California LLC Cost

We’ve compiled the most common fees so you know exactly what to expect when starting your California LLC.

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FAQs on how to determine California LLC costs

  • Before you form your LLC, let’s walk through the most common filing fees you’ll encounter. Nervous to get started? Don’t be. We’ve done this for more than 500,000 businesses.

    If you want our help, we can form your California LLC for only $0.

  • The cost to start an LLC in California is$70. Below are the filings and fees that are included in this cost.

    Articles of Organization

    Free: California recently updated the state’s filing fees for business entities, and now allows most entity types to file their formation paperwork for free. The California state LLC fee is$70, and this covers your California Articles of Organization.

    Service of Process

    Free: Every LLC in the state of California is required to have a service of process agent (referred to as a registered agent in most other states). You can act as your own service of process agent for free, or you can designate someone else.

    Our California registered agent services make it easy for you. We’ll serve as your service of process agent and handle any requirements without any work from you.

  • Below, you’ll find other fees and filings associated with California LLCs.

    Statement of Information

    The fee for filing your California Statement of Information is $20. This filing (referred to as an Annual Report in most other states) is due within 90 days of registration and every two years thereafter.

    Annual Tax

    The Franchise Tax Board requires a minimum yearly tax of $800 to be paid by all California LLCs.

    Attachment to Statement of Information

    Free: You will file an Attachment to Statement of Information form if your LLC has more than one member. However, this filing is free.

    Certificate of Status

    You get your Certificate of Status from the California Secretary of State. It costs $15 if filed in person, and $5 if filed via mail. While not required for California LLCs, you’ll need one to open a business bank account or get business loans.

    The Certificate of Status is known as a Certificate of Good Standing in most other states.

    Name Reservation

    It costs $10 to reserve your LLC name in California.

    DBA Name or Fictitious Business Name

    Want to go by a different name than your official LLC name? Submit a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, also known as a Fictitious Business Name in California.

    The fee for this filing in California varies by city and county. Inquiries should be directed to the Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk’s office in the county where the business will be located.

    Statement of No Change

    Time to file your Statement of Information, but haven’t made any changes to your LLC? You can file a Statement of No Change instead for $20.

    Note: Effective January 1, 2022, a section regarding Labor Judgment was added to the Statement of Information. All LLCs, even those who have made no changes, MUST file a full Statement of Information after January 1, 2022 in order to complete this section. However, once this has been done, LLCs can subsequently file a Statement of No Change for future filings, IF no changes have been made.

    Certificate of Amendment

    Need to make a change to the specifics of your LLC? File a Certificate of Amendment for $30. You can also file a Certificate of Amendment – Name Change only if you’re only changing your LLC’s name. This filing also costs $30.

    Restated Articles of Organization

    If you need to make changes to your Articles of Organization, you can file Restated Articles of Organization for $30.

    Certificate of Correction

    If you need to make corrections to your LLC details, you can file a Certificate of Correction for $30.


    Free: It is free to file LLC termination documents in California. This includes forms such as:

    • Certificate of Dissolution
    • Certificate of Cancellation
    • Short Form Cancellation Certificate


    It costs between $70 and $150 to merge your LLC with another LLC or business entity.


    It costs between $30 and $150 to convert your LLC to another type of business entity.

    Substituted Service of Process

    The Secretary of State’s Office can enforce substituted service of process if all of the following occur:

    • Service of process attempts have been unsuccessful.
    • Service of process attempts have been diligent, according to the courts.
    • The court orders that service of process can be made by hand-delivering to the Secretary of State’s Office.

    In this instance of substituted service of process, the Secretary of State’s Office will charge you $50. That’s why it is so important to have a dependable service of process or registered agent.

    Foreign LLC

    If you already have an LLC in another state, but want to expand your business to California, then you need to file a foreign LLC.

    There is no fee to file an Application to Register form to become a foreign LLC in California.

    Business Licenses and Permits

    Your type of business may need federal, state or local permits to legally open your doors in California. Learn more about California business license requirements and permits.

    If you don’t need to worry about these additional fees, the average cost to start an LLC in California is $70.

    For just $0, we can form your California LLC for you in just minutes. No LegalZoom promo code required: Pay just $0 plus filing fees for fast LLC formation in California. 

  • Yes, LLCs that file their Statement of Information late in California pay a late fee.

  • California corporations and LLCs may be able to arrange for payment plans for the minimum $800 state tax due every year. If the tax or other fees go unpaid, penalties will accrue, and the company’s status may be suspended.

  • Filing fees for forming a California business all go to the California Secretary of State.

  • The largest fee associated with forming a business in California is the $800 in annual business taxes that corporations and LLCs must pay.

  • You can pay online by credit card or directly from your bank account using Web Pay. You can also mail a check to pay your fees.

  • The main benefit of LLCs over other business entity options like sole proprietors is LLCs offer liability protection. Your personal assets are separate from your business assets. You’ll have legal protection if you get sued, which you don’t receive from other legal structure options.

How do I form my LLC in California?

1. Name your LLC  

It’s time to introduce yourself! All limited liability companies (LLCs) need a unique name. Naming your California LLC is one of the first things you’ll need to do.

Business Name Rules in California

Already have the perfect business name? Keep a few things in mind: 

  • Your business name needs to be available in California
  • It has to meet California naming requirements
  • You can secure a website domain 

Regardless of the business entity you create, your new company needs to meet these requirements. Luckily, we’re here to help.

California Business Name Checker

First, run your business name through our business name checker. If it’s available, you can either reserve it now or plan to use it when you file for your California LLC. 

Becoming a business owner is an exciting time, and securing the perfect business name is a great way to start. 

2. Choose a service of process agent  

All California LLCs need to have a service of process agent (known as a registered agent in most states). Your service of process agent is your LLC’s point of contact with the state it’s registered in.

What is a service of process agent?

Most importantly, the service of process agent has to be available during business hours because they’re responsible for accepting legal notices (like if your company is sued).

If a service of process agent is used for a California LLC, the person needs to be a California resident or have a California address. 

Service of Process Agent Options

You can serve as your own service of process agent as long as you have a physical street address in California, but it might be a good idea to have someone else represent your company. 

Hire a service of process agent (registered agent)

For a small fee, the company will guarantee that they’re available and at the given address to handle any requirements for you. It’s one less thing for you to worry about as a business owner. 

3. File your Articles of Organization

Before legally operating a California LLC, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.

File Your LLC With Us

California accepts filings online, by mail, or via personal delivery. 

You can file your LLC online with the California Secretary of State’s office, or via mail at: 

1500 11th Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

4. File California Statement of Information

Next, you’ll submit your California Statement of Information. This is the second part of the initial paperwork in starting your LLC in the Golden State. Remember, this step is in addition to filing the Articles of Organization. Your Statement of Information has to be filed within 90 days of formation to retain your LLC name and status with the state.

5. Create an operating agreement

We encourage every business owner to draft an operating agreement. But it’s not required when you file an LLC.

Operating Agreement Benefits

Operating agreements: 

  • Are legally binding documents that provide clear and concise definitions of all ownership and management terms / rules.
  • Protect personal assets of the LLC owners and outline ownership percentages, responsibilities, voting power, and a succession plan in case an owner decides to leave the business.
  • Can prevent any miscommunication and resolve any conflicts between members. 

You won’t regret having an LLC operating agreement. Utilizing an operating agreement template can set you up for success regarding having the right business structure and format for this important document. 

6. Get an EIN    

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) officially registers your company with the federal government. Also known as Federal Tax ID Numbers, EINs are typically required to open a business bank account, get business credit cards, or hire employees. 

Apply for an EIN on the IRS website, or use our EIN service when you form your LLC and we’ll handle that for you too. 

Check California annual requirements     

You’re all set! You’ve successfully formed your California LLC with the state. So you’re done, right? Almost.  

Annual Business Tax

California LLCs have to file and pay an $800 annual business tax each year. 

Avoid Fees

To avoid costly fees, use our Annual Report Service to receive important notifications and help to file your Annual Report.

Note: In California, the Annual Report is referred to as a Statement of Information. 

Stay legally compliant    

You might need to make certain changes to your business over time. For example, you may get a service of process agent or change your business address. California needs to be aware of these changes to your LLC. 

LLC Amendments

Some changes require an amendment with the state. Learn more about California LLC amendments.

Stay Compliant

We offer a Worry-Free Compliance Service, which includes two amendments every year, to help your business stay compliant with California law.

We can help!

Running a legal business entity in California doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re here to guide you. We’ll help you launch, start, and run your new LLC. 

Our experts will help you file and avoid costly mistakes and penalties. We also offer endless amounts of business resources to help your LLC succeed in California.


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