Business in California

The Golden state is home to the sun, sand, beaches and quite a good number of small businesses as well. Like every other state in America, California has its own set of registration laws. If you intend to do business in California you’ll need to get registered before you can even do some basic things like paying your first staff.

This article is a brief insight into the basics of what it takes to register a business in California and to get it running with minimal to zero run-ins with the law.

Get an Attorney

This is common sense, but its also alarming the number of people that do not think the services of a qualified legal professional necessary. According to Sasha Kamfiroozie, the founder of Kam law firm a California based business law firm, In registration as with every other aspect of running a business, the intersection between the legal and business worlds is as predictable in general as it is unpredictable within specific contexts.  

In other words, getting the legal cover is just generally a very wise thing to do from the point of registration to help you make critical decisions concerning what kind of business you intend to register and down towards operations. The first question you must ask then is, where can I find a business attorney near me?

You could decide to get referrals from family, friends or other people who have set up businesses before you in the vicinity. You can also use the California State Bar lawyer referral service or organize consultations one by one to talk personally with law firms.

Prepare your Documents

The type of document you will need to file with the Secretary of State will vary depending on the type of business you are setting up.

If you are setting up a corporation, you will need to file Articles of Incorporation. If you are starting an LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization and an Operating Agreement. You will need a Statement of Partnership if you are starting a general partnership.

All the forms you will need with some information about them are readily available in the Secretary of State website.

File the Documents and Pay the Fees

There are only two ways to file your documents in California, it is either you mail it to the Secretary of State via, “Secretary of State, Business Entities, P.O. Box 944260, Sacramento, CA 94244-2600.” or you hand it over to the Secretary of State in person. To follow the second option you will have to take your documents to, 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814.

You will need to pay the attendant fees as a prerequisite for filing; $100 for Articles of incorporation, $70 for Articles of Organization and $70 for Statement of Partnership.

Obtain an Employee Identification Number

An EIN is used for tax purposes and your business will probably need one. Once you are doing business in the US, have a social security number and taxpayer identification number, you can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website

If you have followed step 1-4 above, you have asked yourself, Have I found a business attorney near me? Have I acquired and submitted all the documents? Have I gotten my EIN? then you are probably in the safe zone, however, make sure to check with your lawyer at every point of the registration to make sure that you are covering all the grounds.


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