What is Form LLC 1?

To create an LLC in the state of California, the business needs to file the articles of organization with the Secretary of State for California. Included in the articles of organization should be the following: 

  • the purpose of the LLC 
  • the name and address of the LLC's registered agent 
  • information on how the LLC will be managed 
  • the name of the LLC 
  • the address of the LLC

Businesses can fill out Form LLC-1 online through the Secretary of State of California's website. The form can then be sent in the mail or delivered in person to the office of the Secretary of State.

Filing Fees and Payment of Form LLC 1

The filing fee to turn in the Articles of Organization is $70. In addition, there is another fee that's non-refundable of $15 if you drop the form off in person. Your document should be dropped off at the Sacramento office. This $15 fee gives you expedited service over forms sent in through the mail. There is no refund of the handling fee whether the document gets accepted and filed or rejected.

If the submission is urgent, the documents can be processed quickly and with a guaranteed timeframe along with a non-refundable fee. The in-person drop off fee will be waived. When the documents get filed, one copy of the document will get returned at no cost. For a $5 fee, the document can be certified. To get extra copies or additional certified copies of the Articles of Organization, payment can be included for certification and copy fees when the document is submitted.

The fees for additional copies are $1 for the first page and 50 cents for each extra page. There is an extra $5 fee for certified copies of each document. Money orders and checks should be made to the Secretary of State. Cash should not be submitted by mail. When filing the document in person at the office in Sacramento, Visa or MasterCard credit cards will also be accepted. If a certified copy that's approved by the Secretary of State is needed, the check can be made out for $75.

Processing Time

For more information about how to process documents faster via the Preclearance and Expedited Filing services, visit the Secretary of State's website. Only documents that are dropped off in person are available for guaranteed expedited services. To see current processing times, visit the Secretary of State's website. When the $70 fee is paid to file the Articles of Organization, the Secretary of State will review the document. At that time, they will approve or reject it within seven days.

How to Form an LLC

In order for a business to form an LLC, or limited liability company, the Articles of Organization need to be completed. Each LLC needs to have at least one member, if not more. All the members will be considered managers if no set manager is elected or appointed. A member is similar to a shareholder of a corporation in that they're the owner of the company.

What is an Operating Agreement?

Operating Agreements are not filed with the Secretary of State, but are maintained by the limited liability corporation. According to California LLC law, it's not mandatory for the member(s) of the LLC to sign an Operating Agreement. However, if there is more than one member and they're not married or domestic partners that are registered, it can cause trouble for the members.

Guidelines When Filling Out Form LLC 1

The following guidelines need to be followed when filling out Form LLC 1: 

  • state the proposed name for the LLC
  • write the address of the office where the LLC is in California
  • for individual agents - write the name and address of the agent in California
  • for registered corporate agents - write the name exactly as it is registered in California
  • check which box applies to pick whether the LLC has one manager, multiple members, or all LLC members
  • it's required to set the statutory purpose statement exactly

The form needs to be signed by every member who is responsible for creating the LLC.

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