The 5 Best LLC Services in California 2024
Searching for the best LLC service to form your business? Formation providers can help streamline the process of starting a limited liability company. Additionally, online LLC services often include important features such as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and registered agent service.
In this review of the best business formation services in California of 2024, we'll help you decide which one is best for your unique entrepreneurial journey.
The current state filing fee in California is $70.
Our Recommendation for Best California LLC Service: Northwest ($29 + State Fees)
Top California LLC Formation Services
The 5 Best LLC Services
BEST FOR 1ST TIME BUSINESS OWNERS
OVER A MILLION BUSINESS LAUNCHED
BEST SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS
California formation services allow you to focus more on the success of your business. There are a plethora of providers that will start your venture at a low cost. We ranked the top California business formation services by forming separate LLCs with each provider.
Deciding which is the best formation service to help you launch your company depends on the following:
- The type of company you have
- The needs of your venture
- Additional services you may want for your LLC in California
In our review, we explore a few of the best California LLC services and share what makes them the right choice. By the time you finish reading, you'll be able to determine which service is well-suited for your venture.
Best LLC Services in California:
1. Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest delivers high-quality services for online LLC formation. Their plan is only $29 plus state filing fees, which includes free registered agent services for one year, digital dashboard for important documents, customer privacy protection, and so on.
Northwest Registered Agent is known for its superior customer service; every client receives a Corporate Guide assigned to their account, so you can talk with the same person when you may come across questions or concerns.
- Excellent customer reviews
- Streamlined checkout process
- No hidden fees
- Premium registered agent services included for a year
- Extremely knowledgeable customer support
- It costs extra for features like an EIN. An alternative is to get an EIN for free on your own.
Northwest Pricing and Features
Northwest Registered Agent has one company plan. For just $29 plus state fees, it includes:
- LLC formation service
- “Privacy by Default”
- Registered agent service
- Business address
- “Corporate Guide” service
- Mail forwarding
Visit our full Northwest Registered Agent review to learn more about its offerings.
ZenBusiness plans start at $0* (plus the state fee). ZenBusiness makes the formation process simple so you can focus more on the success of your company.
- Straightforward formation packages
- Helpful customer service
- Great feedback from online ZenBusiness reviews
- Premium registered agent service for your LLC in California
- ZenBusiness charges extra fees for essential features like registered agent service and an EIN.
ZenBusiness Pricing and Features
ZenBusiness's pricing plans include the following and more when launching a California LLC.
- Articles of organization filing
- Worry-free compliance free first year (Auto-renewal price: $199/yr): receive annual report filing alerts to help you stay compliant.
- Free accounting consultation
- Unlimited name availability searches
If you move up to the Pro plan, you'll discover other useful LLC formation features, such as:
- LLC Operating Agreement: An operating agreement template outlines the terms of LLC formation. Few formation services include an operating agreement in their basic tier package.
- Filing speed (1 - 2 business days)
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
ZenBusiness' Premium plan ($349 + California state filing fee) includes these add-ons:
- Rush filing
- Business website, domain name, and domain privacy
- Email address
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Business Document Templates
4. Tailor Brands
Tailor Brands is a service that helps with company formation, brand building, and website creation. Its goal is to help small business owners quickly launch their ventures by offering a one-stop shop.
For those that want more than just basic California LLC services — Tailor's premium Elite Plan includes a plethora of useful features. Logo creation, digital business cards, and social media design tools, are some of the notable features that will help entrepreneurs boost their startup's marketing and establish their brand.
Tailor Brands Pros
- Create an LLC, build your website, and begin your social media marketing strategy all at once
- Personalized service so you can receive the right resources for your unique journey
- Top notch customer support to answer any questions that may come up
Tailor Brands Cons
- Not the most budget-friendly choice for entrepreneurs that just need formation essentials
- Extra fees for important features such as registered agent service
Tailor Brands Pricing and Features
Tailor Brands has three packages; however, we're going to focus on their premium Elite package. You get quite a lot for the cost of this plan. Curated for entrepreneurs ready to establish their presence online, it includes a variety of brand-boosting tools and features.
Elite Plan Features:
- LLC formation services
- Operating agreement
- Expedited processing
- Annual compliance
- Website builder
- Free domain for a year
- Logo maker
- Social media post maker
- Digital business card tool
Check out our full Tailor Brands review to learn more about what it has to offer.
5. Bizee (Formerly Incfile)
Like ZenBusiness and Northwest, Bizee provides a great value in the basic pricing package for its California LLC formation service.
- One year of free registered agent service with all pricing packages, costing just $119 per year after
- Real-time order tracking
- Accessible dashboard to track compliance reminders and important deadlines for your California limited liability company
- EIN and operating agreement come with added fees
Bizee Pricing and Features
The $0 Silver package, with the exception of the state filing fee, includes:
- LLC formation service: Get your enterprise set up to operate independently of your personal finances.
- One year of free registered agent service: Bizee will cover your California registered agent fees for a full year.
- Lifetime company compliance alerts: Receive alerts when it's time to file your annual report.
Bizee Gold ($149 + state filing fees) includes:
- Operating agreement: Bizee will provide you with an LLC operating agreement template.
- Banking resolution: Bizee will write your banking resolution authorizing someone to open a business bank account and provide a signature for the company.
- EIN registration: Get a nine-digit EIN to open a bank account so that you can hire employees and keep your professional and personal assets separate.
The Platinum package ($249 + California state fees) includes:
- Domain name and website
- Business contract templates
- Priority expedited filing
Bizee's formation services offer an excellent deal for entrepreneurs because of its free, premium service. The features in its basic-tier LLC service is perfect for a low-budget company.
Although the following services didn’t make the list above, their offerings are still worth mentioning briefly.
LegalZoom is a platform that provides online legal services and facilitates business formation. Its LLC packages are pricier compared to other providers. However, the company's strength lies in its strong brand presence and recognition within the formation services industry.
Rocket Lawyer is an excellent service if you require continuous legal assistance beyond company formation. Moreover, this platform is an ideal choice for novice entrepreneurs who lack experience in drafting contracts. TRUiC has teamed up with Rocket Lawyer to provide a New Business Bundle that includes complimentary incorporation services, legal counsel, and more.
Swyft Filings offers three great formation packages for new founders to choose from.These plans range in price from $0-$299 (plus state fees). Depending on the specific one you choose, you can look forward to swift and reliable formation services along with additional benefits such as customized banking resolution, electronic document delivery, and more.
Inc Authority offers a free formation package, making it a great choice for California entrepreneurs who are on a tight budget. However, it is important to keep in mind that you will still have to pay state filing fees even if you choose this basic plan.
MyCompanyWorks offers three excellent company formation packages starting at $59 plus state fees. Each of these packages is backed by MyCompanyWorks’ 100% satisfaction guarantee along with well-reviewed customer support.
Our Review Methodology
The TRUiC team evaluates each formation service based on the following:
As you’ve probably already noticed, pricing for LLC formation services can vary quite a bit from company to company. To ensure that you are getting as much value for your money as possible, pricing is an important factor to consider when comparing platforms. For instance, some platforms charge extra for essential features like a registered agent service. Also, it’s best to choose a provider that offers transparent pricing to avoid any hidden expenses.
Along with helping you file your company, many formation packages also include a variety of other features and benefits. This includes features such as business website hosting, expedited filing, EIN/Tax ID numbers, and many more. It’s vital to consider your own unique entrepreneurial needs so you are getting the support you need throughout the process.
User reviews are perhaps the best available resource for evaluating the quality of a company formation service. To put together our list of the top LLC formation services in California, reviews from business owners who used the services in the past was a factor that we heavily considered. We took into consideration what users liked about the services, as well as potential issues to be aware of.
If and when issues with your formation process arise, it’s certainly helpful to have chosen a company that offers high-quality customer support. By analyzing user reviews, we were able to evaluate the quality of customer support offered by each of the services on our list.
Accessibility & User Experience
It’s important for a service to have a quick and streamlined checkout process to help save time for busy entrepreneurs. Additionally, the online dashboard for tracking your filing status and managing your venture should be as easy to use as possible. It should also offer accessibility features so that it can be easily used by users with disabilities such as vision impairment.
How to Form an LLC in California
You can start an LLC in California on your own in six simple steps:
1. Name Your LLC
You won't be able to form your company until you actually choose a name for it. Make sure you follow the LLC naming rules that are outlined in the California naming requirements.
Then, make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the State of California website.
Use our LLC Name Generator tool to secure a domain name for your company.
2. Choose an Agent for Service of Process
It's required that you appoint an agent for service of process, known in many states as a registered agent, for your LLC in California. An agent for service of process is an individual or business entity that receives government correspondence, legal documents, and more on behalf of your company.
We recommend exploring our article on California agents for service of process.
3. File the Articles of Organization
To register your company, you'll need to file Form LLC-1 - Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State. You can apply online, by mail, or in person.
Learn more with our California Articles of Organization guide.
4. File the Initial Statement of Information
Within 90 days of formation, file the Initial Statement of Information with California's Secretary of State. You can file this online, by mail, or in person, along with the $20 filing fee.
Learn more about the Initial Statement of Information in our article.
5. Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and operating procedures of your enterprise.
According to CA Corporations Code Section 17701.02(s), every LLC in California is required to have an operating agreement.
Read more about California LLC operating agreements in our main guide.
6. Get an EIN
You can think of an Employer Identification Number as a Social Security number for your venture. Get one for free through the IRS website.
Entrepreneurs have the option of filing their LLC on their own. However, working with a trusted LLC formation service is sure to make the process much easier and more stress-free. Today, there are plenty of great LLC services in California to consider. Our top recommendation, though, is Northwest Registered Agent thanks to its affordable pricing, exceptional customer support, and great user reviews.
It costs $70 to start an LLC in California.
You can file your Statement of Information with the Secretary of State. You must know your Entity File Number in order to file, which online filers can search for using the provided business name search.
Some local resources to consider include city or county chambers of commerce, regional Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), or local startup accelerators.
For more information, see our California Local Resources page.