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Register Foreign LLC in California

Are you ready to expand your business into California? Congratulations, but there are a few steps you’ll need to take before you can roll up your sleeves and get to work.

A foreign LLC is simply an LLC that was formed in another state. To register a foreign LLC in California, you’ll need to appoint a California registered agent and file the Application to Register a Foreign LLC (Form LLC-5) with the Secretary of State. When you file this form, you’ll need to include a Certificate of Good Standing (also known as a Certificate of Status or Existence) from your home state.

The process of registering a foreign LLC in California can be a bit tricky, but there’s good news. We help foreign LLCs register in California every day.

Foreign Registration in CA for $139

For $139 plus state filing fees, we’ll register your foreign LLC in California and provide a year of California Registered Agent Service. Once you create an account and order California Registered Agent Service, you’ll see an option in your account to “Register a Company.” Click that, and you’ll be on your way.

We’ll even request a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state.

What you get:

  • One year of California Registered Agent Service

  • The California Application to Register a Foreign LLC, 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 biennial reports

  • Secure client account to store official documents

DIY Foreign Registration in California

We get it — some people are just born DIYers. But all foreign LLCs must appoint a California registered agent. Hire us to be your California registered agent ($39/year) and you’ll also get access to a secure online account. In your account, you’ll find the correct form to register your foreign LLC and instructions to help you fill it out quickly and correctly.

Learn about CA Foreign Registration

What is a foreign LLC?
Does a foreign LLC 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 LLC have to pay the California Franchise Tax?
What is the current LLC registration fee?


What is a foreign LLC?

In this case, “foreign” simply means “out-of-state,” not international. A foreign LLC is an LLC that was initially formed in another state but has registered with the California Secretary of State to do business in California. The process of registering a foreign LLC in California is also referred to as foreign qualification and applying for a California Certificate of Authority.


Does a foreign LLC need a California registered agent?

Yes. Any LLC doing business in California will need a California registered agent. The registered agent must have a physical street address in the state of California and keep regular business hours. For $39/year, we’ll be your registered agent. As soon as you receive legal mail, we’ll scan it and upload it to your secure account.


Will I need a Certificate of Good Standing?

Yes. To register your foreign LLC, you’ll need a Certificate or Letter of Good Standing from your home state. This is just a document stating that your LLC is up-to-date on all fees and filing requirements in your home state. If you’re not current on your home state’s requirements, you’ll need to catch up and make sure your LLC is in good standing at home before you can register in California.

If you hire us for foreign qualification, we’ll obtain a Certificate of Good Standing on your behalf from your home state, as long as your LLC was formed in the United States.


How do I get a Certificate of Good Standing?

It depends. Every state has a different process for requesting a Certificate of Good Standing. In some states, you can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing online immediately. Other states require paper requests and have longer wait times. Some states are free while others require a filing fee.

At California Registered Agents, we’re familiar with the process in every state for requesting a Certificate of Good Standing. Hire us for foreign qualification and we’ll request one for you.


Does a foreign LLC have to pay the California Franchise Tax?

Yes. It doesn’t matter where your LLC is headquartered – you’ll have to pay the California Franchise Tax of $800 if you want to do business in California. It’s just the cost of doing business in the Golden State.


What is the California foreign LLC registration fee?

The current cost for California foreign LLC registration is $70.

Hire us for California Registered Agent Service