If you chose a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation (Corp), Limited Partnership (LP), or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) as your business structure you must register or incorporate with the California Secretary of State. This can be accomplished in two steps.
This is not a substitute for legal or professional advice.
Step 1: Name
Check if the name you want is available. You can check name availability and reserve an available name by mail with the CA Secretary of State. Learn more about this process in our Choose a Name section.
Step 2: Registration
Once you know the name you want is available, you can file the appropriate forms for your business structure with the CA Secretary of State:
- Review the Secretary of State's Corporate Filing Tips before getting started.
- This business type requires you to file Articles of Incorporation.
Limited Liability Company
- Review the Secretary of State's LLC Filing Tips before getting started.
- This business type requires you to file Articles of Organization (Form LLC–1).
- Review the Secretary of State's LP Filing Tips before getting started.
- This business type requires you to file a Certificate of Limited Partnership (Form LP–1).
- It's optional to file General Partnership with the Secretary of State.
- The Secretary of State's Office does not have filing tips for forming a General Partnership, but not to worry - the GP process is the most simple of the five.
- If filing with Secretary of State, you would file a Statement of Partnership Authority (Form GP–1).
Limited Liability Partnership
- Remember, you can only register as an LLP after registering as a General Partnership.
- This business type requires you to file an Application to Register a Limited Liability Partnership (Form LLP–1).
If you are an out-of-state or out-of-country company that plans on doing business in California, you may need to register as a foreign business entity.
Last modified date: Fri, 01/17/2020 - 16:47