Filing a California Corporation
Business owners may find that registering a California Corporation is advantageous because of the benefits it offers. A California Corporation can not only provide tax benefits, but it can also help new entities gain credibility with their customers. Owners should be careful to ensure that they meet all administrative requirements when forming a California Corporation.
Steps To Filing A California Corporation
Choose A Name
The first thing that prospective owners must do when forming a Corporation is choose a name. Although not required in the state of California, new owners usually want to use an indicator in their name, such as, “company,” “corporation,” “incorporated,” limited,” or an abbreviation of these terms, such as “Inc.” That’s primarily because the state requires each Corporation to have a unique name, which means owners cannot opt for a name that is already in use. To prevent this from happening, be sure to check out the DoMyLLC Name Availability Check Page.
Choose An Agent For Service Of Process
A California Corporation will also need to select a registered agent, who is responsible for accepting legal correspondence on the company’s behalf. Unfortunately, many first-time business owners don’t realize how critical the registered agent’s role is. Consider hiring the services of a professional third-party company, such as DoMyLLC.
File Articles Of Incorporation & Pay Filing Fees
After choosing a name and registered agent, those looking to form a company can then proceed to file the Articles of Incorporation. There is a $100 filing fee associated with doing so. If dropping the forms off in person, there is an additional $15 fee. Information necessary on this form includes:
- The name of the company
- The street and mailing address of the company
- Information about the registered agent, including name and address
- Number of shares authorized
- Purpose Statement
- Signature of each incorporator
File Initial Report
A California Corporation will also need to submit an Initial Statement of Information to the Business Programs Division of the Secretary of State’s office. This is due within 90 days of incorporation. There is a $25 filing fee, if the payment is late the state will impose a $250 fine. Learn more at our Initial Reports page.
Create Corporate Bylaws, Appoint Directors And Hold Meetings
Once authorized to do business, incorporators can hold their initial corporate meeting. Those who filed Articles of Incorporation are responsible for overseeing the initial meeting. Incorporators should appoint individuals to the board of directors at this meeting and record this information in the corporate records. Directors will serve on the board until the next annual meeting of the shareholders, where they will be up for re-election.
Once the board is in place, they can draft corporate bylaws, define the role of each member, and elect officers. Corporate bylaws are an integral part of corporate compliance, as the company cannot exist or conduct business until the board of directors has adopted them. Additionally, many banks and insurers require proof of bylaws when working with a Corporation. Bylaws are not made public, and serve as an internal operating manual for the organization.
The state of California also requires a Corporation to issue stock. The company must keep a stock ledger as well to protect the corporate veil and provide clarity to future investors. Directors can address this at their initial corporate meeting, as the board of directors must give their approval to issue stock. The Articles of Incorporation should have outlined the amount of stock the Corporation can issue. The board of directors can continually issue stock throughout the life cycle of the Corporation.
Obtain Employer Identification Number
A California Corporation will also need to secure an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. Not only will they need this number to file taxes and hire employees, but many banks also require this number to open a business banking account.
File State Required Annual Reports
Businesses are also required to file a Biennial report by the last day of the anniversary month of the company’s founding. Businesses must also include a $25 filing fee. Failure to do so could result in severe penalties. We advise business owners to check the California Annual Report page for more information.
In addition to annual reports, businesses must also provide regular paperwork to ensure they remain operational. Companies must ensure they file state and federal taxes. They also must regularly obtain and renew licenses and permits.
How DoMyLLC Can Assist With Streamlining The Process
When starting a business, you’ll likely want to dedicate yourself fully to building your brand. Many business owners don’t have time to burden themselves with regulatory requirements. That’s where we can help, as we streamline the administrative process for a California Corporation. Our services include:
- Name availability check
- Prepare Articles of Incorporation
- File Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of California’s office
- Provide sample bylaws, meeting notices and minutes for meetings
- Dedicated account manager
- Unlimited customer support
Be sure to contact us today to learn more about how we can help start your new California Corporation and ensure it remains in good standing with the state