Do you have plans to make your business ideas official and secure a California LLC? If so, there’s a lot of careful planning that needs to take place before you open your doors. You want to be aware of the state rules and regulations for operating an LLC.

A California corporate or business lawyer can help you cover your bases.  Just to give you an idea of what’s required, here are some of the basic steps to take toward forming a California LLC.

 

How to Form a California LLC

Start By Choosing a Name

The first step to setting up a California LLC is to choose a name for your new business. You need to pick a name that complies with the California naming requirements and something that is easy for potential clients and customers to search for. 

Some of the naming guidelines to remember include:

  • The name must include either the phrase “limited liability company” or an abbreviation of it (either LLC or L.L.C.)
  • The name you choose can’t include any words that would confuse your LLC with any government run agency such as the State Department, FBI, etc. 
  • There are some restricted words that might require additional paperwork for approval. Words such as “bank”, “attorney”, or “university” are examples of words that would require a licensed individual to be part of the LLC. 
  • A full list of the restrictions and guidelines for naming a California LLC can be found on the California Code of Regulations page

Check to Make Sure the Name is Even Available 

You may have decided upon the perfect name and made sure that it abides by the regulations, but before you can move forward, you need to make sure the name hasn’t already been taken by someone else. 

This can be done by doing a search on the State of California website to see if any other LLC’s have already claimed the name you seek. 

See if the URL is Available

You might also want to take it a step further and make sure that the name for your new business is available as a web domain. Though you might not be ready to create a websitejust yet, it’s always a good idea to buy the URL anyway to prevent anyone else from purchasing it before you get the chance. 

Choose an Agent for Service 

To move forward in registering a California LLC, you need to nominate an Agent for Service of Process. Often referred to as a “Registered Agent” in other states, this person will receive legal paperwork on behalf of your LLC.

Whoever you choose must be a resident of the State of California or a corporation that has been authorized to conduct business in California. You can choose any person within your company including yourself to be the Agent for Service of Process. 

File Articles of Organization for Your California LLC

Next, you need to file “Articles of the Organization” with the state. You can choose to mail them in or complete these files in person. 

On the files, you’ll be expected to state whether your new LLC is going to managed by a manager or a member of your organization. 

Create an Operating Agreement

When forming an LLC in the state of California, an operating agreement is required. This legal document will outline all of the operating procedures and ownership of the LLC.

It’s important to have so that any and all business owners are on the same page when it comes to running the business, and it will reduce the risk of legal conflicts down the line. An experienced attorney can help you set up and manage your operating agreement. 

Give Us a Call

These are just the first steps in getting your LLC set up. To get a full understanding of the process, give us a call at the Law Office of Lisa Wills and we’ll be happy to help you make sure your California LLC gets off the ground smoothly.

We understand there’s a lot to keep track of when starting and running a successful business, and you can count on us to help you succeed. 

Do you have other Business Law questions?

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