Cost of Starting an LLC in California Compared to Nevada

By Brette Sember, J.D.

Cost of Starting an LLC in California Compared to Nevada

By Brette Sember, J.D.

A limited liability company (LLC) is an inexpensive way to structure a business, and one that also provides flexibility and control. The filing procedures for an LLC are much simpler than those for starting a corporation. The registration costs are much lower as well, which adds to its attractiveness as a business structure. Each state has its own fees and requirements for filing an LLC, so it is important to research what is required in the state where your business will be located.

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California and Nevada have similar filing procedures, but the filing fees for the various documents differ.

Name Reservation Costs

When you start your LLC, you'll want to choose a name that represents your business well. However, you must also make sure that no one else is using the name you want in the state in which you plan to register it. Both Nevada and California allow you to search a database of names in use and then to reserve the name you want until you can get all of the LLC paperwork filed. The fee in Nevada is $25, which reserves the name for up to 90 days. In California, the fee is $10 to reserve it for up to 60 days.

Registered Agent Costs

California and Nevada require an LLC to choose a registered agent who will receive legal service and notices from the state on behalf of the LLC. California calls this an "agent for the service of process." Your LLC can name someone associated with your company as the registered agent at no cost at all. Many businesses hire professional registered agents who charge fees for this service. The cost can range from $100 to several hundred dollars. Nevada maintains a database of registered agents authorized to work in the state.

Articles of Organization Registration Costs

When you register your LLC in California or Nevada, you are required to file articles of organization, which contain the name of the company, its address, the registered agent, and a description of what the business will do, as well as information about the owners (members) and managers. The filing fee in Nevada is $75. In California, it's $70.

Additional Document Filing Costs

There are additional documents you will need to file to start your LLC. California requires an LLC to file a statement of information within 90 days of filing the articles of organization. This document includes basic information about the LLC and costs $20 to file. In Nevada, after you register your LLC you will receive a document for you to list the LLC's managers. Your LLC must return this document to the state and pay a filing fee of $150.

Licenses and Permits

Depending on where your business will be located, you may have to file for other licenses and permits. Towns, cities, and counties may charge fees for licenses. Depending on your line of business, you may also need to apply for federal licenses and permits. You can search the federal listing on for more information.

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