How to Start a California S Corporation

By Joe Stone

To start a corporation in California, you file a document called articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State’s office. Every California corporation starts as a C corporation – which means that it is taxed according to the provisions of Subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code. To convert your C corporation to an S corporation, you must file the required form with the IRS requesting that your corporation be taxed under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code. Both the Secretary of State and IRS provide the necessary forms and information to facilitate starting an S corporation in California.

Step 1

Obtain the sample form for Articles of Incorporation from the Secretary of State's office. This can be downloaded from the secretary's website. Although you can draft your own articles, the form indicates the basic information needed to create articles acceptable for filing. The secretary's website also provides tips on preparing the articles for filing.

Step 2

Prepare your Articles of Incorporation by inserting the required information where indicated on the form: your corporation's name (Section 1); the name and address of the agent who will accept court papers on behalf of the corporation (Section 3) and the number of shares the corporation will be authorized to issue (Section 4).

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now

Step 3

Sign and print your name on the prepared articles at the bottom of the form, and it is ready for filing. At the time of publication, the secretary's filing fee is $100, if the articles are mailed for filing. Mailing instructions are included on the form. An additional $15 is charged if the articles are hand delivered to the secretary's office for filing.

Step 4

Obtain IRS form 2553, called Election by a Small Business Corporation, which can be downloaded from the IRS website along with instructions. The form must be completed, signed by all the shareholders and filed with the IRS within two months and 15 days from the date of incorporation in order for it to be effective for your corporation's first taxable year. If you file late, the election will not be effective until the next tax year, unless the IRS grants you relief for a late election.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now
How to Get an Article of Incorporation in Tennessee

References

Related articles

How Do I Dissolve a Corporation in Delaware?

Dissolving a Delaware corporation requires filing the appropriate certificate of dissolution with the Department of State. A corporation that was engaged in business and paid more than the minimum Delaware corporate tax must file Dissolution - Section 275. If your corporation did not start business, did not issue shares or was required to pay only the minimum corporate tax, you can file a short-form certificate. The Department of State provides sample forms for each type of certificate of dissolution.

California Non Profit Corporation Filing Requirements

The filing requirements for a nonprofit corporation in California starts with filing the appropriate paperwork to form the corporation, and then filing annual paperwork as long as the corporation is in existence. If the nonprofit needs tax-exempt status, it must make the required filings with both the state and federal governments. A nonprofit that acts as a charitable organization is required to file with the attorney general’s office and may have additional filings depending on the nonprofit's yearly gross revenues.

How to Form a Mutual Benefit Corporation in California

California law provides for several types of nonprofit corporations, one of which is called a mutual benefit corporation. The primary aspect of a mutual benefit corporation is that it is formed and operated solely for the benefit of its members, rather than making a profit. A mutual benefit corporation can be formed for any nonprofit purpose except a charity. To form a mutual benefit corporation in California, you file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State’s office. You can download a sample form of articles from the secretary's website.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

How to Establish a Non-Profit Corporation in Florida

A nonprofit corporation may not issue stock or distribute dividends, although it may pay its employees reasonable ...

The Steps in Starting an S-Corp

An S corporation is simply an ordinary corporation that has elected to be taxed under Subchapter S of the Internal ...

How to Form a Sub S Corporation in Texas

The term “Sub S Corporation” is a short for a corporation that has elected to be taxed under Subchapter S of the ...

How Do I Become Incorporated in California?

You incorporate a business in California by filing articles of incorporation with the secretary of state. You can ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED