How to Start an LLC in Los Angeles: A Guide from UpCounsel

Forming a limited liability company (LLC) is a popular business structure for small businesses in Los Angeles and across the state of California. While setting up an LLC is usually a relatively straightforward process, there are a few important steps and regulations to consider beforehand. To ensure you have all of the information you need to proceed with setting up your LLC, UpCounsel provides the following guide on how to start an LLC in Los Angeles.

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Types Of LLCs In Los Angeles

The first thing to consider when setting up an LLC in Los Angeles is the type of LLC you want to create. There are two primary types of LLCs in California: domestic LLCs and foreign LLCs. A domestic LLC is one formed in California, while a foreign LLC is one formed outside of California but registered in the state. Both types of LLCs are subject to the rules and regulations of the California Corporations Code and the California Secretary of State’s office, which is the governing body responsible for business registration in the state.

Steps To Starting An LLC In Los Angeles

In order to properly form an LLC in Los Angeles, you must take the following steps:

Step 1: Choose a Name for the LLC

Choose a unique name for your LLC that will make the LLC distinguishable from other businesses or LLCs in the state. The name must include one of the following words or abbreviations: LLC, L.L.C., Limited, limited liability company, or one of their relevant abbreviations. Additionally, the name cannot contain words that imply the business will be engaged in activities outside the scope of its LLC purpose.

Step 2: File LLC Formation Documents with the California Secretary of State

Once the LLC’s name has been chosen, you must file Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State. The form requires certain information such as your LLC’s name, address, as well as the names and addresses of its members. Additionally, there is a fee associated with filing of the Articles of Organization.

Step 3: Create an Operating Agreement for the LLC

Once the Articles of Organization have been filed, you must create an operating agreement for the LLC. The operating agreement is a contract between LLC members that sets out the rules and regulations of the company. It should include how profits and losses will be allocated among members, the rules that will govern management, and any other aspects of the business.

Step 4: File for Taxation

An LLC must file for taxation with the state in which it is registered. In California, LLCs must file a Statement of Information with the California Secretary of State and a Business Tax Registration Form with the California Franchise Tax Board. This form requires information such as the LLC’s name, address, and estimated gross income.

Step 5: Register with the Local City and County

To do business in the city and county of Los Angeles, an LLC must register with the respective city and county in which it is doing business. This requires filling out the Business Registration Application and submitting it to the local Office of Finance.

Step 6: Obtain any Local Business Licenses and/or Permits

Depending on the nature of the business and where it is located in Los Angeles, you may need to obtain business licenses or permits from the local or county government. There are various board or regulatory bodies that issue business licenses and/or permits, depending on where the LLC is conducting business. Thus, it is important to research the local government and its various boards and commissions to determine if any of them require LLCs to be licensed or permitted.

The essence

Setting up an LLC in Los Angeles is relatively straightforward, but requires knowledge of California regulations as well as local laws and ordinances. As such, an experienced lawyer can guide you through the process and ensure all of the necessary steps are taken. UpCounsel offers access to experienced attorneys who specialize in business law and understand the legal needs of small businesses. The lawyers in UpCounsel’s network have an average of 14 years of experience and have worked with renowned Fortune 1000 companies.


LLC Formation,

California Corporations Code,

California Secretary of State