How Much to Start an LLC in California (File LLC California For 2024)

If you run a business in California and register it as an LLC, do you know how much to start an LLC in California is needed to operate?

What you pay will be based on how much money your business generates and what you will spend for business licenses and filing costs.

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The following information will detail what you will need to know to get started.


  1. Covering the Basic Costs
  2. Filing Fees
  3. Getting a Business License
  4. Considering Optional Costs

How Much to Start an LLC in California: Covering the Basic Costs

The following list provides a run-down of how much to start an LLC in California is needed in basic costs. While California is a great place to do business, it is generally more costly than doing business in other states.

  • LLC filing – $70
  • Registered agent – $75 to $150
  • Statement of Information – $20
  • Business license – the fee varies by the city or town in which you work
  • Reserve LLC name – Varies, depending on the city or locale
  • Fictitious name statement – Varies, depending on the city or locale
  • Operating agreement – Draft and finalization up to $1,000

The above information only gives a general summary of what you will pay for setting up an LLC. To delve deeper, you need to learn exactly what the fees cover.

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How Much to Start an LLC in California: Covering the 2 Main Filing Fees

When you are determining how much to start an LLC in California for, you need to set aside money first for the two main filing fees.

Submit these fees when you file your LLC application with the California Secretary of State.

Pay $70 to file your company’s articles of organization and remit $20 to file a Statement of Information or Form LLC-12.

The articles of organization show the company set-up and include the LLC name you’ve given your business, the reason why you established the company, and the names of the owners.

You should file the Statement of Information every 2 years as long as your business operates in California.

This document covers general information about your LLC, including the busness’s purposes, owner names, and the address and type of business.

How Much to Start an LLC in California: Getting a Business License

You may or may not need to get a business license. If you are wondering how much to start an LLC in California costs in ancillary expenses, check the costs online.

Visit the CalGold site to see if your business qualifies.

To pay for a business license as a small start-up, you will usually pay $50 to $100, with a renewal required each year at the same cost.

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How to Start an LLC in California: Considering Optional Costs

Review optional costs when you figure out how much to start an LLC in California. You may have to pay these costs one time or annually.

1. LLC Name

You don’t have to pay to establish an LLC name. Just make sure you can use the name to conduct business and that it has trademark protection.

If you wish to reserve the LLC name before taking ownership and want to make sure it is not registered, you have to pay a small charge.

What you pay will vary by municipality or county.

Also, talk to an attorney about performing a trademark search. If you do it yourself, it is free but not advised.

Having a business attorney conduct the search is well worth the investment to prevent any future problems with lawsuits or liability. The cost ranges from $500 to $1,500 or more.

Email sam@moallaeilaw.com for help in performing trademark research

2. Fictitious Business Name

You can run your business under a name other than the LLC name for branding purposes. For instance, your LLC name may be John Smith Company.

However, you might use a fictitious name to identify your products or services. In this case, if you run an AC company, you might use the fictitious name of Glacial Cooling.

To add a fictitious name to your bank account or credit card statement, file a fictitious business name (FBN) statement.

This statement is also known as a doing business (DBA) statement. Filing a DBA name costs a small fee.

You will also need to renew the name every 5 years and pay a fee at the time. Anytime you change your fictitious name, you will pay a fee as well.

I can help you with your D/B/A name filing requirements. Email sam@mollaeilaw.com now.

3. Creation of the Operating Agreement

An attorney will charge you to create an operating agreement. The operating agreement provides useful details, and answers the following:

  • How do you plan to run your company?
  • How do you plan to distribute products?
  • How do you want to resolve disputes?
  • What are your business allocations?

While you don’t need to create an operating agreement, having one on hand prevents future communication issues or disagreements. Use a lawyer’s services to establish the document, You will probably pay from $500 to $1,000.

I can help you outline and draft your operating agreement. Email sam@mollaeilaw.com to get started

4. Costs for Managing the LLC’s Paperwork

You will pay more money to retain an attorney to help you fill out your LLC paperwork. However, doing so is well worth the investment.

Using the services of a lawyer helps you focus on running your business and setting it up properly.

5. Third-party Registered Agent

A registered agent represents a person or company that receives court paperwork and important LLC documents.

While you can designate yourself as the registered agent, you should contact a third-party service company or lawyer instead.

Doing so keeps your business affairs private. For this service, you will pay from $75 to $150.

What Happens Next?

If you want to know how much to start a California LLC is, you need to figure your optional costs and filing fees.

To launch your business, pay a lawyer to ensure you do everything right and that you apply the applicable fees.

Use the services of an attorney to stay compliant and operational.

For instance, your franchise tax fee of $800 enables you to stay in business.

Therefore, you can end up paying as much as $2,000 establishing an LLC.

However, it is money that is well-spent. I can provide you with further details. Email sam@mollaeilaw.com to learn more about the process.

Book a call to Start an LLC in California: https://go.mollaeilaw.com/meeting

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