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California: How to incorporate

Incorporating in California involves one of three steps:

  1. Hiring a lawyer
  2. do it by yourself or
  3. use an incorporation company


We can incorporate your California Company business or form your limited liability company for a fraction of the  fee most other lawyers or so called incorporation services claim they can.  Since, Mr. is a licensed attorney, it is reasonable to conclude that he can incorporate your business at least a little better than the other self proclaimed incorporation services.

Incorporating your California incorporation involves the following steps: 

California Corporate Requirements

The name of a California corporation must be unique. 

California Corporation Director Information

Minimum Number must be  - Three. However, if the company has less than three shareholders, the number of directors may be less than three, but not less than the number of shareholders.
Residence Requirements - No provision.
Age Requirements - None.

Directors are not required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.


Officer Information

The officers are not required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.


Stock Information

An increase in shares or par value does not effect initial filing fees.

Corporate Records

An original or a copy of bylaws must be kept at the principal executive office or principal business office in state of California. The minutes of directors' and shareholders' meetings must be kept at the principal office.

Taxes and Fees


Annual Statements

Domestic corporations must file with the secretary of state within 90 days after filing the articles or incorporation. A statement of domestic stock corporation must be filed annually by the end of the calendar month during which the original articles of incorporation were filed. The cost is $20.

Income Tax Rate

California imposes a franchise tax on both California corporations (domestic) and non-California corporations (foreign) for the privilege of doing business in the state. The franchise tax is actually a tax of net income; the rate is 8.84% of net income for corporations. S corporations still must pay the franchise tax; the rate is 1.5% of net income.

California imposes a minimum franchise tax of $800. So, even if your corporation does not have net income, it still must pay this minimum tax. The minimum tax does not have to paid during the corporation's first year; however, taxes based on income must be paid during this first year.

S Corporation

S Corporation status is recognized by the State of California, however, the corporation is still required to pay franchise tax at a rate of 1.5% of net income. A separate state election is required.

License Requirements

California may require that you obtain a business license and pay a licensing fee based on your business type or profession. Please check with the state to make sure your business is complying with the license requirements for your particular profession.

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