California rental property LLCs

Create a Rental Property LLC in California

There are many benefits of forming an LLC for rental properties in California. Learn how to create an LLC and how we can help make it easier for you.

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If you’re thinking about renting out your property, there are a few important things you should know. In many cases, setting up a limited liability company (LLC) for your California rental property can be a great option.  Properly forming an LLC is vital to protecting your assets and maintaining good standing with the state.

Ready to get started? Use our guide below to learn more about how to set up a real estate LLC in California and why doing so is a good idea. Check out our California LLC Formation Service page to see what we can do to help you launch your rental property business venture. Or, take a look at our full slate of formation and compliance products and services to see what tools we can provide to help make your business a success.

Steps to form an LLC for your California rental property

Step 1: File Your Articles of Organization

Before you have a proper rental property LLC in California, you’ll first have to set up the legal business entity. You’ll need to pick an available name and file Articles of Organization with the state, which is the document that officially establishes your LLC. 

Step 2: Transfer Title to Your LLC

Once you’ve established the LLC entity itself, your next step is to transfer title to the LLC. Before doing so, however, make sure to first speak with your lender if there is an existing mortgage on the property. Some lenders may need to rework the terms and rates of your loan or adjust certain paperwork. 

Once you’ve cleared matters with your lender, or if you already own the property outright, you can proceed with transferring title. You’ll do this through a transfer deed that you file with the county in which the real estate is located. Additionally, don’t forget to pay any requisite title transfer tax.

Step 3: Update Lease or Rental Agreements

Finally, you should draft or update any leases or rental agreements to reflect the ownership change and inform any current tenants accordingly. 

What to know before creating an LLC for a rental property in California

Before you formally create your rental property LLC in California, there are a few important things you should be aware of. 

Benefits of creating LLCs for rental properties in California

Of course, owning a rental property in your own individual name is perfectly acceptable. And in fact, many people choose to do so. However, there are many benefits associated with setting up a rental property LLC in California for your real estate. Some of the primary benefits of doing so include:

  • Pass-through taxation
  • Personal liability protection
  • Separation of business and personal property

Additionally, in some states, investment property owners might consider forming a series LLC. This can provide additional protection for the business’s assets. With a series LLC, you can create one overarching umbrella LLC with multiple “series” underneath it for each investment property. Unfortunately, series LLCs are not permitted under California law.  

Who should form a California LLC for their rental property?

Many people can benefit greatly from setting up an LLC for a rental property in California. In general, doing so is a great idea for any person who might be considering renting out their property for either residential or vacation purposes. Even those who are already renting out their property can benefit from the advantages that come along with creating a California real estate LLC.

It’s typically easier to create the LLC first and then purchase any properties in the name of the LLC’s ownership moving forward. However, you don’t necessarily have to do things in this order. Instead, if you’re already renting out your real estate property, you can set up your LLC and then transfer any properties you may own into the name of the LLC via a transfer deed.  

Thus, although you don’t have to set up an LLC for your California rental property, doing so can provide you with great benefits and better reduce your risks and personal liability in the future. 

How We Can Help

Many people might feel overwhelmed by the thought of forming an LLC for their single or multiple rental properties. However, doing so is a great idea for any prudent real estate investor looking to protect themselves and their assets. We can help you do just that through our LLC formation service. If you’re looking for help keeping your business state compliant, check our Worry-Free Compliance Service. Let us help you start, manage, and grow your California business today. 

Disclaimer – The content on this page is for informational 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.

FAQs

  • What are the benefits of creating an LLC for your rental property?

    Creating an LLC for a rental property in California provides several different benefits. Notably, an LLC offers personal liability protection from issues that may arise in the course of renting your property.

  • How do you name the LLC for your rental property?

    You can name your LLC nearly anything that complies with California’s LLC name requirements. Many real estate investors use the property address or some variation of it for the entity name.

  • If my home state is not California, do I need to register the California LLC as a foreign entity in my home state?

    If you don’t reside in California, you may not need to register your California LLC as a foreign entity in your home state. In most cases, you’ll only need to register an LLC as a foreign entity in your home state if you conduct the business of that LLC within your home state as well. However, check the local rules in your home state to be sure.

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