California LLC Fees

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Need to save time?

Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee)
LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

Deal alert! Our favorite company, Northwest, is forming LLCs for $39 (60% off!) See details.

This article will help you estimate the cost of forming and maintaining your California LLC. The estimate is based on you processing the requirements by yourself. If you hire a lawyer or an online service, then the cost will increase.

Cost of Setting up a California LLC

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

Estimated Fee for LLCs

LLC estimated incomeFee
$0 - $249,999$0
$250,000 - $499,999$900
$500,000 - $999,999$2,500
$1,000,000 - $4,999,999$6,000
$5,000,000 or more$11,790

(Source: 2018 California 568 Tax Booklet)

California Registered Agent

If you or a family member/friend becomes your LLC’s Registered Agent, it won’t cost you anything additional.

If you want to hire a Commercial Registered Agent, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

Northwest Registered Agent has been in the business for over 20 years and provides excellent customer service. Their package is affordable, too; only $125 per year.

For more help in choosing a California Registered Agent, you can also watch our video here.

California Articles of Organization

You only have to pay the $70 filing fee for the Articles of Organization one time. (Good news! California LLCs are free until June 2023.)

If you need more help in filing your Articles of Organization, check out our video lesson.

You can download the CA Articles of Organization to file by mail. Or you can file online instead via BizFile.

Operating Agreement and EIN

It costs nothing for you to create your LLC’s Operating Agreement and get your LLC’s EIN. If you hire a lawyer or online service, they will likely charge you extra for both.

You can download our free Operating Agreement here.

For more tips on creating an Operating Agreement, watch this video.

For more information on getting an EIN, watch this video.

California Statement of Information

You will file your first Statement of Information within 90 days after the state approves your LLC, and every 2 years after that. The deadline for each submission falls on your LLC’s approval date – the date California approved and stamped your Articles of Organization.

For more help on filing your Statement of Information, check out this video.

California LLC Annual Franchise Tax

All California LLCs, regardless of revenue or activity levels, must pay the Annual LLC Franchise Tax. Payment is made using Form 3522 (“LLC Tax Voucher”). This means even if your California LLC has no revenue and does nothing, you still have to file Form 3522 and pay the Annual Franchise Tax.

Deadline for the 1st payment falls on the 15th day of the 4th month after you filed your LLC. You must count starting from the month you filed your LLC, regardless of the day of the month filed.

Afterwards, you’ll have to pay the Franchise Tax by April 15th every year.

You can download Form 3522 here:

  • Visit the CA FTB Forms page
  • Click “Online”
  • Select the applicable tax year
  • Select “Limited Liability Companies”
  • Click “Get Forms”
  • Look for Form 3522 and click the link to download

Estimated Fee for LLCs

Only California LLCs that make $250,000 or more every year have to pay this Fee. The amount depends on the table provided above. Payment is made using Form 3536.

Deadline for the 1st payment falls on the 15th day of the 6th month after you filed your LLC. You must count starting from the month you filed your LLC, regardless of the day of the month it was filed.

Afterwards, you’ll have to pay the Fee by June 15th every year.

You can download Form 3536 here:

  • Visit the CA FTB Forms page
  • Click “Online”
  • Select the applicable tax year
  • Select “Limited Liability Companies”
  • Click “Get Forms”
  • Look for Form 3536 and click the link to download

California LLC Return of Income

The amount you’ll need to pay depends on whether :

  • you have tax deficits or penalties after you filed Form 3536
  • your LLC has a non-resident member who does not pay taxes to California

You’ll submit your payment with Form 3522. Deadline for the 1st submission falls on the 15th day of the 4th month after you filed your LLC.

Afterwards, you’ll have to file it by April 15th every year.

You can download Form 568 here:

  • Visit the CA FTB Forms page
  • Click “Online”
  • Select the applicable tax year
  • Select “Limited Liability Companies”
  • Click “Get Forms”
  • Look for Form 568 and click the link to download (also download the 568 Booklet for instructions)

If you need more help on your California LLC taxes, then watch this video.

For more details on how to form a California LLC, then watch LLC University’s step-by-step video course.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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