of State’s office, but at the local level. You must file in the county where your business is located and obtain the necessary forms from your county clerk.
Registering a trademark in California can help protect your company or DBA from being used by others in the state. Brand logo or business name branding can benefit your business, even as a new LLC. Registering your name or brand design helps prevent existing or future companies from copying or stealing. It helps protect your intellectual property and gives you resilience in cases of copyright infringement.
Having a trademark means you “own” the right to use certain words or designs, and others are infringing on that ownership if they copy or reproduce your work. This means that no other company can have the same name as yours.
You can learn more about California’s guidelines on the Secretary of State’s website. Whether you want to apply for your own trademark or not, it’s a good idea to search the California trademark database to make sure the business name you want isn’t already trademarked in the state.
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You should also check the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database to make sure there are no federal trademarks on your name. If available, you can apply for registration on the USPTO website. Note that this process is not immediate, but may provide more extensive protection if you intend to do business outside of California.
In the state of California, you can apply to register a trademark for a fee of $70 “per classification code.” You can complete a “Trademark/Service Mark – Application for Registration” (Form TM-100) online, in person, or by mail through the California Secretary of State. Online and personal submissions are marked with the time and date of receipt. Mail delivery is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on the day they were delivered.
Once approved, you will receive a free copy. You can also request a certified copy for a fee. Learn more about trademarks on our Trademarks and Copyright page.
Secure a website domain name to help potential customers find you online. You can do a quick online domain name search to make sure the domain name you want is available and then ask us to register that domain for you.
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For help naming your company and other filing services, check out our online services. With a variety of affordable options, we can help you get your business up and running, giving you time to focus on actually growing your business.
In addition to considering the availability of a generic business name for your California LLC, you should also consider whether your desired name is available as a URL. Finding a business name that can also be used as a web domain will make it easier for your customers (or potential customers) to find and remember your website.
Use our domain name search tool to see if your desired business name is available as a URL. If the domain you want is still available, you may want to reserve it before someone else does.
You can also check if the social media tags you want are available. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are now the main means of marketing. Getting the right social media names can be an important factor in your branding strategy.
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We have a domain name service that helps you find and buy a domain name for your business. We can also help you create a business website and keep your domain name private.
The next step is to appoint an agent in California to serve process. In other states, it is called a registered agent. A process service agent is a person or business entity assigned to receive legal notices (such as subpoenas) and official correspondence on your company’s behalf.
You can appoint yourself or another member of the company to be your agent, or you can hire an outside source to serve in that capacity.
By using a registered agent service, you can free up your time to focus on your business because you don’t have to be available during normal business hours. Additional benefits of hiring a registered agent include:
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For help with your California agent for service of process, contact us and learn more about our affordable registered agent service. Our professional is registered
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