Forming a Legal Entity

Incorporating in California

California is still the land of opportunity for incorporated small businesses. Here are some resources to help you leverage California incorporation as a strategy for growth and expansion in your small business.

The California Corporations Section is responsible for examining, processing, filing and maintaining documents related to the existence and structure of California domestic corporations and foreign (out of state or country) corporations qualified to transact business in California.

Contact Information

California Secretary of State
Corporations Unit
1500 11th Street Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 657-5448
Incorporate in California

Useful California Incorporation Links

  • Search for California Businesses - Search that determines if a corporation or LP/LLC is currently registered with the California Secretary of State
  • E-File Your Corporation's Statement of Information - Use this service to file an initial, annual or biennial statement for most California corporations. Also includes all fees for filing Statement of Information in California.
  • Publicly Traded Disclosure Search - Search for all publicly traded corporations that have filed a Corporate Disclosure Statement with the California Secretary of State. There is no fee for this search.
  • UCC Connect - Online service that enables you to perform transactions such as inquiries, filings, request copies, place bulk orders, and more, from the California Secretary of State's office.
  • Forms- The California Business Portal lists all forms and fees for doing business in the State of California.
  • Business Entities Processing Times - Due to the large volume of business entity filings and order requests received by the California Secretary of State office, customers may experience delays in receiving confirmation of requests submitted by mail. This link provides current mail processing times as provided by California Secretary of State.
  • California Codes - Search for current California Law covering various subject areas, the State Constitution and Statutes.
  • Business Tax Information - Contains list of state agencies that determine tax obligations, provide information about tax reporting, and have information regarding taxpayer rights.
  • Business Resources - Agencies a business entity may need to contact to ensure proper compliance and several links to web sites that may assist businesses in the State of California.
  • Private Service Companies - Contains a list of private service companies who provide a variety of services ranging from UCC searches to business filings in the State of California.
  • Corporate Disclosure Statement - Includes forms for the Statement of Information, Corporate Disclosure Statement, and Statement by Common Interest Development Association, for the State of California.
  • Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund (VCFCF) - The VCFCF protects consumers and provides restitution to victims who are unable to collect on a corporate fraud judgment.
  • Notary - Includes information about becoming a notary, the notary newsletter and notary regulations for the State of California.
  • FAQs - Follow this link for a lot of helpful information about running a business in California.
  • Contact Information- Addresses, phone numbers and hours for the California Secretary of State offices.
  • How To Start a Business in California - The State of California provides a helpful step-by-step guide on how to open a business.
  • Entity Types - Learn about the different business entity types and which will work best for you.
  • Information Requests - Online searches and document request procedures for California can be found at this link.
  • Trademarks and Service Marks- California state trademarks and service marks are accessible to the public upon request. This web page includes links to forms, fees and frequently asked questions, regarding trademarks and service marks in the State of California.
  • Special Filings - Explains special filings including Roster of Public Agencies, City and County Charters and Amendments, Joint Powers Agreements and Amendments, Registration of Claim as Successor-In-Interest, and specific business bonds.

Last updated February 26, 2020.

If we are missing a good incorporation resource, please let us know.

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