California Articles of Organization

Discover how to navigate the process of filing a California LLC Articles of Organization and ensure compliance with the state's requirements for forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) by following these essential steps.

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Formally starting your California limited liability company (LLC) is the first step in getting your new business off the ground. The official business registration process involves filing California Articles of Organization. 

Your Articles of Organization in California is the official document that registers your business with the state. It provides the state with important information about your business and is needed to comply with state business laws. 

Though starting your LLC can be exciting, few people get excited about having to fill out paperwork. This is where we come in. We can take care of your State of California Articles of Organization with our California LLC Formation Service. 

How to file your California Articles of Organization

There are multiple options for filing your Articles of Organization in California. It is essential to fill out all the information on the form before submitting it, which means that you should know what is required ahead of time. A little preparation can save you a lot of time. You don’t want to redo your application because it was denied due to incompletion. The form is available on the California Secretary of State website. 

What to include in your California Articles of Organization

Here is some of the information you will need to include in your Articles of Organization in California: 

1. Submit Your LLC’s Official Name

There are several business naming rules in California. Make sure you follow the state guidelines when choosing your name. Until the Secretary of State approves the name, it is not truly yours. You may later decide to use a DBA (doing business as) name to go by, which is called a “fictitious business name in California.”

Your LLC name must include LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Company, Ltd. Liability Company, or Ltd. Liability Co. as a designator. It can’t be the same as or similar to other names, and the name can’t be misleading. Use our Business Name Checker before submitting your proposed name as a part of your state of California Articles of Organization. 

2. Add A Copy of the Name Reservation Certificate

Once you have settled on a name for your business, you can reserve it by submitting a Name Reservation Request. The Name Reservation form allows you to propose three potential business names, which you list in order of preference. The California Secretary of State will grant one of the names to your company. A name reservation lasts for 60 days, after which the name will be available to anyone. 

3. Include Business Addresses

Include the physical and mailing addresses of your business’s headquarters. This can be a single address if they are in the same location. The address does not have to be in California to file your California Articles of Organization. 

4. Provide the Name and Address of Your Registered Agent

A California registered agent is mandatory for all limited liability companies. This person or entity is appointed to receive all legal and business correspondence on behalf of your LLC. They must have a physical address where they can be reached during standard business hours. A California LLC can’t serve as its own registered agent. Luckily, we can help you find one with our Registered Agent service. 

5. Determine Your LLC Management Structure

You’ll need to determine how your LLC is going to be managed. Your options are:

  • One manager
  • More than one manager
  • All LLC members

How you want your limited liability company managed is up to you. 

6. Organizer Signature

The individual preparing the California Articles of Organization is deemed the organizer. This can be you, another member of the limited liability company, or an outside party. 

Where to file your California Articles of Organization

You can download a California LLC-1 Form for Articles of Organization online to create your LLC. Your Articles of Organization can be mailed, hand-delivered, or filed online. Processing times vary. There are options for expedited processing for an additional filing fee. 

What are the next steps?

After you file your Articles of Organization in California, there are still some steps to take before you are fully ready to open the doors for business. 

Create an Operating Agreement 

An operating agreement is a document that governs how your company runs. California law requires you to have an Operating Agreement for your LLC, but it doesn’t require you to file it anywhere. It’s an internal document. You may need to show it to lenders, your business bank, or a specific government agency. Get started with our Operating Agreement Template

Get an EIN

The IRS issues your Employer Identification Number (EIN). It’s similar to a social security number for your business. This number is necessary for tax documents and to open business accounts. We can also take this task off your plate and acquire your EIN for you. 

Open Business Accounts

Once you have your EIN, you can open business bank accounts and other accounts. It’s essential to keep your business and personal finances separate. Taxes are hard enough without having to try and separate which finances are which. 

Licenses and Permits

Make sure you have all the necessary licenses and permits to run your business. California does not have a general business license, but local governments may require a business license. You may also need licenses and permits specific to your business type. We can help you determine what you need with our Business License Report

We can help!

There are so many things to do when you are starting a business. Formalities like your state of California Articles of Organization do not have to be complicated. Let us handle some of the administrative work so you can focus on the fun stuff. 

Our services don’t stop at business formation documents. We can help you remain in good standing with our Worry-Free Compliance Service and Annual Report Service. We can even help you manage transactions with our ZB Money app.

California Articles of Organization FAQs

  • Things can change, so it’s comforting to know that you aren’t stuck with all of your original decisions for the remainder of your business life. To make changes to your Articles of Organization in California, you will need to file an Amendment to Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. We can help with your amendment needs.

  • File a California Certificate of Dissolution with the Secretary of State. Submit the form in person or by mail.

  • All California corporations file  Articles of Incorporation. This document is similar to the LLC Articles of Organization.

  • California law requires you to have an Operating Agreement for your LLC, but it doesn’t require you to file it anywhere. It’s an internal document.

  • You don’t need a lawyer to form a California LLC, but you may want to speak to one to decide if forming an LLC is right for you.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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