Yes - you would do what's called 'Foreign filing' (registering a non-California entity to do business in the State of California). The $800 is an annual amount payable to the Franchise Tax Board of California for the 'privilege' of doing business in CA. P.S. Be careful about 'checkbook control' of a Self-Directed IRA. That is an area being targeted by the IRS for compliance audits. Go strictly by the book. Best of Luck.
You do not need to register your LLC as a foreign entity in CA unless it is “doing business” in CA. Accordingly, you would not owe the $800 LLC fee in CA. It sounds like the LLC will be a passive investment vehicle, which is not “doing business” in the sense that it sells goods or services to persons in CA. You might consult a CA tax lawyer about it, but you should be OK.
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It would need to rise to the level of doing business in California. However, assuming you are controlling the LLC, if you are in CA, then it's offices would be in CA. That could be enough. In addition, you need to be cognizant of the self-directed IRA rules. Although the types of properties in which you may invest are quite broad, there are many restrictions thereafter. For instance, one probably shouldn't rent a house and lease it to one's self or someone related. You should really visit with someone about the restrictions.
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