California Secretary of State: Your Guide to Creating an LLC



If you are looking to create a limited liability company (LLC) in California, you will need to know about the role of the California Secretary of State. This government agency is responsible for processing LLC filings and issuing the certificate of organization. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the process for creating an LLC in California. We will also discuss some of the benefits that come with forming an LLC. Thanks for reading!

What is an LLC and what are the benefits of forming one?

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that offers its owners personal liability protection while also allowing them to enjoy the benefits of pass-through taxation. LLCs can be formed in every US state, and the rules for forming and operating an LLC vary slightly from state to state. In California, for example, you must file Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State and pay a filing fee.

Once your LLC is formed, you’ll need to create an operating agreement that outlines the ownership and management structure of your business. The benefits of forming an LLC include personal liability protection, flexibility in management and ownership structures, and pass-through taxation. LLCs are a popular choice for small businesses and startups because they offer simple and straightforward formation and operation.

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How do you go about creating an LLC in the California Secretary of State (SOS)?

California is a great place to form an LLC. The state has very business-friendly laws, and the process of forming an LLC is relatively simple. Here are the steps you need to take in order to form an LLC in California:

  1. Choose a name for your LLC: The name must be distinguishable from other businesses registered with the California Secretary of State. You can check for availability online through the Secretary of State’s website.
  2. File the Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State: This can be done online, by mail, or in person. The filing fee is $70.
  3. Create an Operating Agreement for your LLC: This is a document that sets forth the rules and regulations for the running of your LLC. It is not required by law, but it is a good idea to have one in place.
  4. Obtain any necessary licenses and permits for your business: Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need to obtain special licenses or permits from the state or local government.
  5. Open a business bank account: Once you have formed your LLC, you will need to open a separate bank account for your business. This will help you to keep your personal and business finances separate.

Now that you know the basics of forming an LLC in California, you can get started on the process of creating your own limited liability company.

What are the filing requirements and fees associated with setting up an LLC in California SOS?

Setting up an LLC in California requires filing several documents with the Secretary of State and paying a number of fees. The first step is to file the Articles of Incorporation, which must include the name and address of the LLC, the names of its members, and the names of its managers. There is a filing fee of $70 for this document.

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Next, the LLC must file a Statement of Information, which must include the names and addresses of the LLC’s members and managers, as well as the LLC’s registered agent. There is a filing fee of $20 for this document. Finally, the LLC must file an Operating Agreement, which outlines the LLC’s governance rules and procedures. There is no filing fee for this document. However, there is an annual franchise tax of $800, which must be paid in order to keep the LLC in good standing.

What happens after you’ve filed your LLC paperwork with the state of California SOS?

After you have filed your paperwork with the Secretary of State, you will need to take a few additional steps in order to keep your LLC in good standing.

  1. First, you will need to designate a registered agent to receive the service of process on behalf of your LLC. This can be an individual or a business entity, but they must be located in California and have a physical street address.
  2. Next, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS, even if you do not have any employees. This number will be used for tax purposes.
  3. Finally, you will need to file an annual statement with the Secretary of State’s office. This statement is due on the first day of the month in which your LLC was formed or qualified to do business in California. Failure to file this statement can result in the dissolution of your LLC.


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Are there any ongoing compliance requirements for LLCs in California SOS, and if so, what are they?

For any business structure, it is essential to stay compliant with state requirements. For a limited liability company (LLC) in California, there are several compliance requirements that must be met on an ongoing basis in order to keep the LLC in good standing with the state.

First, LLCs must file an annual report with the California Secretary of State’s office. This report must include basic information about the LLC, such as the names and addresses of the LLC’s members and managers. Additionally, LLCs must pay an annual franchise tax, which is currently set at $800. Finally, LLCs must maintain a registered agent in California. This agent is responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of the LLC.

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By meeting these compliance requirements, LLCs can ensure that they remain in good standing with the state of California.

How do you dissolve or terminate an LLC in California SOS, and what are the consequences thereof?

California law provides several ways to dissolve or terminate an LLC. The most common way is to file a Certificate of Dissolution with the California Secretary of State. This can be done online, by mail, or in person. Once the Certificate of Dissolution is filed, the LLC will be officially dissolved and will no longer exist as a legal entity.

Dissolution also has consequences for the LLC’s assets and liabilities. The LLC’s assets will be distributed to its members according to their ownership interests, and the LLC will be liable for any debts and obligations that it incurred during its existence. Dissolution is a permanent process, and it is not possible to revive an LLC once it has been dissolved.

Concise summary

In conclusion, LLCs offer a number of benefits to business owners in California Secretary of State, and with the help of an experienced attorney, setting up and maintaining an LLC can be relatively easy. If you have any questions about forming or dissolving an LLC in California SOS, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.



Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the new secretary of state for California?

The Incumbent Shirley Weber since January 29, 2021. The Secretary of State is an elected officeholder in California who serves as the chief elections official for that state and maintains business filings.

How do I contact the California Secretary of State?

  • To contact the Reference Desk, call (916) 653-2246.
  • To contact the General Information, call (916) 653-7715.

How do you check if a business is registered in California?

The website maintained by California’s Secretary of State is a free way to search for information on businesses in our state. This site can be found at

What is the California Secretary of State responsible for?

The Secretary of State is responsible for implementing electronic filing and Internet disclosure and maintaining business filings.

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