California LLC Filing Requirements

By April Kohl

A limited liability company, or LLC, provides the small business owner with the security of limited liability for the debts of the company and the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship's less stringent operating requirements. As a result, the LLC is often the perfect option for people looking to start a new company.

Membership Requirements

California allows LLCs to be formed with only one member and does not limit the number of members a company can have. Members of California LLCs must be 19 years old or older in order to form a company. The state does not require members to be resident in California in order to form a limited liability company there, and the company's members do not need to be listed in its articles or on the certificate of formation.

Company Requirements

The name of the company must be distinguishable from the names of any other company registered in the state, as well as any name on the list of “reserved names.” This is to ensure a member of the public will not mistake one business for another. The state does not require a “specific purpose” for the business to be listed on the certificate of formation.

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Corporation Class LLCs

An LLC classed as a corporation is required to file California Form 100 if it is registered in, conducts business in or receives income from the state. This form must be filed before the fifteenth day of the third month after the company's taxable year ends. For example, if the taxable year ends on May 1, Form 100 must be filed by August 15. California single-member LLCs can choose to be classed as corporations.

Partnership Class LLCs

California classes multiple-member LLCs as partnerships for tax purposes. Partnerships and “disregarded entities” that are registered in or conduct business in California must file California Form 568 by the fifteenth day of the fourth month after the end of the taxable year -- so partnerships therefore have an extra month to file compared to corporations.

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