Last Updated: May 10, 2024, 1:58 pm by TRUiC Team

How Long Does It Take to Form an LLC in California?

California continues to be a popular place for people to move to and establish businesses in. While most of the new jobs popping up are related to entertainment or tech, more traditional businesses can still thrive in the bustling Californian economy. Starting an LLC in California may seem intimidating, but it is a fairly simple process. As the future owner, you will need to file formation documentation and wait for them to be approved.

From submission, the approval process for California’s LLCs takes 2-3 weeks by mail, accounting for transit time, or 3-5 days if submitted online. The rest of this guide will take you through the California LLC approval process and timeline.

We recommend using a professional LLC formation service to handle your business’s formation paperwork so you can focus on what matters most — running your business.

Two looking at a tablet while they work to form an LLC.

California LLC Approval Time

Filing Options

Approval Time

Filing Delays

Expedited Filing (Fee)


Filing online

3-5 business days

No known delays

Not available in California


Filing by mail

2-3 weeks

No known delays

Not available in California


When filing for your LLC in California, LLC approval time refers to how long it takes to get your LLC approved in the state. This time includes the time it takes for the documents to arrive at the California Secretary of State and for them to be processed. Consider this when deciding whether to file online or by mail.

California LLC Processing Time

Separate from approval time is processing time, which refers to how long the state of California takes to process your LLC formation paperwork and input the data from your application into their system. This will not include any time it takes for document transit in the mail. There is no difference in processing time between online and mail filing, but filing on the California Secretary of State’s website will get your forms in faster than sending them by mail.

  • Online: 3-5 business days
  • By mail: 3-5 business days

Remember that processing time is part of the approval process, so it should be added to approval time. Since processing time doesn't include document transport time, approval time should be used for determining how long it will take for your LLC formation to be approved.

Expedited Filing for a California LLC

There is no option for expedited filing in the state of California. The fastest way to get your business approved is to file online, cutting out transit time with approval estimated to be in 3-5 days. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC in California?

The filing fee for your LLC in California is currently $70 by filing online or by mail and $85 in person. If paying by check, it should be made out to The California Secretary of State.

LLC Formation Service

If you are worried about the time it takes to file or are concerned about making mistakes on the forms, you can contact an LLC formation service to file for you. These services cannot speed up the approval or processing time, but they can ensure your paperwork will be filed correctly the first time. As well, if you are hesitant about putting out your private address, some services will let you use their address when filing instead.

Read our LLC Formation Services Review to learn more 

Should I Form an LLC in California?

LLCs are formal business structures that provide owners with limited liability protection and pass-through taxation. Forming an LLC may be beneficial if you plan to do business in California, as the state has several benefits.

A Booming Economy

California has a high number of job opportunities as many new businesses open regularly in the state. In fact, California is the number one state for global trade as of 2021, accounting for 11.2% of all US exports. The state has many industries and opportunities of which your LLC is certain to benefit.

Diverse Network of Businesses

Just about every business type and field can be found in California, making networking locally much easier than in other states. Large industries are also centered in the state, making it a haven for those looking for workers within entertainment or technology. If you are looking to connect with others through your LLC, California is an excellent place to establish yourself.

Thriving Tourism Industry

Tourism brings many people to California every year. Between theme parks like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm and national parks like Joshua Tree and Redwood National Park, people of all different interests have a reason to visit California. Even if your LLC has nothing to do with tourism, the constant stream of new visitors can benefit your business.