Choice of entity; Step by Step process of forming a California corporation
Choice of Entity
Before deciding to choose a corporation as opposed to other legal entities, e.g., Limited Liability Companies; General Partnerships; Limited Partnerships; and Sole Proprietorship, you should consult with an attorney and a tax expert to determine which entity is best suited for your business.
Choose a Name and Check for Availability
Choose a name and check for availability by calling the Secretary of State or going online.
File an Article of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
Download an Article of Incorporation from the Forms & Fees Section in the Business Entities Section in the Secretary of State website. File one (1) original and two (2) copies of the Article of Incorporation at any office location for over-the-counter processing between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) or mail to the Sacramento office.
Obtain a Employer Identification Number from the IRS
After receiving a conformed copy of the Articles of Incorporation from the Secretary of State, contact the IRS via phone or online and obtain an Employer Identification Number/ Tax ID. Be sure to have the Article of Incorporation with you when contacting the IRS as you'll need the information thereon.