California Filing Forms

Last updated on

California LLC
Articles of Organization Instructions

Quick Start Guide
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in California.

Detailed Lessons:


California LLC Costs:
California state fee: $70
Statement of information: $20 (every two years)
Annual franchise tax: $800 (every year)

Need help?
Hire a reliable service to form your California LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

In this lesson, we will walk you through filing your Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State. This is the document that officially forms your California LLC.

California LLC Secretary of State Business Entities

(California Secretary of State, Business Entities Building)

Please watch the video instructions below:

Download California LLC Articles of Organization:

Video Transcript:

The following information is provided for educational purposes only and in no way constitutes legal, tax, or financial advice. For legal, tax, or financial advice specific to your business needs, we encourage you to consult with a licensed attorney and/or CPA in your State. The following information is copyright protected. No part of this lesson may be redistributed, copied, modified or adapted without prior written consent of the author. A Limited Liability Company is a hybrid between a Corporation and a Partnership. An LLC protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit. In order to form your LLC, you must file LLC Formation Documents with the Secretary of State. Once your documents are approved and sent back to you, your LLC is now in existence and authorized to do business in the State. We have spent considerable time to make the details of this video simple and easy to understand. However, we cover a lot of ground and you are going to hear a lot of new terminology. We do recommend that after you watch this video, you watch it a second time in order to fully comprehend all the information provided. Please make sure you have watched the first Lesson on researching your LLC’s name. Your desired LLC name must be available for use before you proceed with filing your LLC Formation Documents. Your LLC is required to list a Registered Office and a Registered Agent within your LLC Formation Documents. The Registered Office is a physical address (it cannot be a PO Box) that is located in the State where your LLC is formed. A Registered Agent is a person or a company who agrees to accept legal mail and important documents on behalf of your LLC. The Registered Agent is located at the Registered Office and is generally accessible during normal business hours. As we mentioned, a Registered Agent can be a person or a company who has an address in the State where your LLC is formed. You, as an individual, can be your LLC’s Registered Agent. However, your LLC cannot be its own Registered Agent. For individuals who have an address in the State, it is most common that they serve as the LLC’s Registered Agent. Having said that, the individual person you choose as the Registered Agent does not need to be a member of the LLC. It can be a friend or a family member, or, frankly, anyone you know who agrees to accept Service of Process on behalf of your LLC. Service of Process is the delivery of legal mail and important documents sent from the State or a law firm to your LLC. Correspondence from the State can include items such as Annual Report notices, late notices, and copies of Formation Documents. Legal documents can include items such as subpoenas, and/or complaints for legal action. Again, the purpose of designating a Registered Agent is to authorize someone to accept Service of Process on behalf of your LLC. Whoever agrees to be your LLC’s Registered Agent must agree to do so. Some states require that they sign your LLC Formation Documents, but California does not require this. You will just need to list their name and address within your LLC Formation Documents. Takeaways. The purpose of a Registered Agent and its Registered Office is to be a point of contact for the State and to accept Service of Process for your LLC. You or someone you know can be your LLC’s Registered Agent, so long as you have an address in the State. Of you don’t have an address in the State that you can use, or don’t want to serve as your LLC’s Registered Agent, you can hire a Commercial Registered Agent. Using a Commercial Registered Agent will also help protect your privacy as the information listed in the LLC Formation Documents will become public record. A Commercial Registered Agent is a company that specializes in receiving Service of Process on behalf of businesses nationwide. They typically charge between $100 and $300 per year. If you decide to use a Commercial Registered Agent, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent, LLC. They have been in the business for more than two decades and have built up a solid reputation. Their fees are among the most affordable, and their support is top-notch. We’ve joined forces with them in order to provide Registered Agent services nationwide to your clients. There’s a link below this video where you can find instructions on how to sign up for their Registered Agent services. Now, let’s discuss your LLC Formation Documents. The name of the LLC formation document for the State of California is called the Articles of Organization. This document is not complicated and contains basic information, including listing your Registered Office and Registered Agent. We will walk you through the details of the Articles of Organization in just a couple minutes, and we will make sure you get it filled out correctly. Once your Articles of Organization are completed, you will need to submit them to the State along with the filing fee. You will find the filing fee amount, accepted forms of payment, and the address where to send your Articles of Organization to below this video. Your Articles of Organization do not need to have original signatures. You can file your original, or you can file a copy if you prefer. It is a good idea however, to keep a copy for your business records. Once you mail the filing fee, along with your Articles of Organization, the State will review and process your paperwork. If there are any issues with your Articles of Organization, the State will mail back a letter with instructions on what needs to be corrected. If there are no issues with your filing, the State will mail back a stamped approved copy of your Articles of Organization within approximately 10 – 15 business days. Once you receive your stamped and approved Articles of Organization, your LLC is now a legally formed business in the State of California. Please keep a copy of this document with your business records. Do not order your EIN (also known as your Federal Tax ID Number) or start to use your LLC for any business purposes until you have this approval. California has additional ongoing requirements (and fees) that must be submitted in order for your LLC to remain in compliance. Failure to file these items on time will result in the State charging late fees and they may dissolve (or shut down) your LLC. The first of these requirements is the initial Statement of Information. It is due within 90 days of approval of your LLC and the filing fee is $20. Your next requirement will be your Annual LLC Franchise Tax. Your Annual LLC Franchise Tax will be due every year and will be a minimum of $800. Then, every two years, you will have to file an updated Statement of Information. The cost will remain the same at $20. These additional filing requirements are discussed further in Lessons 5 and 6. Don’t worry, we will walk you through completing the paperwork for both. We are now ready to fill out the Articles of Organization. You can download this document below the video. Let’s get started. Here we are, inside the Articles of Organization. This is a 1-page PDF document. The form can be filled out on the computer or it can be printed, and then filled out by hand. If you fill it out by hand, please use blue or black ink. Make sure to print the document on white paper that is letter-sized (that’s your standard 8.5 by 11 inches). Also, please note that I have a professional version of Adobe Acrobat. You may just have a simple version of Adobe Reader, and you may not have as much functionality in order to edit and type inside the document. If that’s the case, simply print the document and then fill it out by hand. You’ll notice at the top of the Articles of Organization, they mentioned the filing fee. The next paragraph that says a separate non-refundable $15 service fee, this is only if you drop the application off in person so this is not applicable. There’s also a notice here regarding the minimum $800 Annual Franchise Tax fee. We have details and instructions and documentation on that for you in Lesson 6. Before we get started, one other thing to note at the bottom of this document, you will have a PO box and the address where to send these documents to. Make sure that you double-check and you cross-reference this address with the address that we have listed below this video. You may be watching this video in the future, and we want to make sure that you have the most up-to-date address and you’re not just looking at the address that you see on the video right now. And one last thing, if you’re filling out this document on the computer, they did kind of mess it up a little bit, so down underneath Service of Process, they have like this extra line, and then down here there’s an extra line, but those don’t need to be filled out. All right. let’s get started. To save time, I’ve already filled this document out, so let’s go through each section together. Under Section 1, I’m going to list the name of my LLC. For this example, I’ve used “ABC Widgets, LLC”. Make sure that you include the letters “LLC” or “L.L.C.” at the end of your name. And in this example, I’ve used a comma, but the comma is not required so it’s a personal preference. You can use one if you’d like, or you can leave it out. Section 2, you don’t need to do anything there. It just says that the LLC is authorized to do any and all lawful activities within the State. Next in Section 3, you’re going to list the address of the LLC. This cannot be a PO Box, so this could be your home address, or could be a business address. Next in Section 4, we’re going to include the name of the Registered Agent and the Registered Office. For this example, let’s say that I’m John Doe. I’m going to be the Registered Agent for this LLC, or for my LLC. So, I’m going to put my name here, and again I’m going to put my address once again. Let’s take a look at another document if we were to use a Commercial Registered Agent. I have one filled out over here. Let’s scroll down. Let’s say for this example I’ve used Northwest Registered Agent. One thing to make note of if you’re using a Commercial Registered Agent which is already registered with the State of California (which most likely they are), you don’t even have to include their address. You simply just list their name under Section A. So in this case I’ve just listed “Northwest Registered Agent, Inc.” and they include their Registration Number there. So pretty much the documents are very similar: if you have a Commercial Registered Agent you’re just going to list the company name on A. You don’t even need to list the name on B. For this example, this is myself acting as a Registered Agent for the LLC. If it was a family member at a different address, I would simply just put their name there and enlist their address in B. Under Section 5 for Management, you’re going to check off that the LLC will be managed by all Limited Liability Company (Members), and that’s it. It’s a pretty simple document. Down below, you’re just going to print your name, and then once you print this document out, you’ll simply sign above the line here that says “Organizer”. One question that customers do ask is whether or not this document needs to be notarized. It does not. You’ll simply just print it out, sign it, send this in with your filing fee, and in about 10-15 business days you’ll get back this document with your stamp of approval. Pretty simple, let’s just do a quick one-through once again. At the top, Section 1, you’re going to list the name of the LLC. Section 2, there’s nothing to be done there. Next in Section 3, you’re going to list the address of the LLC. Now this doesn’t have to be an official business address or anything of that sort, it can be a home address or it can be a business address if you do have one. Under Section 4, you’re going to list the name and the address of the Registered Agent if it’s an individual person. If it’s a Commercial Registered Agent that is registered with the State, over in this example we’re just going to list their name on line A and we’ll leave line B blank. so for this one, I’ve used myself as the Registered Agent and I’ve included my address. If you’re using a friend or family member, you just switch and put their name on A and their address on B. Section 5 for Management, you check off “All Limited Liability Company (Members)” will be managing the business, and you’re going to print your name here, print this document out, and sign on this line. Again, once you submit everything to the State, you’re going to get back a copy of your Articles of Organization with a stamp of approval, and that will arrive in approximately 10-15 business days. And that concludes this Lesson.
Need to save time? Have a professional LLC service file for you:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

Use a future file date to avoid back-to-back $800 franchise tax payments

If you’re forming your LLC in October, November, or December, and you don’t need your LLC open right away, we recommend having your California LLC go into existence on January 1st of the following year by including a Future File Date Attachment with your Articles of Organization.

Not only will this save you the hassle of filing any federal, state, or local tax returns for that “short year”, but it will help you avoid the dreaded back-to-back $800 annual franchise tax payments ($1,600 due within a few months!). Please note that your future file date can’t be more than 90 days ahead.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say your LLC was approved in November. This means your LLC will be in existence for 2 months during a taxable year. You owe an $800 franchise tax payment for that year and it’s due by February 15th of the following year. Then you have to pay for the next taxable year and that’s due by April 15th. So that means you have to pay $800 in February and another $800 in April. Ouch! So the solution is to select a future file date of January 1st of the filing year. That means you’ll make one payment of the $800 annual franchise tax, due by April 15th, and your next payment will not be due until April 15th of the following year.

California Registered Agent Recommendation

If you need a California Registered Agent, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent. They have excellent customer service and they charge $125 per year (most companies charge $200 – $300 per year).

Additionally, if you’d like to keep your address private and off of public records, Northwest will let you use their office address throughout your entire Articles of Organization. And any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned and uploaded to your online dashboard.

Northwest Registered Agent

Video Transcript:

In this video I’m going to show you how to signup and register for Northwest Registered Agent. There’s a link below this video that will take you to their website. Once you’re there, in the upper right hand corner, it says order online and there’s a drop-down menu. Let’s go ahead and select Registered Agent service. And let’s scroll down on the page. We have a four-step process. In the first field you’re going to enter your desired LLC name and then in the drop-down select LLC. I’m going to enter ABC Widgets LLC as my example company. And don’t worry if you end up switching your name; you can change it in the system later. It’s not that important. Then we’re gonna hit next step. It says are we changing Registered Agent. In my case is no. Underneath States I’m going to select the state in which you’re forming your LLC. For this example, I’m going to choose Pennsylvania. Next, it says would you like your attorney notified at the same time we notify you if you get sued. If you don’t have an attorney, you can leave it on. If you do have an attorney, you can go ahead and fill in their email address. Once that’s complete click next step. On the next page, you’re going to enter your name your, your phone number, your email address, your mailing address, and then click on final step. On the next page at the top, it’s going to ask if you’d like to sign up for one year, two years, or three years. One year is going to be on by default. If you’d like to save a little bit of money, you can go ahead and sign up for two years, or three years if you’d like. Once you have that in place you’re going to enter the password. When you log into your account at Northwest Registered Agent, you’re going to use the email address that you end on the last page, and you going to use this password, so make sure you say this in an important place. Next, under payment information, you’re going to select pay with a credit card. You’re going to enter your name, your credit card number, expiration date, billing address, and then at the bottom go ahead and click the finalized button. In this case it says yeah I’m done. It’s now going to redirect you and it’s going to process your payment. And on the next page, you’ll see a thank you message. It says all the state forms are under the filing resources. In your case you’re not going to need any of the state forms as we have them all in our course. They’re here as well if you do need them. We will click over there in just a second to get their address. If you happen to be changing your Registered Agent from an existing company, there are instructions here, and there are forms in the filing resources. Next, there’s some important email addresses to make sure that you add to your address book or you white list them as it’s called in your email, just to make sure they don’t go to spam. And these emails are very important because if you ever get Service of Process or if you ever sued, you definitely wanna make sure you get notified of that, so make sure you say these email addresses. There’s a nice thank you message down here. Once you agree to this page, you can go ahead and click on filing resources. One thing to note in the back end here, we are at That’s different than the existing site that we’ve been on. If you need assistance at any time, go ahead and go to And you can always find their phone number on the page, or you can click on the contact button. Let’s go back to our back-end tab here, under the LLC agent, and under filing resources, here’s the most important information I need right now. It is the name. Make sure you double check in the state that you’re forming, in this case Northwest Registered Agent operates under the name Northwest Registered Agent LLC in the state of Pennsylvania, but in some states they go into the business name Northwest Registered Agent Services Inc., or some other variation. Now that we have their address here, we can continue with their LLC formation documents. This page has additional resources if you do need them. Most of these documents will not apply to you. There’s documents here for corporations. There are documents here for LLC’s, but again, we have all that documentation for you inside the course. But there are some nice additional resources on this page in case you need them. Again, if you have any questions about the process go to, give them a call. Great company, great people, they have excellent support. And once you have your address, you can go ahead and continue with the next step, which is going to be completing your LLC formation documents. And that concludes this video.



California LLC Articles of Organization (Form LLC-1):

California LLC Filing Fee

$70 (one-time payment)

Accepted Forms of Payment

Check or Money Order

Make Payable To

“Secretary of State”

Mail Submission Cover Sheet

The Mail Submission Cover Sheet is private (not publicly available) and will be used by the state to contact you if they have any questions about your California LLC filing.

Contact Person:
Enter your name and phone number.

Entity Information:
Enter your complete LLC name. Leave “Entity Number” blank (since you don’t have one yet) and you can also leave the “Comments” section blank as well.

Return Address:
Enter your name, leave “Company” blank, and then enter the mailing address where you’d like your approved LLC Articles of Organization to be returned to. This can be any address located in any state. It doesn’t have to match the address you listed on your Articles of Organization.

Mailing Instructions

Mail your signed Articles of Organization and your check or money order for $70 (made payable to the “Secretary of State”) to:

Secretary of State
Business Entities
PO Box 944228
Sacramento, CA 94244-2280

California LLC Approval

After you mail your LLC’s Articles of Organization to the California Secretary of State, they will review and process your LLC filing within 10-15 business days.

Accounting for “mail time” to and from the state, that means it usually takes 3.5 to 4 weeks before you get back your LLC approval in the mail. If the state gets backed up, it can sometimes take up to 5 weeks.

Your California LLC approval will come in the form of a stamped and approved copy of your Articles of Organization.

This will be mailed to you at the address you listed in your Mail Submission Cover Sheet.

In the upper-right corner of your Articles of Organization you’ll now see an “approval stamp” which includes the date your LLC was filed (this is your LLC’s effective date) as well as your LLC’s California Entity Number. This is a unique number that helps the Secretary of State identify your LLC.

Congratulations! Your California LLC is now officially in existence.

Here’s a copy of an approved Articles of Organization if you’d like to see what it looks like:

California LLC Articles of Organization Approved

Next Step: LLC Operating Agreement

Once your California LLC is approved by the Secretary of State you can proceed to Lesson 3: LLC Operating Agreement.

California Secretary of State Contact Info

If you have any questions, you can contact the California Secretary of State.

916-653-3794 (LLC Unit)
press 1 for new LLCs, press 2 for existing LLCs or general questions

213-897-3062 (LA Regional Office)
916-657-5448 (Main line; support is hard to get)

Matt Horwitz on LinkedinMatt Horwitz on TwitterMatt Horwitz on Youtube
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator at LLC University
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! We teach people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.


  1. Arthur C December 21, 2017

    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for such an informative guide on forming LLCs. The videos are extra-helpful.

    I have a question about the “Business Address”. The current form’s item 2 is Business Address, which according to the instructions should be
    “where copies of the organizational documents, operating agreement financial and other business records must be kept.”

    1) I don’t want to use my home address because I don’t want it to be publicly available. Would it be visible to the public if I list my home address in this field?

    2) Can I put my address provided by my Registered Agent in this field instead, even though it’s not where the “business records are kept”?

    • Matt Horwitz December 22, 2017

      Hi Arthur, you’re very welcome! Thank you for the nice comment. Minus the Mail Submission Cover Sheet, everything else is public record. You can list the address of your Registered Agent for #2 (Business Address) if they allow it. Some do, but most don’t… and some will even charge fees if they start getting a lot of your mail. In the case of privacy, I recommend using Northwest Registered Agent as they’ll let you use their address across your entire filing for privacy. Hope that helps!

  2. Sergii K February 16, 2018

    Thanks a lot for such a useful information. I have only one question left:

    Instruction says:
    6. “The person signing LLC-1(i.e the organizer(s)) need not be a member or manager of the LLC”.
    But on the video, you have mentioned that LLC owner “John Doe” is filling form up him self, and he can be a Service Of Process individual.

    Can “John Doe” sign it as organizer? Or who can sign it if not him?

    Sergii K

    • Matt Horwitz February 21, 2018

      Hi Sergii, you’re welcome. Apologies for the confusion. You can certainly sign as the LLC Organizer. The LLC Organizer is the person (or company) completing the Articles of Organization and submitting it to the state. We’ve expanded upon this further here: LLC Organizer vs Member.

  3. Mihail March 5, 2018

    Love all the great info, but one small question. When we send the check for $70 to “California Secretary of State” do we make it payable to “Secretary of State” or “California Secretary of State”?

    • Matt Horwitz March 10, 2018

      Thanks Mihail! Both “Secretary of State” and “California Secretary of State” will work. So whichever you prefer :)

  4. Eric johnson April 4, 2018

    What is the process for forming a holding company and a Operating company?

    • Matt Horwitz April 5, 2018

      Hi Eric, the holding company (also called the parent LLC) should be formed first (which will be owned by you). Then form the 2nd company (the child LLC). If the Articles of Organization asks for LLC Members, list “Parent LLC”. If LLC Members are not asked for in the Articles of Organization (which they are not in the California Articles of Organization), then you can organize the LLC yourself (or have someone else organize it). That person is known as the LLC Organizer. Have the LLC Organizer sign a Statement of LLC Organizer stepping down as Organizer and listing the LLC Member as “Parent LLC”. Then create an Operating Agreement where “Parent LLC” is the Member of “Child LLC”. Make sure for the signature section (of the Operating Agreement and all documents) to enter the name of “Parent LLC”. Then one line below enter “Your Name, Member”, “Your Name, Manager”, or “Your Name,” followed by any applicable title. This way, you are signing on behalf of “Parent LLC”. Hope that helps!

      • Eric johnson April 7, 2018

        Thanks alot…One more since the child company will be the one operating doing business.Will this make it the companies to separate entities?

        • Matt Horwitz April 8, 2018

          Hey Eric, if the LLCs are set up correctly, then yes, they are separate entities. Hope that helps.

  5. Eric johnson April 8, 2018

    Would I need two separate ein numbers?

    • Matt Horwitz April 9, 2018

      Hi Eric, please check with an accountant on this as there’s a few ways to do it. Thanks.

      • Eric johnson April 9, 2018

        Ok thanks a lot you have been very helpful

        • Matt Horwitz April 9, 2018

          You’re welcome Eric :)

  6. Matheus Roriz April 14, 2018

    How would I check the status of the submission of articles of org? I mailed mine in on March 27th and still have not gotten any approval yet…

    • Matt Horwitz April 14, 2018

      Hey Matheus, if you check the Current Processing Dates on the Secretary of State’s website, you can see they are processing LLC formations received on March 30th. You’ll need to account for processing time (10 – 15 business days) and some days for mail time. So while you could call and check the status, if you just remain patient, you’ll likely get your approval docs in the mail within a couple weeks. Hope that helps.

  7. Eric johnson April 14, 2018

    On my LLC-12 form #1 (company name) do i list the (holding company) parent company or (operating company) child company? For the #5 member or manger section 5b do list the child company there? Then do my statement of lieu. I hope I’m asking the question the right way

    • Matt Horwitz April 17, 2018

      Hi Eric, I know you were setting up a Parent LLC and a Child LLC. In what states were those setup? Did you create 2 LLCs?

  8. Eric johnson April 17, 2018

    I’m in california, actually do i need to file two separate LLC1 forms when doing it the way you explained?

    • Matt Horwitz April 17, 2018

      Hi Eric, to make sure we’re still on the same page, did you form 2 LLCs, both located in California? One LLC is owned by you (the Parent) and one LLC is owned by the Parent LLC (the Child), correct? If so, both LLC’s have reporting requirements. That means both have to file their own Statements of Information, Annual Franchise Tax, Form 568, etc. Hope that helps clarify.

  9. Eric johnson April 17, 2018

    O I see, yes both in california i confused myself with the state of lieu. Thinking that I ONLY needed to file one LLC1 form

    • Matt Horwitz April 17, 2018

      Okay, cool. Just wanted to double-check. The fact that one LLC owns the other doesn’t change things in regards to filing requirements in CA. I like to think of the Statement of LLC Organizer as the “hand off” from the Organizer to the Member(s). Hope that helps :)

  10. Alan May 2, 2018

    Hi Matt, boy your website make this so easy! Written very clear that a 3rd grader could understand. Thank you for taking the time to offer this information and help us all out.
    My questions is this. After the I fill everything out and send it into the state, how are all the members officially recorded and recognized as members. In my situation it will be myself and my partner as members. How does that officially work? I see there is nothing addressing this in the actually form submission.

    • Matt Horwitz May 13, 2018

      Hi Alan, thanks for the awesome comment! Happy to hear we’ve been able to make things easy for you. And great question. California doesn’t require Member information on the Articles of Organization. You can document that via the LLC Operating Agreement and you can also have the person who signed the Articles of Organization (the LLC Organizer) sign a Statement of LLC Organizer, appointing the LLC Members. So the Statement of Organizer + the Operating Agreement will do it. Hope that helps!

  11. eric j May 4, 2018

    Hello Matt if my LLC was processed today and says active.Can i file for my EIN or do i have to wait to get my form from the state?.On the state site does show my enity number

    • Matt Horwitz May 16, 2018

      Hi Eric, in that case, your California LLC was approved. You can proceed with the EIN application (before the stamped and approved Articles of Organization arrives in the mail). Hope that helps.

  12. Mark D. June 26, 2018

    Hi Matt. I am so happy I discovered this site! Thank you for making it so clear.
    The one question I have is about the California LLC addresses in the form.
    We just bought a rental property and want to form an LLC for protection. I expect all the legal mail related to LLC’s will come to me at my place of residence. I’m confused as to where, or if, I need to enter the rental property address. The form I downloaded from your link is now slightly different than the one in the video.
    Thanks in advance, and keep up the good work!

    • Matt Horwitz July 31, 2018

      Hey Mark, you’re very welcome! Thanks for the nice comment. In order to have your rental property protected by your LLC, the LLC needs to own the rental property (not have its address in your Articles of Organization). Hope that helps.

  13. Marie July 4, 2018

    I am wanting to become an Amazon FBA, and was thinking of doing an LLC-S to ensure that any taxes I might owe are seperated from my personal taxes.

    I am wondering the timing of forming an LLC-S. Can I start my FBA and in a few months, if I am successful, form my LLC? If so, can I capture my start up and profit under the LLC even though the items/profits were purchased/earned prior to the LLC being formed?

    • Matt Horwitz August 12, 2018

      Hi Marie, I think you are confusing the LLC’s personal liability protection (keeping personal assets separate from business assets) with how the LLC is taxed. Unless your LLC is earning a certain amount of net income, keeping the LLC taxed in its default status (LLC taxed as Sole Proprietorship) is often better since you’ll pay less in taxes. You can find more information on S-Corp taxation here: S-Corp taxation for LLC. You can start the FBA as a Sole Proprietorship and file a partial year’s return and then later form the LLC (and you’d file a different Schedule C), but no, you shouldn’t move income/expenses to an LLC when it doesn’t exist. Hope that helps.

  14. Tamica B July 12, 2018

    Planning to form a LLC in January. I have several business ventures that all relate to Real Estate. What are your suggestions regards to having each venture separate?

    • Matt Horwitz August 12, 2018

      Hi Tamica, it’s challenging to offer a black and white answer as it depends on how much your personal net worth is, the potential liability of each venture, and more details. It’s a question much better suited for an attorney. Hope that helps. Thanks for your understanding.

  15. Patrick Crowley December 12, 2018

    I am a licensed architect that provides construction management services as well. I want to form an LLC in California. Are these services considered a professional service and thus may not be a LLC? I registered these services with the Sec. of State in 2016 as an LLC and it was registered. I dissolved this a year later. Any idea why the LLC was approved then, but not now?


Leave a Comment