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We can help you form a California or Arizona corporation or LLC. We have helped many other companies protect their personal assets by shielding them from personal liability. If you do not have a corporation or LLC and you are doing business on the internet or offline business, you are basically working as a sole proprietor. This means, if you get sued, you will be sued personally and held liable for any resulting damages caused. This could financially ruin you, result in loss of personal assets, or force you into bankruptcy. All of these can be avoided by properly setting up a corporation and observing corporate formalities. We can help with low cost California and Arizona corporation services.
Types of Corporations
We can help you choose the legal entity that will best meet your business needs. There are many different types of companies you may wish to form, including:
1. Corporation (C-corporation or S-Corporation).
3. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
4. Professional Corporation (ex. a new law firm incorporating)
5. Non-profit corporation
These are some of the main types of entities, but there are others. We can discuss the pros and cons of each, and pick the entity structure that is right for your company and/or its partners.
Process to incorporate in California
Here is a general overview of what you need to do if you want to incorporate your own Company in California. Some companies may have the time and ability to do this on their own further saving legal costs. For others who do not want to mess with this, we can file the paperwork and get your started for our low hourly rate of $125/hour (state filing fees are extra).
1. Perform a name search to make sure your company name is available.
There are thousands and thousands of California corporations out there. You SHOULD to pick a name:
(a) that has not been taken – for example, a name that is not “confusingly similar” to another corporation (failure to do so could result in the California Secretary of State denying your corporation filing),
According to the California Secretary of State website:
“A corporation name must not be a name that is “likely to mislead the public or the same as, or resembling so closely as to tend to deceive,” the name of a California or foreign corporation that has registered with this office or a name that has been reserved by another party. Names are considered deceptive if the only difference is a corporate ending. For more information see California Corporations Code section 201(b).
(b) pick a name you might be seeking a trademark on in the future.
In the business world, you always want to be thinking “intellectual property.” A good name search can help you set the foundation for choosing a good corporate name that will both be approved, and will give you a foundation to invest in so that you can start building your brand with confidence.
The Secretary of State recommends making sure the name you choose isn't taken already by performing a business entity search on their website first. Use this link to see if your desired name is taken
When you have the name search done, you can submit a “Name reservation form to California Secretary of State.” This fee is $10 if mailed and $20 if dropped off in person.
Note this is OPTIONAL and you do not have to do this to obtain a corporation. It's just to try to reserve the name and to make sure you can get your name before spending money on filing for the corporation (which name could be rejected).
2. Domain name legal strategy – don't forget to do a domain name search so you can also be thinking about what domain name you want to use for your new company – your domain is EVERYTHING and you want to search a site like Godaddy to see what's out there and so you can try to prevent winding up in a UDRP domain name arbitration that seeks to force your to turn over the domain). We can help you with corporate domain name legal strategy.
3. When you feel like you are solid on the name choice and domain name strategy, you can fill out the corporation form online.
The California ARTS-GS form can be used to file the corporation. You can see this is a fairly straight-forward legal document. A question might arise regarding “who can sign as incorporator under the California ART-GS form.” Basically, the person incorporating can sign that, or their “attorney in fact” or your corporate lawyer (ex. one of our business attorneys here at ZipCounsel can sign that). Keep in mind, you will want someone you trust, because if it is someone other than the incorporating party, you will want the person who signed the document to “resign” at the first meeting of the board, where the bylaws will be adopted and directors appointed to the board. So just a housekeeping item to bear in mind.
2. Draft the Articles of Incorporation
We can also help you draft Articles of Incorporation.
3. Draft custom bylaws
Your by laws are basically the day to day rules that govern the operation of the corporation. While many companies who offer “low cost corporation services” will give you a “boilerplate” set of bylaws, you should probably read them and see what they say. Do you want to be governed by the exact set of rules set forth in the bylaws? If so, they may work for you. For many other companies, they understand the important of this legal document and custom bylaws are the only way to go. ZipCounsel can help you get custom bylaws drafted that meet your corporate needs and are tailored to the unique needs of your organization.
Here is a copy of our bylaws that we customize and give to you in a Bylaws WORD Document.
4. Obtain federal employment identification number (IRS Form SS-4)
When you form a new California or Arizona corporation, you will want to obtain an EIN number. This stands for “Employer Identification Number” (also called taxpayer ID for the corporation). This number is used to help track what your company makes financially, and is used for corporate tax purposes. We can help you obtain your EIN number through ZipCounsel, by filing IRS form SS-4.
ZipCounsel, fast & affordable legal services can help you with other Corporate legal matters
Running a corporation or other business organization in California and Arizona is never easy. There are many day-to-day legal issues that can arise. We can help you with many of these legal issues at our special ZipCounsel legal rate:
1. Filing corporate amendment documents
2. Filing annual statements
3. Serving as your agent for service of process
4. Providing general corporate legal advice
5. Contract draft and review
6. Sending legal demand letters
7. Cease and desist and take-down notices
8. Real estate legal issues
9. Dissolution and Surrender documents
10. Registering to be qualified as a foreign corporation in CA or AZ
11. Trademark, brand, domain names & reputation issues
12. Social media consulting on legal issues
13. General corporate compliance issues
14. Vendor agreements
15. Arbitration, mediation, litigation (fees will vary depending upon type of case)
California Corporation Resources
Contact one of our California Business Lawyers today!
To discuss what we can do for your company, whether a small startup, emerging business or larger organization, contact our Business law firm at (877) 276-5084. You may also fill out the form below to have one of our business attorneys contact you. Please leave your phone number and the best time to contact you. In most cases we can reach out to you within the hour!