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I want to start a business in California but don't have a physical adress in California( I reside in texas).

Irving, TX |

I want to start a corporation registered in California. I wouldnt actually start the real operations until Jan. But I want to setup websites and logistics for my business as soon as possible. How long it will take me to incorporate my business. Also I am in Texas and will be using the address in Texas . Is it possible to get registered without a California address. Also would it be wise to register before Jan of 2012(for tax purposes).
The business structure I will be looking is corporation.
Thank you for your answers..

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

You can register your corporate in California quickly. The California Secretary of State handles business incorporation and provides a web site with forms and fees. ( You can register without physically being in California but you will have to have a physical address there for service of process (in case someone needs to sue your corporation).

If you will not have an office there, you will need to sign up with a registered agent service, some of which are listed on this web site:

I wouldn't worry a date of incorporation except that you will want to incorporate before you take any actions.

If you intend to do any work in Texas, you will need to register the CA business as a foreign entity in TX. Also, you will need a Tax ID from the IRS and there are accounting basis, fiscal year end, and C vs S elections to make. So it's not as simple as just filling out the CA form and sending in the filing fee.

I would suggest you meet with a business attorney in your area and go over all the details before you take any further action.

Good luck on your new venture!!



Thank you very much Thomas..


Sorry I can't help you here, but I have absolutely no knowledge of California incorporation law, and I doubt that anyone else you'll find here does either, so I thought you might want to know why. You've somehow posted this in the Texas divorce forum, and you'll need to instead post it in some California (not sure what they offer--business law, maybe? Go down the list until you see something appropriate.). I believe that you switch to California by changing the location you've listed for yourself to one in California. Good luck with your business.


As my TX colleague noted, you can hire a coompany like CT Corporation to act as your agent for service of process so you can be sued if necessary, or your CA lawyer can be that agent.

You should consult a CA lawyer about incorporating in CA. The CA Secretary of State is about 3 months behind schedule in processing incorporations, so this can't be finalized all that quickly, but you can get it started quickly.

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL ME OR PHONE ME. I'm only licensed in CA. This answer doesn't make me your lawyer, and neither do follow-up comments and/or emails and/or phone calls, and you shouldn't expect me to respond to your further questions if you haven't hired me. We need an actual agreement confirmed in writing before any attorney-client relationship is formed. This answer doesn't constitute legal advice, and shouldn't be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.


You should consult a tax professional regarding whether you need to be set up by January 2012. Obviously if the entity's tax year is the calendar year and you want to file returns for 2011 then the entity has to exist before 2011 end. Whether this is something that needs to be done from a tax perspective would require you to provide additional facts.

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