If you are forming a California LLC, then this page’s content would be vital. As you learn how to start an LLC, you will realize that the bulk of your initial work and cost comprises filing an article of organization, which we will elaborate on this page.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
What is an Article of Organization?
An Article of Organization, also known as an LLC certificate in some states, is a document filed with the secretary of state to form an LLC.
Each state has a different requirement to fill out a form. An Article of Organization usually includes the following:
- The name of the LLC,
- the effective date of the LLC,
- the company’s principal office,
- the business purpose,
- the duration of the business,
- a copy of the LLC’s name registration certificate, and
- the name and address of the registered agent, organizers, and
- at least one member of the company.
Note that the certification of formation is a legal requirement, not to mention, the core of your LLC formation. It even makes up the bulk of your LLC cost. Without it, you have no LLC. So, take the time to complete and file this certificate.
How to File an California Article of Organization
These are the simple steps to follow in filing an Article of Organization in California.
Step 1: Find Forms Online
Go to the California Secretary of State to download the article of organization form for your LLC or to log into the online service.
Step 2: Fill Out Form
You must attach a copy of your Name Reservation to your filled-out Article of Organization form when filing. You also need to nominate a registered agent. Here are 3 of the best LLC services on our list.
Step 3: File Formation Certificates
Article of Organization Online Registration
Time needed: 10 minutes
To register your California LLC online, one has to go to the California Secretary of State Official Website. The online registration process is easy and takes around 10 minutes to complete. The online payment must be done through VISA or MasterCard. Below is the step-by-step process explained.
- Visit the official website of California Secretary of State Online Services.
You will get the information regarding the filing fees and franchise tax to be paid to start a foreign LLC in California.
- Hit “Start”
Hit the “Start” button below to start the process of registering your California foreign LLC. As you will hit the ‘Start’ button you will be directed to the next Privacy and Terms page. Read the Privacy Warning carefully before you accept the terms and conditions. Hit the ‘I Accept’ button and move on.
- Add your LLC name and identifier
You will be directed to the registration form page on the website. There are 7 pages to fill up by the LLC. The first page is about the purpose of the LLC.
- Business Address
On the next page, you will have to enter the information about your business address. Enter the initial and mailing address. Make sure that the address is correct and from California.
- Service of Process
Proceed to the next page where you will have to enter the details of ‘Service of Process’. Whether your agent is an individual or a corporation, details should be given under the specific option.
- Management Structure
On the next page, specify your Management, whether your LLC is a single-member or multiple-members.
- Organizer information
The next page is about the Organizer of your LLC. Enter the name of the organizer, address, and pin code. Also, specify the date of filing.
- Review submission
Once this page is done, the next page will be the review page. Review carefully what information you have entered. If there is anything you want to include or change, you can go back and edit the form.
Finally, you will be landed on the Payment page. Enter the payment amount, method, and other information. Hit the submit button to complete the payment and registration process.
Filing California Article of Organization by Mail
If you prefer to send the article of organization by mail, then follow the instructions below:
- Download the article of organization form.
- Fill up the form thoroughly with all the required information
- Get two copies of the Article of organization form.
- Get the certificate of name reservation. Attach with the article of organization forms.
- Send all the documents to the following address, Secretary of State, Business Entities Filings, P.O. Box 944228, Sacramento, CA 94244.
- You can drop the forms at the counter or send them in-person at 1500 11th St. Sacramento, CA 95814, (Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Cost of Filing a California Formation Certificate
The cost of Filing California LLC is given below. A fixed amount of Franchise Tax should be paid annually along with the formation fee. Whether to file online (recommended) or by mail or in-person. The filing cost is,
- Online filing: $70
- By Mail: $70 + $5 for each certified copy
- In-person: $70 + $15 counter charge
Where Can You Find Your California LLC Articles of Organization
For accessing Articles of Organization online, you can visit the California Secretary of State website. From the same website, you can also download the PDF if you want to file through mail.
The Articles of Organization serve as the foundation and legal document that establishes the existence of an LLC. It outlines the basic information about the business, including its name, address, the purpose of the LLC, and the name and address of the registered agent. This document plays a significant role as it defines the rights and obligations of the LLC’s members, ensuring transparency, accountability, and facilitating the smooth operation of the business.
For future or existing LLC owners in California, the question arises: where can you find your California LLC Articles of Organization? Well, dear readers, the answer lies within the hands of the California Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s office is the official governmental body overseeing businesses operating within the state, and it acts as the central hub for filing, storing, and retrieving important business documents—including the coveted Articles of Organization.
Online access has simplified the process of obtaining such documents, making it more convenient for LLC owners and potential investors. By visiting the California Secretary of State’s website, individuals can navigate through a user-friendly interface to access a multitude of business-related resources. The website offers an abundance of information on starting a business, and it provides clear instructions on how to access and retrieve necessary documents.
Pursuing a digital approach, the California Secretary of State makes it possible to search for and retrieve specific LLC documents online. By using the entity search function, individuals can enter the name or entity number of their LLC and access a range of crucial documents, including the Articles of Organization. In just a few clicks, business owners can obtain the necessary materials to comply with legal requirements or to support financing requirements, giving them the freedom to focus on what is truly important: growing their business.
Nonetheless, it is important to highlight the role of the LLC filing services throughout this process, as they can provide professional assistance and expert guidance. For business owners who prefer not to navigate the intricate governmental system themselves, filing services can fulfill the role of an intermediary. These services specialize in preparing the necessary documents, including the Articles of Organization, ensuring that they adhere to the regulatory requirements set forth by the California Secretary of State. Often, they also offer package options that can conveniently handle filing and compliance needs, enabling entrepreneurs to streamline their legal affairs efficiently.
In conclusion, locating your California LLC Articles of Organization is a straightforward process that can be accomplished online through the California Secretary of State’s website. The availability of online access has revolutionized the way business owners interact with governmental entities, providing a convenient and time-saving avenue for obtaining essential legal documents. Additionally, the assistance provided by LLC filing services offers an alternative for those who prefer to entrust their filing responsibilities to skilled professionals. As California continues to foster a vibrant business landscape, accessibility to essential documents such as the Articles of Organization plays a vital role in empowering entrepreneurs and supporting economic growth.
An Article of Organization is a legal document that will officially make your LLC into existence. This document is needed specifically for California in forming an LLC business structure.
The application form for the Article of Organization needs to include the LLC name, date of establishment, the company’s registered office, business purpose, how long the business will exist, and a copy of the LLC’s name registration certificate.
Filing by mail or in person is neither highly recommended nor required; waiting an extra week for your LLC to be approved isn’t that bad. The LLC approval you send in will be returned by mail. Online filing, meanwhile, is more convenient as you won’t have to stay in a queue.
Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation is the most important document for your California LLC. Before you submit/file the document make sure to provide proper and correct information about your company. If you have any questions, share that below in the comment section.