Forming an LLC in California
ComplianceFebruary 17, 2021

Forming an LLC in California

Each state has different requirements for forming a limited liability company (LLC). To create an LLC in California, you must complete Articles of Organization (Form LLC-1). Whether you are starting a business or forming an entity for 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 contain the words "Limited Liability Company," or the abbreviation "LLC" or "L.L.C." “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and “company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” The words “bank” and “insurer” are among those that cannot be used. The name cannot be a name that the Secretary of State determines is likely to mislead the public and must be distinguishable in the records of the Secretary of State from the names of other LLCs formed or registered to transact business in California.

California’s requirements for LLC members and managers

There must be at least one member.
Members or managers 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 filed 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. If the registered agent is an individual the Articles of Organization require the name and address of the registered agent. If the registered agent is a corporation only the corporate registered agent’s name is required. The registered agent must have a physical address (no post office boxes) in California and must be available during normal business hours to receive important legal and tax documents for the LLC.

Other filings required at the time of formation or shortly thereafter

California requires LLCs to file a Statement of Information within 90 days of filing the Articles of Organization.

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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