California – 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted

Eureka, we have made it to the Golden State! We’re referring to the state of California, of course, which boasts one of the largest economies and agricultural producers in the United States.

From NorCal to SoCal, small businesses thrive in California. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 3.8 million small businesses call the state home (with 1.6 million being minority-owned businesses). California’s overall economy continues to grow, at an annual rate of 2.2% in 2016. If this sounds like the ideal market to start a small business in, consider these five tips when incorporating a business in California.

1. Let’s start off by getting you acquainted with the California Secretary of State’s Business Entities Here, you can find a wide variety of service options at the Sacramento and Los Angeles offices including document processing, requesting information like certificates, and special drop-off handling services. Check in on name availability for corporations, LLCs, and partnerships, tips for filing, and more.

2. Not sure what kinds of forms you need for each entity or how much you need to pay? The Secretary of State has a section dedicated for forms, samples, and fees for a wide variety of entity types. For example, if you’re looking at an LLC, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can find out more about Articles of Organization, Certificates of Amendment, Certificates of Dissolution, and Conversions, just to name a few.

3. The filing fee for the Articles of Incorporation is $100.00 and the filing fee for the Article of Organization is $70.00. When filing, an agent for service of process must be obtained. The agent for service of process must be: (1) a person who resides in California or (2) an active corporation in California that has filed a certificate pursuant.

4. Need a business permit? CalGold helps businesses find appropriate permit information. Keep in mind that they do not issue permits or licenses, but CalGold does provide contact information that allows entrepreneurs to reach out to the appropriate agency contact for administering and issuing out permits.

5. Heard about bizfile California, but not sure what the service does? This is the Secretary of State’s online portal that works as a hub to help businesses file, search, and order business records. And if you’re thinking about getting a cannabis business entity underway, there’s a cannabizfile portal made just for that purpose.

If this has enlightened you to start your own business in the Golden State, browse the California Secretary of State website for more information. You can also follow the California Secretary of State on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

Is it time for you to start a small business in California? Give us a call at 1(877) 692-6772 or visit us at if you have any questions about forming a business or the regulations required.

Welcome back to the 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted where we share what it takes to start a business in each of the 50 states. Join us biweekly for advice on how to start an LLC or corporation across the United States.

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