California Foreign LLC Registration

A foreign (out-of-state) LLC can be registered to do business in California by filing an Application to Register a Foreign LLC with the Secretary of State’s office, along with a current Certificate of Good Standing, and paying all associated fees. A foreign LLC will need a California registered agent in order to maintain good standing with the state.

What You Need for Foreign LLC Registration:

How to Register a Foreign LLC in California

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

    You will need a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state in order to register a foreign LLC in California. The Certificate must be current (no older than six months). You can obtain a Certificate from your local Secretary of State’s office.

  2. Determine Your LLC Name for Use in California

    Most LLC names will be acceptable in California, but it is possible that your company’s name does not conform to California law. If this is the case, you will need to select an alternate name that can be used in California only.

    A name reservation is not necessary to submit a Foreign LLC Registration, but you may wish to apply for a reservation with the Secretary of State. Name reservations cost $10.

  3. Submit Application to Register Foreign LLC

    To register your out-of-state LLC, you must submit an Application to Register Foreign LLC. The filing fee is currently $100. You must include with this filing your current Certificate of Good Standing.

    Once your filing is processed, the Secretary of State will return one plain copy of your filed document for free. Certified copies are available upon request and payment ($5 fee).

  4. File Statement of Information

    All LLCs in California must file a Statement of Information within 90 days of registration. After this Initial Statement is filed, a foreign LLC must submit additional Statements of Information every two years. The filing fee is $20. An SI can be filed online.

What Info is on the Registration Application (Form LLC-5)?

The following information is listed on the Application to Register Foreign LLC (Form LLC-5):

  • Name of Your LLC (as it is found on your Certificate of Good Standing)
  • Alternate Name for Use in California (if applicable)
  • Date of Formation
  • Physical Address of Principal Office
  • Physical Address of California Office (if applicable)
  • Mailing Address of Principal Office
  • California Registered Agent Information
  • Signature of Authorized Individual

Tax Requirements for Foreign LLCs

All LLCs in California—both domestic and foreign—are required to remit the $800 Franchise Tax each year as legislated by the California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 17941.

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