Choosing States: Benefits Of Registering a Business in California

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Yes, businesses in California know all too well that their taxes will support the next round of checks – perhaps vital to secure the fabric of society in tough times. Let’s take a closer look at why businesses register in California and what process they follow:

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A California registered agent receives all official paperwork from the California Secretary of State, such as the California Annual Report and certificate of good standing. They also receive any service of process a business may be served with in any lawsuit. A California registered agent is legally required for every formal business in California. Although many businesses have chosen to use the services of a  professional registered agent service, the business owner, employee or even a trustworthy friend may be the business’ registered agent. They may do so as long as they are over the age of 18 and have a street address in the State of California.

How To Elect A Registered Agent In California

In California, when completing your LLC’s Articles of Organization, you will be required to elect your registered agent. The Articles of Organization is the main LLC formation document in California. You are able to elect a registered agent online or via mail. If you choose to do so online, you can form your LLC online on the California Secretary of State website. There is a $70 filing fee required. If you choose to do so via mail, you submit a physical copy at the California Secretary of State after downloading the Articles of Organization and filling out the required information. There is a $70 filing fee and an additional $15 required. Many businesses use a California registered agent and here are some of the major reasons why:


A registered agent service is helpful because they follow a compliance calendar and promptly remind their clients when documents are due, such as annual reports. They also offer assistance in filing these documents. In doing so, a registered agent service prevents your business from receiving fines and withholds your business’ good reputation. If you do not respond swiftly to service of process, legal complications, fees and other issues may arise. The registered agent service will scan your documents, share them with you online, and notify you when they are available.


If your business is based from your home or a private office, and you do not have a registered agent service, the business address will be published publicly on the California Business Entities Search. Having a registered agent service will prevent this by using their address in the place of your private address.


A registered agent services maintains discretion by receiving any service of process and other legal documents at their office. They will then pass them on to the business online without notifying employees and clients which could happen if a business does not have a registered agent service.


Registered agent services have flexible office hours which have staff available at those hours. If you do not have a registered agent service, your business would have to be available at normal business hours, every working day of the year. By hiring a registered agent service, you allow your business to have more flexible hours and work locations.

Online Storage

By hiring a registered agent service, a copy of your business documents, any service of process and formation documents will always be available online on a dashboard. This information in PDF format will maintain a hassle free process when things such as opening a business bank account, applying for a business credit card, applying for small business loans, etc. is required.

National Coverage

A registered agent service is necessary if you plan on expanding your business into other states. The majority of registered agent services do operate in all states and Washington D.C. All you would have to do is pay a little bit extra for the new state your business has expanded into, then the service will upload all the documents onto the same online dashboard.

The cost to hire a registered agent service is between $50 to $300 per year. This small cost is definitely worth it when considering how much time the registered agent service will save business owners, especially when considering a California registered agent service.

Finding The Best California Registered Agent Service

If you are now interested in hiring a registered agent service in California, ZenBusiness perhaps one of the better known options. Companies like ZenBusiness, IncFile and Legalzoom all meet state requirements, they offer Worry Free Compliance, they alert you of important compliance events, they cover filing and provide top notch support. Compliance is usually enabled online document management systems and regular compliance alerts. In the case of ZenBusiness, a personalized online dashboard with all of your essential legal documents are accessible to you at all times.

Final scoop:

You may find that other states offer better tax incentives than California. Elon Musk certainly did and that is why he moved to Texas. But if you are going to register in California for other reasons, be sure to do some homework on all the available options.