Starting a business can be very exciting! But in this excitement, you must also be careful and ensure that your business complies with all legalities and procedures. Don’t worry! Starting an LLC in California is not too difficult. However, it is essential that you first ensure that a Limited Liability Company or LLC is the right structure for your business. Once you are sure of this, you can follow the steps below to start an LLC in California:
Reserve a Business Name
The first step to finding a company is brainstorming some business name ideas. Your business name must comply with California business name regulations. These state:
Your business name must be unique. It must also not sound similar or easily confused with another business name.
It must not include certain words, such as CIA, FBI, State Department, etc. Certain other words, such as union, lawyer, bank, etc., in your business name may need additional paperwork or special licenses.
Your business name must include LLC, L. L. C., or Limited Liability Company.
If you feel overwhelmed by these rules, you can use the tips in this guide to develop business name ideas. After brainstorming a few ideas, check their availability on the California Secretary of State's website.
Once you have found a name you like that is available and fulfills California’s rules for business names, reserve it here for a small fee of $10. Business names are reserved for 60 days, which is more than enough time for you to complete the remaining steps of starting an LLC in California.
Get a Logo Design
Your business logo will become its identity. While you can also try to design a logo on Canva, it is worth investing the money and hiring a professional service to avoid feeling regretful later. However, you shouldn’t hesitate to design a logo for your business yourself if you have prior experience in logo design or illustration.
Obtain a Business Address
Obtaining a P.O. Box address is a no-brainer if you have already decided on a spot for your physical business. But if you are starting your business from home, get a virtual P.O. Box with a real street address to safeguard your privacy. A physical address is an essential requirement to start an LLC in California; without one, your filing request for establishing your company may be denied.
Name a Registered Agent
An agent is an entity or a person who deals with the business’s documentation on its behalf. In California, you can only choose a registered agent for this role who fulfills the following criteria:
Must provide registered agent services
Must have a physical street address in California
Must be physically present to conduct business during business hours
Anyone, such as your business partner, or a registered agent service firm, can be named as a business’s registered agent. The details of the registered agent are submitted along with other documents to officially assign them the responsibility.
File Articles of Organization
Prepare and file Articles of Organization, i.e., details and documents, as stated by the California government to establish the LLC. These include business name, business address, the purpose of the business, name, and address of the registered agent, and business members’ names and addresses. You will also need to fill out and submit this form along with the articles.
The state of California allows the filing of Articles of Organization online, in person, and through the mail. Once you submit all the details and the form, the Secretary of State will review the articles. If approved, your LLC will be established as a legal entity, and you will soon receive a certificate confirming the same from the state.
Get an Employee Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN or employee Identification Number serves as a Social Security number for your business. It allows you to apply for business licenses, hire employees, open a business bank account, and file and pay taxes for your business. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to register your business for tax reporting and obtain an EIN.
Prepare an LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement outlines how a business operates. While you don’t need an operating agreement to start an LLC in California, the state does require preparing one and making it accessible so any disputes can be efficiently resolved.
An operating agreement can include details, outlines, and a framework for profit sharing, voting rights, ownership, governance, business regulations, etc. As a business owner, you can include details for any aspect of business operations in the LLC operating agreement.
File Statement of Information
Within 90 days of starting an LLC in California, you must file a Statement of Information with the California Secretary of State. While it may sound like additional work, it is only a confirmation of your business information. This can include business name, business file number as provided by the California Secretary of State, registered agent name and address, mailing address, email address, business purpose and activity, and details of business members. You can file the Statement of Information online through this link.
Get a Website and Market Your Business
Now that your business is established, it is time to reach the audience. Building a website is the most effective medium to reach the audience in today’s digital age. It is no secret that people just Google whatever they need these days. Since a website provides a legitimate online identity to your business, it is important to get one, regardless of your business.
However, there is a difference between building a website and building an effective website that successfully converts the audience into customers. If you want the latter, get on to Trady.com.
Trady.com is a website-building service dealing exclusively with trades and home services companies. Websites built with Trady.com contain exclusive features such as booking appointments, generating invoices, and making payments online. You won’t need extensions or contact third-party vendors to add these services. Moreover, you can also enjoy scheduling, client follow-ups, and service management with your website on this platform.
Building a website with Trady.com is also super cheap and fast! Since it also provides end-to-end marketing services for trades and home services companies, hiring Trady.com will lighten the responsibilities of running the business online and attracting new customers. As a result, you will be free to focus on your work and provide exceptional services that impress your customers. Enjoy the 14-day free trial by Trady.com to save some more money.