5 Best LLC Formation Services in California (March 2024)


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#1 TOP PICK
 ZenBusiness - ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

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Best LLC Formation Service in California

Best California LLC Services for 2024: Ready to launch a business? Starting a California LLC is your first big move.

With so many LLC formation services out there, each claiming to be the top choice, it’s easy to feel lost.

What if you had a clear, easy-to-follow guide pointing you straight to the best options?

That’s where LLCBuddy comes in. Our team has researched and vetted the top LLC services in California just for you. Dive into our list, compare features and prices, and find the perfect fit for your business. Start your California LLC journey with confidence. Check out the best California LLC services from below.

Best LLC Formation Services in California

Here is the list of best LLC services available in California. The best thing about these services is starting your LLC for free. Some of the following services are offering LLC formation in California at $0. Other than the state fees and charges, you do not have to pay any charges to the service provider. You will get the basic formation package for free. Now, let’s check out the list of best LLC formation service providers in California-

LLC Service

Our Rating & Pricing

Top Features

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#1 TOP PICK

$0 + State Fees

  • 100% accuracy guarantee

  • Worry-free service

  • Great customer support

  • Established reputation

  • Extras are bit more expensive

  • Good customer support

Below is the list of the best LLC formation services in California we picked for you.

  1. ZenBusiness – Known for its affordable packages and efficient service, ZenBusiness has become a favorite among new entrepreneurs.
  2. LegalZoom – With years of industry experience, LegalZoom offers comprehensive services and a vast array of legal resources.
  3. Northwest Registered Agent – Praised for its top-notch customer service, Northwest ensures personalized assistance and detailed compliance guidance.
  4. BetterLegal – Speed is BetterLegal’s forte, promising the fastest LLC formation process in the market.
  5. TailorBrands – Beyond LLC services, TailorBrands stands out with its branding solutions, making it a one-stop shop for budding businesses.

Our Editorial Team selects these companies through thorough research and market study. It is recommended that you cross-check all the factors before choosing the right one for your business.

1. ZenBusiness

zenbusiness

ZenBusiness is a Texas-based company that provides services from formation to annual compliance to an LLC. It offers three plans, Starter, Pro, and Premium. The Starter plan starts from $0. That means you can form your LLC for free in California, though you must pay the state filing fee of $70 to the California Secretary of State. But, the company charges nothing to form your business in the state.

ZenBusiness Plans

  1. Starter Plan at $0 + state filing fee
  2. Pro Plan at $199/year + state filing fee
  3. Premium Plan at $299/year + state filing fee

ZenBusiness Pros and Cons

Why You Must Get ZenBusinessWhy You Should Not Get ZenBusiness
100% accuracy rateDoes not form California nonprofit
Free LLC formation in CaliforniaAdditional cost for EIN
User friendly
Standalone Agent for Service of Process services

ZenBusiness Overview

ZenBusiness is one of those top-rated companies that provide business formation in California at a minimum cost (currently at $0). There is no charge to be paid to the company for forming your LLC in California. The state filing fee and other necessary fees must be paid, including the registered agent fee.

ZenBusiness offers three plans, among which the Pro plan is recommended. The Pro plan has everything you need to start an LLC in California. Obtaining EIN, operating agreement drafting, name search, and all other services are available with the rush filing feature.

2. LegalZoom

legalzoom

LegalZoom is one of the service providers in California that offers free LLC formation services. If you want to avoid spending money to form your LLC, then LegalZoom is for you. It offers various formation packages that include all types of LLC services. Aside from LLC formation, LegalZoom offers C and S corp formation. With over thousands of customers, the company offers basic LLC formation services at $0.

LegalZoom Plans

  • Basic Package- $0 + State Filing Fees (Tax deduction may be applicable)
  • Pro Package – $249 + State Filing Fees (Tax deductible may be applicable)
  • Premium Package – $279 + State Filing Fees (Tax deduction may be applicable)

Apart from these packages, LegalZoom offers a bunch of add-on services as well. Add-on services include the following-

  • Registered Agent – $299 per year. Available as an add-on and not included in any packages
  • Trademark registration: Assisting with the US trademark application process
  • Copyright registration: Guidance on registering copyrights for creative works
  • Patent services: Support in obtaining utility, design, and plant patents
  • Estate planning: Offering personalized wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents
  • Legal advice: Access to a network of lawyers for consultations and legal guidance
  • Expedited Filing: With an additional $99, you can speed up your filing process.

LegalZoom Pros and Cons

Why You Must Get LegalZoomWhy You Shouldn’t Get LegalZoom
Free LLC formationExpensive add-ons, such as Registered Agent
Trustworthy and established reputationHigher pricing compared to some competitors
Quick turnaround timeLess number of add-on options
Access to legal professionalsSome additional fees not included in plan prices
Customer support available through phone or chatMixed customer reviews

LegalZoom Overview

LegalZoom is one of the oldest companies in USA. This company is a service provider offering LLC formation at $0. It offers three broad packages, Basic, Pro, and Premium. The Basic package costs $0. Though you must pay the California filing fee while filing the Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State. The filing fee depends on which method, mail, online, or any other method you choose.

LegalZoom offers vast add-ones like others. Hence, the chances of getting diverse services are comparatively high. The best part about the company is there is an access to legal documents and legal consultation. The registered agent service is a bit expensive. If you want to hire Agent for Service of Process from LegalZoom, you must purchase that service separately, it does not come with any formation plans.

3. Northwest Registered Agent

northwest registered agent

Northwest Registered Agent is a family-owned business based in Spoken, Washington state. The company offers LLC formation, registered agent service, annual compliances, and other business-related services in all 50 states, including California. It offers LLC formation at $ 39+ state fees and registered agent service at $125 yearly.

Northwest Plans

Northwest does not have conventional packages. It offers Core, Business maintenance, and business development services. Under these categories, various services are available at a flat rate. Some of the services offered by Northwest in California are listed below-

  • LLC formation in California at $39 + state filing fee
  • Registered Agent at $125 yearly
  • Annual report filing at $100 + state filing fee
  • Obtaining EIN at $50
  • Northwest offers National Agent Service. If you operate your LLC Agent for Service of Process in 5 or more states, you can pay $100 + state fees (if applicable) to get a single agent for all states.

Northwest Registered Agent Pros and Cons

Why You Must Get NorthwestWhy You Should Not Get Northwest
DIY Packages for your LLC in CaliforniaNot BBB accredited
No plans, flat rate for all servicesAdditional charges to obtain EIN in California
Purchase only the service you need to form California LLC.The operating agreement draft is not included in the Core services
Northwest offers standalone Agent for Service of Process service in California

Northwest Registered Agent Overview

Northwest is one of those service providers that offer DIY packages. Northwest is not for you if you want a wholesome formation package in California. It does not have conventional LLC formation packages. It is simply like a departmental store for you. You don’t need to buy everything, but the only thing you need.

Northwest has in-house corporate guides to guide you through the formation process. It offers LLC formation at $39 plus the state filing fee ($70). If you have already formed your LLC in California and are willing to appoint Agent for Service of Process only, then Northwest can provide a standalone registered agent service at $125 per year.

Northwest offers single flat rates for all services in California and other states. The best part about the company is it does not outsource any of its services. Northwest offers corporate guides to help you through the steps of LLC formation.

4. BetterLegal

betterlegal

BetterLegal is a comparatively new company than other competitors. But this company has successfully grabbed a large portion of the market in the United States. Serving in 51 states, BetterLegal has been in business since 2016. Unlike other experienced companies, it does not have a list of packages and plans for LLC formation.

BetterLegal Plans

BetterLegal offers one single plan at a flat $299 + state filing fees. It has a list of add-on services as well. BetterLegal is an online service that started off with a very small team. However, even after being in the business for so long, they didn’t increase their team size much. They have transparent pricing, and no hidden charge exists for any services they provide.

BetterLegal offers a list of add-on services. Following are the additional services they offer-

  • Registered Agent service – $10/month or $90/year
  • State Annual compliance services – $10/month or $90/year
  • Permit & License Search Service – $125
  • Amendment & document research – Free with the core formation service package

BetterLegal Pros and Cons

Why You Must Get BetterLegalWhy You Shouldn’t Get BetterLegal
No refund; all sales are finalThe basic package does not include registered agent service
Quick Turnaround timeAdditional charge for EIN
A+ BBB AccreditedThe basic package does not include a registered agent service
Single plan for all incorporation

BetterLegal Overview

Even though the company is called BetterLegal, no attorneys or legal services are available. The company offers a single plan for all types of business formation. Hence, if you are planning to form a corporation, you can pay $299 + incorporation fee ($100 for filing online and by mail. $115 for in person filing in California). It offers comparatively better turnaround time at a reasonable price than other companies. You can file your LLC within 10 minutes with BetterLegal.

It offers a resource center for new entrepreneurs. They provide guidance to make things easier when it comes to filing your business. Their small team sometimes fails to cater to their customers on time. Reaching out to their customer support team is very difficult. Another disadvantage is it does not have a refund policy. All sales with BetterLegal are final, and at any stage, upon cancelation, no refund is made. However, basic LLC formation and registered agent services are much cheaper in BetterLegal than in other close competitors.

5. TailorBrands

tailore-brands-logo

Do you want to create a brand for your business in California? Here is the LLC formation service provider, TailorBrands, for you. The company was established in 2015 in New York, and since then, it has offered several incredible services to set up your business. TailorBrands has a single LLC formation plan that starts at $49 a year. You can choose different other add-on services at an additional cost.

TailorBrands Services

TailorBrands offer a single plan for forming an LLC at $49. There are some basic services that TailorBrands offer, including starting an LLC, filing it, California name availability search, priority support, and so on. You can use their add-on services as and when required. Add-ons are-

  • Registered Agent Service – $199/year
  • Employment ID Number (EIN) – $99 (one-time pay)
  • Annual Compliances – $299/year
  • Operating Agreement – $29
  • Expedited Filing – $49
  • Business bank account – Free

TailorBrands Pros and Cons

Why You Must Get TailorBrandsWhy You Shouldn’t Get TailorBrands
Low-cost LLC formationNot BBB Accredited
Free business bank accountsNo business domain packages
Hassle-free LLC formationAdditional charges to obtain EIN
Additional services like logo, website, domain

TailorBrands Overview

TailorBrands does not have vast LLC formation packages. Instead, it has a single package that includes the formation of LLCs. The name availability search is unlimited, and you don’t have to pay any additional fees. The state filing fee of $70 must be paid apart from the charges you pay for add-ons.

TailorBrands offers other business services such as logo making, domain, website, business bank account, merchandise, and other business services. As a small or start-up business, you must go for TailorBrands.

How to Form an LLC in California

California, popularly known as The Golden State, is a business-friendly state with a population of 40,223,504. The Nominal Gross Domestic Product (in millions) of California is $3,634,821 according to a 2022 study, which has been said to be increased over the past year. Hence, starting your business in California will always be a good option. If you choose the state capital, Sacramento, to start your LLC, you might get more tax and other benefits.

To form an LLC in California, you need to follow some basic steps, including getting an LLC name, appointing your California Agent for Service of Process, filing the California Articles of Organization, creating California LLC operating agreement, and finally getting an EIN for filing required taxes.

You can do that on your own. However, it is always recommended to get a professional person on board to guide you through. These steps are crucial and sensitive. You must complete everything to avoid canceling your formation process. Hence, having a professional LLC formation service for your LLC is better.

How to Choose the Best LLC Formation Service in California

It is important to choose the best service for your business carefully. Before you select the best one, make sure you thoroughly research on following points-

  1. Reputation: Look for a company with a good reputation. Check reviews and ratings from previous clients to see how they feel about the services offered.
  2. Experience: Choose a company with years of LLC formation experience. This ensures that they have knowledge of the process and can provide quality services.
  3. Cost: Compare prices between different companies. Choose a company that offers affordable pricing for the services you need.
  4. Customer Service: Ensure that the company has good customer service. They should be responsive, helpful, and willing to answer any questions.
  5. Services Offered: Look for a company that offers a range of services, including entity formation, registered agent services, and ongoing compliance support to ensure your LLC remains in good standing.
  6. Ease of Use: Choose a company with a user-friendly website and easy-to-use online platform. This makes the process of forming an LLC simple and straightforward.
  7. Guarantees: Check if the company offers a satisfaction guarantee or a refund policy. This gives you peace of mind that you are getting the best possible service.

Also Read

Why California is One of the Best Places for Business

One of the key reasons why California is such a great place for business is its diverse economy. From the tech hubs of Silicon Valley to the entertainment industry in Hollywood, California offers a wide range of industries and sectors for companies to tap into. This diversity not only provides stability and resilience during economic downturns, but also opens up countless possibilities for collaboration and growth.

In addition to its diverse economy, California is also known for its innovative culture. The state has long been a hotbed of creativity and entrepreneurship, with a long history of fostering groundbreaking ideas and technologies. From start-ups in San Francisco to biotech firms in San Diego, California is home to some of the most innovative companies in the world. This culture of innovation not only attracts top talent from around the globe, but also encourages a spirit of experimentation and risk-taking that is vital for success in today’s fast-changing business landscape.

Furthermore, California is home to some of the country’s top universities, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Caltech. These institutions are not only centers of cutting-edge research and innovation, but also provide a steady pipeline of highly skilled graduates for businesses to tap into. By partnering with these universities, companies in California can benefit from the latest research and technologies, while also gaining access to a pool of talented and driven individuals who are eager to make their mark in the business world.

Another reason why California is such a great place for business is its access to a large and diverse market. With a population of nearly 40 million people, California offers businesses a huge consumer base to target, as well as a melting pot of cultures and demographics to cater to. This diversity not only provides companies with a wide range of opportunities for growth and expansion, but also forces them to adapt and innovate in order to stay competitive in such a dynamic market.

Finally, California’s natural beauty and high quality of life make it an attractive destination for both businesses and employees. From the sunny beaches of Southern California to the majestic redwoods of Northern California, the state offers a wealth of outdoor activities and cultural attractions that make it a truly special place to live and work. This quality of life not only helps to attract and retain top talent, but also fosters a sense of well-being and creativity that is essential for business success.

In conclusion, California is truly one of the best places for business in the United States. With its diverse economy, innovative culture, top universities, large market, and high quality of life, the Golden State offers a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs and corporations to thrive and succeed. Whether you are looking to start a tech start-up in Silicon Valley or a biotech firm in San Diego, California has the assets and resources you need to turn your business dreams into reality.

Conclusion

Starting a business in California is a big step. It’s really helpful to have experts on your side. When you use a professional LLC service, you’re making sure everything is done right without any headaches. We’ve given you a list of the top choices in this article. Take your time to look at each one. Check their prices, see what they offer, and think about what’s best for your business.

Remember, picking the right California LLC service can make things smoother and better for your business as it grows. If you want the best for your business, check out ZenBusiness. With their compelling offer of $0 + state fee for LLC formation, combined with an impressive array of 5-star Trustpilot reviews, they’re our number one recommendation. Seize this exceptional opportunity for your business!


About Author & Editorial Staff

Steve Goldstein, founder of LLCBuddy, is a specialist in corporate formations, dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the LLC process. LLCBuddy provides a wealth of streamlined resources such as guides, articles, and FAQs, making LLC establishment seamless. The diligent editorial staff makes sure content is accurate, up-to-date information on topics like state-specific requirements, registered agents, and compliance. Steve's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes LLCBuddy an essential and trustworthy resource for launching and running an LLC.

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