How Do I Form a Corporation in California?

California State Motto:

We make it easy to start your corporation in California. DBI Global Filings will handle all aspects of forming your corporation. Here is what we do for you:

  • Check your company name for availability with the California Secretary of State
  • Prepare and review the certificate of incorporation
  • Provide a California registered agent office and legal address
  • Submit initial corporation filing fee to California
  • Notify you of any annual compliance requirements

Here is some basic information for your review.

How do I form a corporation in California?

  1. You'll need to select a corporation name. A corporation name may be adopted if the name is distinguishable in the records from other corporations of record or reserved with the California Secretary of State and if the name is not likely to mislead the public. Permitted suffixes: Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd.
  2. You'll need a business addresses to include an initial street address of designated office in California (No PO Box) and an initial mailing address of corporation if different from initial street address. California will not accept abbreviations of city or state.
  3. You'll need a California registered agent to receive service of process. Our service includes a registered agent service for California.
  4. Service of Process - either an individual or corporation is required. If an individual, you'll need to list the first name, middle initial, last name, and complete street address (NO PO Boxes.) If a corporation for service of process, you'll need to list the California registered agent's company name.
  5. Shares - You'll need to list the total number of shares which this corporation is authorized to issue.
  6. This Purpose Statement must be included in your corporation articles of incorporation. (Do not alter Purpose Statement): "The purpose of this corporation is to engage in any lawful act or activity for which a corporation may be organized under the General Corporation Law of California other than the banking business, the trust company business or the practice of a profession permitted to be incorporated by the California Corporations Code.

How much does a corporation cost in California?

California charges a one-time fee of $125. A certified copy is available for an additional $5 per copy. They also assess an annual franchise tax fee of $800.

When are California corporation taxes due?

A $800 annual franchise tax is due and payable to the California Franchise Tax Board each year on or before April 15.

What does DBI Global Filings do? How much do you charge?

Upon receiving your order, we prepare the articles of incorporation, ensure that the information complies with California state law, and review the filing for accuracy. We charge a one-time processing fee and an annual registered agent fee. Our processing fees are listed on our order form.

Information about other states is available by selecting a state from the menu below. Visit California website for more detailed information about incorporating. Thank you for your interest in forming an California corporation.


Need to incorporate in another state? See below.

Our Incorporation Specialists are available by telephone, email or live chat.

Why order a corporation from DBI Global Filings, LLC?

  • Easy to order online, by phone or live chat
  • Transparent pricing -- our processing fee plus state fees -- no hidden fees
  • Experienced document retrieval staff
  • Same business day processing in most cases
  • Email and/or hard copy delivery
  • All major credit cards, Western Union and bank wires accepted
  • In business since 1986
  • Lifetime customer support

Start Your Business Today for Only $50 Plus State Filing Fees.