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California Foreign Qualification

Registering a foreign corporation in California can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to navigate the foreign qualification process for the first time on your own. We can help! In fact, we help foreign corporations qualify to do business in California every day.

A foreign corporation is simply a corporation that was initially formed outside of California. To register a foreign corporation in California, you’ll need to appoint a California registered agent and file the correct form. Most foreign corporations (including nonprofits) will file the Statement and Designation by Foreign Corporation (Form S&DC – S/N). Foreign professional corporations that practice law or accountancy will need to file Form S&DC-PC. Foreign corporations that provide insurance services should use form Form S&DC-INS. To file, you will also need a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state and a California registered agent.

Foreign Registration in CA for $139

We will register your foreign corporation in California for $139 plus state filing fees. That price also includes one year of California Registered Agent Service. To order foreign qualification, first sign up for California Registered Agent Service. Once you create an account, you’ll see an option to “Register a Company.” Click that and we’ll get started. We’ll even obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state on your behalf.

What You Get:

  • One year of California Registered Agent Service

  • The Statement and Designation by Foreign Corporation, filled out and filed on your behalf

  • A Certificate of Good Standing from your home state

  • A California business address to list on filings

  • Annual compliance reminders for annual reports

  • Secure account to store official documents

DIY Foreign Registration in California

If you’d like to register your foreign corporation yourself, we can help, too. All foreign corporations must appoint a California registered agent. If you hire us to be your California registered agent ($39/year), we’ll also provide you with a California business address, a secure online account with easy access to the correct foreign qualification, and tips and instructions to guide you.

CA Foreign Registration FAQs

What is a foreign corporation?
Do foreign corporations need a California registered agent?
Will I need a Certificate of Good Standing?
How do I get a Certificate of Good Standing?
Does a foreign corporation have to pay the California Franchise Tax?
What is the California corporation registration fee?


What is a foreign corporation?

A foreign corporation is simply a corporation that was formed outside of California but has registered with the California Secretary of State to do business in California. So in this case, foreign simply means “out-of-state.”

Foreign corporations that register with the California Secretary of State receive a California Certificate of Authority. The process of registering a foreign corporation in California is also referred to as foreign qualification and applying for a California Certificate of Authority.


Do foreign corporations need a California registered agent?

Yes. Any corporation operating in the state of California is required to appoint and maintain a registered agent. The registered agent must have a physical street address in California, keep regular business hours, and agree to accept legal mail on behalf of your corporation. We offer California registered agent service for just $39/year. As soon as you receive legal mail in our Redding, California office, we will scan it and upload it to your secure account.


Will I need a Certificate of Good Standing?

Yes. A Certificate of Good Standing is required to qualify your foreign corporation in California. You’ll need to attach it to your foreign registration filing.


What is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing is simply a document stating that your corporation is current on fees and filing requirements in your home state. If your corporation is not in compliance, you’ll need to fix the issues that caused your corporation to lose its good standing. That may mean paying taxes or filing late Statements of Information.


How do I get a Certificate of Good Standing?

Every state has a different process for applying for a Certificate of Good Standing. Some states require paper requests and have long wait times. Others allow you to apply online and receive your Certificate of Good Standing immediately. The price (if any) and wait time for receiving a Certificate of Good Standing depend on your home state’s process.

We know how to get a Certificate of Good Standing from every state. Hire us for foreign qualification and we’ll take care of this step for you.


Do foreign corporations pay the California Franchise Tax?

Yes. It doesn’t matter where you initially formed your corporation – if you want to do business in California, you’ll have to pay the California Franchise Tax (a minimum of $800). There’s no way around it.


What is the California corporation registration fee?

The filing fee to register a foreign corporation in California is $100. For $139 plus that $100 filing fee (and your state’s Certificate of Good Standing fee), we’ll register your foreign corporation in California on your behalf.

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