File the California LLC Articles of Organization

Before you can start operating in the state, you have to deal with some preliminaries which include letting the authorities know you would like to start a business in the region. You can think of it as applying for a permit to work in the region, which in sense you are. And to get this, you have to be clear about your intentions by making a formal application. We will cover all this in this piece:

What is the Article of Organization California?

When making an application, you need to file California articles of organization LLC which the authorities can use to accept or reject your proposal. If it goes through, this document will contain pertinent information as to your operations. It also formally establishes your business, enabling your company to be a separate entity that can conduct business in the state.

How to Get Articles of Organization in California

You can access California articles of organization in various ways:

  • You can go to the state website, create an account and search for this document. From here, you can fill in the form and submit it online if you wish.
  • You also have the option to download the free articles of organization LLC California and manually fill it in.
  • Another option would be to rely on an attorney to provide you with the forms and even fill them in for you
  • The last option, which is becoming increasingly popular, is to use a document generation portal where you can fill in your details and get a complete articles of organization LLC California template at the end of the process.

How to Create Articles of Organization LLC for California

The details required to write articles of organization in any of the above cases are pretty standard. In this case, we will focus on the steps included when using generation documents. Please note that the processes for other options would be quite similar and you can use this as a guide to walk you through it as follows:

  • First, you choose the name of the state where you would like to establish your business
  • Next, you provide the proposed name of the business, its street address and its mailing address if the addresses are not similar.
  • Your point of contact comes next, where you choose between electing an individual or a company before providing the address where the authorities can reach them.
  • You also have to choose how you will manage the business. It can have one or more managers, or you can choose to have all the members do it. Please note that you can choose any option and if it does not work out, you can always go back to the drawing board and look for another alternative.
  • The authorities will already have filled in your purpose as this ensures you engage in legal activities. If you would like to expound on this, you are always free to do so in the operating agreement.
  • Finally, the organizer executes the LLC articles of organization California. It can be anyone as long as they are not a member of the proposed company. This person/ entity should include their details.

How to Change the Article of organization of a California LLC

In the course of doing business, you may find that you need to change some details in the original document. In this case, you can choose to amend the document or restate the same. What’s the difference between the two? Well, when you choose to update articles of organization, the public record will reflect what you initially filed plus the change. But when you choose restatement, the original document is removed and replaced with the one you have chosen.

What can you change? The authorities allow you to change your name, the type of management used and the location of the business. The processes are quite standard. If you would like a more significant change, you will need to file other forms which are not listed in this article.

Restating and amendments both cost $30, and you pay an additional $15 if you decide to deliver the files yourself. You need to fill in form LLC-10 for restating and LLC 2 for amendments, which you can then:

Mail to:

Secretary of State
Business Entities
PO Box 944228
Sacramento, CA 94244-2280

Or drop them off at:

Secretary of State
1500 11th Street
3rd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

At the back of the form, there is a cover sheet which you should also complete. In case there is an issue with your application, the authorities can use the said information to contact you.

Do I Have to File Articles of Organization in California?

When it comes to this document called Articles of Organization, there is no wiggle room. Without it, you cannot get your business approved to operate in the state. As such, you would be unable to get it up from the ground. Even if you did succeed to start it, you would do so in violation of the law. You would thus risk the chance of getting penalized or worse. Thus, if you want to legally operate in the state, you must get this LLC California articles of organization filed and approved. Filing alone is not enough to give you the greenlight to start operating.

Where to File Articles of Organization of California

When filing, you have three options as follows:


You can set up an account on the state website where you can create an account, follow the prompts given and complete the payment on-site. Suppose you would rather do it manually, you can as well download the California LLC articles of organization, fill it and submit it as follows:


Send the document to:

California Secretary of State
Business Entities
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

In Person

You can also choose to deliver it personally to the same address.


Each application sets you back $70. Please note that this fee is not refundable. Thus, if you make a mistake that gets your application rejected, you will have to pay this amount once again. If you choose to take your document personally, you will also incur an extra $15, which you can pay for with a credit card. For mail filings, include the payment in the form of check or money order. Do not send the document with cash as this is not acceptable.

Processing time depends on the number of people making applications at a given time, and could amount to weeks of waiting. However, you always have the option to expedite if you deliver the application in person. The charges are as follows:

Four hours $500
Same day $750
24 hours $350

Please note that for your application to be expedited, it must have undergone a preclearing process. You should thus make sure that the document is in order before going for this option.