Register a Business in California in 12 Steps | MyCompanyWorks

Register a Business in California in 12 Steps

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California Business Facts and Environment

California Business Facts California is the largest and wealthiest express in the United States. major industries include technology ( Silicon Valley ), entertainment ( Hollywood ), agriculture/farming american samoa well as millions of small businesses. Major Companies in California

major companies include Google, Apple, and dozens more you would recognize. California Startup Environment California, while a hotbed for startups and top corporations, presently ranks # 31 on Forbes Best States for Business list and is known for being more unmanageable to operate in adenine well as taxing businesses higher than most other states .

Step 1: Select a Business Structure

There are 3 top options : a DBA, a Corporation, or an LLC. Click here for help oneself choosing your business structure and to learn about occupation entity types. DBA “ Doing Business As ” or “ Fictitious Business Name ” or “ Trade Name ” – much used as an operate name to simplify the legal name or distinguish from other businesses with similar names. DBAs are besides used to manage multiple businesses under one LLC or Corporation.
Example: California Dreamin ’ LLC could register a DBA like California Auto Spa for a car wash business and California Dreamin ’ Classic Autos for a custom car denounce, without having to form two classify LLCs or Corporations. Corporation “ Corporation ” or “ Corp ” – a separate entity that provides indebtedness protection to its owners. This clientele structure includes shareholders, directors, and officers. Corporations are more complex than DBAs, but it ’ s the ideal commercial enterprise structure for profit-earning companies. Some professions are required to form a “ Professional Corporation ” or PC ( doctors, lawyers, architects, etc. ). LLC “ Limited Liability Company ” – a freestanding entity that provides liability protection to its owners, and is besides easier to manage and taxed less than a pot. Because of these features, the LLC has taken inaugural stead in popularity over both DBA and Corporation business structures .

Step 2: Choose Your Business Name

Picking a clientele identify is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the improper name ( you can always change it by and by but the fewer times you have to do that, the better ). In Step 3 we ’ ll show you how to search for the list in California, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching California state databases :

  • Make sure you’ve covered the basics: unique, easy to understand/pronounce (practice saying it out loud: “Thanks for calling XYZ”) and can survive over time (“DVD World” is not timely). Here are some of our tips on business identity including logo and trademarks.
  • Search the web for your proposed name. Search Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo as a “first sweep” for any potential conflicts, especially in your state or local jurisdiction.
    NOTE: If you intend to operate nationally or even internationally it will be even more important that your name be unique. This should cover many cases where a company name is being used but not officially trademarked (see next tip).
  • Do a trademark search with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This will be a very good indicator if you’re name will have any conflicts. There’s an art to trademark searches (trademark specialists will charge you handsomely to do a thorough search) but in our experience if you can use google at a fairly advanced level you can reasonably clear a name yourself.

    TIP: search misspellings, plurals, variations of spelling, sound-alikes and other versions of your chosen name to be sure it’s not already registered.

  • Make sure your company name choice is available by searching the California Secretary of State’s business entity database.
    NOTE: Make sure to search variations of spelling, plurals and misspellings as the state may reject a name that is too similar (then you have to start all over again, wasting valuable time).

Restrictions on California Business Name & Business Purpose

California clientele names must adhere to the comply restrictions

  • Your company name must include the correct corporate identifier: Corporations: “Corporation”, “Incorporated” or an abbreviation.
  • May not contain the word “bank,” “trust,” “trustee,” and shall not contain the words “insurer” or “insurance company” or any other words suggesting that it is in the business of issuing policies of insurance and assuming insurance risks.
  • The following business purposes require the formation of a “Professional Corporation” or “PC”:
  • Accounting
  • Acupuncture
  • Architecture
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical social work
  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • Marriage, family, and child counseling
  • Medicine
  • Speech-language pathology and audiology
  • Nursing
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy
  • Physician assistants
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Shorthand court reporters

Step 3: Register the Business

Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. now that you ’ ve chosen a clientele structure and picked your commercial enterprise name, here are the requirements to register your business in California .

How to Form an LLC in California

  • File Form LLC-1 (Articles of Organization) with the California Secretary of State LLC Division.
  • Once the articles are filed and approved you will then need to properly organize the LLC (yes, even “1 person LLC’s”) by holding an “Organizational Meeting” which takes contributions from the members, issues Member Certificates, adopts the company Operating Agreement and more.

How to Incorporate in California

  • File form ARTS-GS (Articles of Incorporation) with the California Secretary of State Corporation Division.
  • Hold an “Organizational Meeting” to determine the percentage of ownership for each shareholder as well as resolve to do tasks like open a company bank account, pay back pre-incorporation expenses, elect S-Corporation status and more.
  • Corporations can elect S-Corporation status with the IRS by filing IRS Form 2553. Click here to learn more about S-Corporations.

NOTE: When registering a newly company The Secretary of State can take several weeks to file the paperwork ( California is one of the slower states in the US ). You can expedite the action by hand delivering the documents immediately to them or one of their field offices and paying an extra tip. TIP: Check our order shape to see how long California is presently taking to process regular and expedite orders .

How to File a DBA in California

DBAs are filed with the county. You ’ ll want to contact your local County Recorder to find out precisely what forms to submit and what they ’ re submission march is. You can find the local county recorder ’ randomness office by searching “ YOURCOUNTY county registrar ” .

  • Obtain and file the correct forms with the count to register your DBA.
    NOTE: some counties let you search the name and register online. Others require the form to be notarized.
  • Publish a notice in an approved newspaper. The county can instruct you on approved newspapers. Publication must be once a week for four consecutive weeks. After the 4th publication, the newspaper company should send you a Proof of Publication, (as a signed affidavit indicating dates of publication in their newspaper).
  • File Proof of Publication with the County Clerk’s Office within 30 days after the 4th publication.
    NOTE: Some newspaper companies may provide this service for you, but filing the proof is still your responsibility.

Optional Considerations when registering a California business

  • Hire a professional Registered Agent. Many people list their home or business address on the Articles of Organization. This can cause issues because it becomes public record (you’ll get lots of junk mail). A professional Registered Agent will provide their address and forward any important documents to you, this is also convenient if you have to move (you don’t have to file forms or pay fees, just update your address with your agent).

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Step 4: Obtain Your Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN)

Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It ’ sulfur required for Corporations and LLCs and is optional for DBAs unless you have employees ( then it ’ sulfur required ). If you are a DBA and don ’ thymine obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents therefore obtaining the EIN is recommended to prevent identity larceny. To obtain an EIN you can apply on-line with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4. TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if we form your company .

Step 5: Open Business Bank & Credit Accounts

You ’ ll necessitate to keep clientele and personal finances offprint by opening a business bank and credit accounts. Learn more about how to build your business credit profile. Corporations and LLCs are required to operate these types of accounts, but they position your company for favorable loans and lines of credit. Call your preferable bank and ask how to open a business bank account. typically you ’ ll need the trace documents :

  • Filed paperwork
  • EIN
  • Company resolution signed by the owners, members, officers, directors, etc. that authorizes your company to open an account.

Click here to view a list of our recommend banks in our Vendor Network. TIP: Our business geological formation service includes a free bank solution .

Step 6: Set Up an Accounting System

Set up your account and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is creditworthy for paying. company documents by and large are required to be kept for 3 years, including a number of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, fiscal statements, annual reports, amendments, or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “ Accounting & Financial Management ” segment for help oneself with setting up an account system and purchasing account software. Review our list of Accountants, Accounting Software, and Bookkeepers in our Vendor Network .

Step 7: Obtain Licenses & Permits

immediately that you ’ ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do occupation in your city or county. typically this besides involves registering for state taxes and permits ( the city may require them as contribution of the business licensing process ). Click here to explore our Business License Compliance Package.

Step 8: Hire Employees (if applicable)

If you intend to hire yourself or others as a broad or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance ( or both ). View our “ Employees & Payroll ” section for aid with hiring employees and processing payroll. Review our list of commend Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network .

Step 9: Obtain Business Insurance

There are many types of policy for businesses but they are normally packaged as “ General Business Insurance ” or a “ Business Owner ’ mho Policy ”. This can cover everything from intersection liability to company vehicles. A becoming policy can run a fiddling as $ 300/year and offers a bang-up extra flush of auspices. Click here to view our tilt of policy providers in our Vendor Network .

Step 10: Organize & Systemize

Prepare the occupation as if person needed to take it over and run it for you. This means having a method acting to summons orders, wage bills, pay employees, yield taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, attempt to make the functional expression of the clientele as automated and effective as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “ Manage Your Company ” section for aid with systematize and automating your business .

Step 11: Branding & Marketing

immediately that your company is set up for success, you need to get the son out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “ Marketing & Sales ” section for aid for more information. Visit our prefer vendors for Logo/Business Identity and Marketing .

Step 12: Annual & Ongoing Requirements

DBA:  Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years ( unless you change the party name or other data listed on the FBN ) at which point you ’ ll indigence to renew it with the county. LLC:  California companies are required to file an initial Statement of Information within 90 days of filing articles of organization. They must besides file biennial Statements of data with the California Secretary of State biennially by the end of the calendar month of your business ’ anniversary, in addition to general tax. California besides requires a minimum $ 800 fee to the Franchise Tax Board each year ( but businesses are exempt their first class in clientele ). Depending on the nature of your business, you may besides need to sporadically renew operating permits. Corporation:  Your business must keep bodied records at its principal place of business. once every two years by the party ’ randomness anniversary date, an officer of your pot must file an annual report. LLCs and Corporations will pay a filing price of $ 300. Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most of your ongoing conformity tasks. California Secretary of State California State Taxation Departments California State Treasurer ’ randomness Office Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing California State Labor and Employment Departments undertaking and Workforce Development Agency California Startup Resources 1. California Small Business Administration Small Business Administration (SBA) California State District Office 2. SCORE Mentors SCORE California score is made up of active and go to bed business people who volunteer their time to support startup businesses. From coaching to financing resources, finding a local SCORE mentor can save valued time and money. 3. California State Legal Statutes: 4.  California State Chambers of Commerce 5. California Angel Investors 6. California Business News

7. California State Small Business Development Center 8. California Green Business Network

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