Last updated: March 18, 2023

When it comes to forming an LLC in California, the options can be overwhelming. It's essential to do your research and choose an LLC formation service tailored perfectly to your business needs.

So we decided to review some of our top client's picks for the best California LLC formation services in 2023.

We've spent over a month analyzing all the essential elements, including cost, speed, and customer service, to help you make the right choice. We also based the review on first-hand experiences with some California LLC services.

Each LLC service has its strengths and weaknesses, so compare them carefully before making your final pick.

Here are the top seven LLC services in California.

Top 7 Best LLC Services in California (March 2023)

1 - ZenBusiness (Editor's Choice)

A ZenBusiness logo with a working entrepreneur in the background

ZenBusiness is the ideal LLC service provider for California-based startups and entrepreneurs, offering premium features at affordable prices.

ZenBusiness LLC service (a venture-funded public benefit firm founded in 2015 by Ross Buhrdorf) is responsible for the LLC service of more than 300,000 enterprises by delivering international quality LLC services at cheap costs.

Clients are overwhelmingly satisfied with an average rating of 4.7/5 across 4,500+ online reviews.

ZenBusiness focuses on business LLC formation services, and despite its youth, it is outperforming its competitors with low-cost plans and high-quality customer support.

ZenBusiness simplified and lowered the cost of simple legal filings for us, and customer support offered us help in the shortest time frame.

Service Features:

  • Starter Formation Package ($0 + $5 State Fee): LLC formation, standard filing speed (2 to 3 weeks), and an operating agreement template are included. ZenBusiness offers LLC formation packages to suit any budget, with their basic tier starting at $0 plus the applicable state fee.
  • Pro Package ($199 + $5 State Fee): Includes everything from the starter plus faster expedited filling speed (4 to 6 days), registration of EIN (Employer Identification Number), priority processing, filing of an annual report, and two amendments annually.
  • Premium Package ($299 + $5 State Fee): Everything from Pro and Starter plus the fastest rush filling speed (1-2 days), domain name & email address, and customizable business website.
  • Registered Agent Services ($199): The service will renew at $199/year.
  • Several formation package options available
  • The cost for each plan is reasonable
  • Extended customer support hours
  • They hasten the growth of enterprises
  • Has garnered several positive consumer comments
  • Brand recognition is lacking
Sign Up To ZenBusiness

2 - Northwest Registered Agent Service

Northwest Registered Agent logo with office workers in the background

Since 1998, Northwest Registered Agent has been a leader in forming LLCs. Their commitment to customer service and privacy policies make them the go-to for those looking for an affordable solution.

They have built their reputation on top-notch support backed by years of experience.

Northwest Registered Agent is a family-owned business. Its headquarters are in Spokane, Washington, despite having branches throughout all 50 states.

It has grown to be one of the greatest limited liability company firms in the United States for its outstanding California LLC service.

If you value high-quality California LLC service, Northwest Registered Agent is the company for you. A staff of Corporate Guides was available to help us throughout the formation process.

They were responsive at all times when we had any questions or needed help with their business formation service.

Service Features:

  • Base Formation Service Package ($39 + $5 State Fee): Includes all required formation documents, including name searches, registration, and legal document filing. Plus, their highly trained customer support team can assist you through each stage of the formation process.
  • Full Service LLC Formation Package ($225 + $5 State Fee): Includes everything in the base plan plus EIN for the limited liability company, including free limited mail forwarding.
  • Registered Agent Services ($125): Includes a free initial year of registered agent service then you are charged $135 yearly for California LLC services. This price applies only if you hire Northwest to form your LLC.
  • Their experience encompasses two decades
  • They maintain your personal information hidden
  • Their pricing is straightforward
  • If you utilize their formation package, they will provide you with a free one-year California LLC services
  • They have high prices
Sign Up To Northwest Registered Agent Service

3 - IncFile

Incfile logo with business people in the background

For California businesses seeking affordable startup assistance, IncFile is the go-to resource for filing formation documents quickly and cost effectively.

Since 2004, IncFile has assisted in the formation of over 75,000 corporations with their business formation service.

IncFile is a corporation that provides business creation and registered agent services.

They provide a comprehensive range of formation, compliance, and filing LLC services which we found very comprehensive and helpful.

We quickly learned we could count on IncFile's knowledgeable customer service team, which responded quickly and effectively.

Limited liability companies (LLCs), C-corporations, S-corporations, and charities may all be formed using IncFile.

This service has been highly praised by 10,000 satisfied customers, with nearly every single one of them awarding a perfect five-star rating.

Service Features:

  • Silver Package (0 + $5 State Fee): Includes California LLC formation service, one year registered agent service, and lifetime compliance alerts. They charge $0 for their California LLC formation services, requiring you to only be responsible for state fees and minimal additional expenses like address confirmation and certification fees.
  • IncFile Gold ($199 + $5 State Fee): Includes drafting the operating agreement and banking resolution, and registration of an EIN. This package also brings Operating Agreements, and Lifetime company alerts.
  • Platinum Package ($299 + $5 State Fee): This package contains everything as the Gold package, and adds preferred rush filing, free domain name, and website, contract templates.
  • Registered Agent Services ($119): Free first year of registered agent service which renews on an annual basis at $119 included. It is free for the first year if made with an LLC formation package.
  • LLC service options are offered at a low cost
  • The LLC incorporation package also comes with a year of free registered agent service
  • They helped in the establishment of nearly 500,000 enterprises
  • Telephone and e-mail help are obtainable
  • LLC service upsells are excessive
Sign Up To IncFile

4 - Swyft Filings

Swyftfilings logo with two office people working in the background

Swyft Filings serves as one of the most recent LLC creation service providers. They have just been in operation since 2015.

Swyft Filings, on the other hand, has quickly become well-known for its Limited Liability Company formations.

Their incorporation service is particularly focused on assisting you in establishing your business as quickly, reliably, and inexpensively as feasible.

You'll receive all of the tools you need to get your company started quickly, thanks to their short approval process and excellent customer service team.

It is ideal for small enterprises or entrepreneurs that need their company to start fast and at a reasonable cost.

Service Features:

  • Basic Package ($49 + $5 State Fee): It contains everything you'll require to start your own business, such as the preparatory work and filing of articles of incorporation (if applicable), a free 30-minute business tax consultation, a company name availability check, the preparation and filing of articles of organization, ComplianceGuard company alerts, a free domain name, and a standard filing duration.
  • Standard Package ($149 + $5 State Fee): This covers all listed above, in addition to a customized LLC banking resolution, customized organizational minutes, a customized federal tax ID (EIN), and a customized LLC operating agreement.
  • Premium Package ($299 + $5 State Fee): It includes a complimentary business website and web hosting, express filing, all Basic and Standard solutions, the electronic delivery of state paperwork, a personalized digital LLC kit, and FedEx expedited and monitored delivery.
  • Registered Agent Service ($99): This is an ongoing quarterly subscription. Swyft Filings bundles do not come with a registered agent service; thus, you must purchase $149 per year to use it.
  • Customers have given them positive reviews
  • This enables you to pay for the formation of your LLC in installments instead of everything at once
  • Swyft Filings offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which means they will reimburse your service payments with no questions asked if you are dissatisfied for any cause
  • Neither one of their LLC creation packages offer yearly reports
  • LLC formation doesn't include registered agent service
Sign Up To Swyft Filings

5 - LegalZoom

Legalzoom logo with business people in the background

LegalZoom represents one of the most well-known names in the LLC formation and incorporation industry.

They are well-known not only because of their LLC formation services but also for their extensive range of online legal services and contractual arrangements templates they provide.

You do not require a legal background or extensive technology skills to use LegalZoom; they'll handle nearly every aspect of your business.

You may also expect fast response times when filing and obtaining papers.

LegalZoom provides experience, an almost two-decade track successful track record, and unparalleled customer service.

Since 2011, LegalZoom has provided assistance to over 4 million customers with business formation and other matters.

However, LegalZoom prices are comparatively higher than some of its competitors which may not provide the best value for money.

Service Features:

  • Basic Package (starts at $0 + State Fee): Adds name search, articles of organization document, professional website by WIX, and digital welcome packet.
  • Pro Package (starts at $249 + State Fee): Upgrades to even more deluxe features, including an operating agreement, EIN, in-depth guidelines on business licensing, and a 30-minute phone consultation addressing tax savings and insurance.
  • Premium Package ($299 + State Fee): Has both Basic and Pro packages, plus 30-minute countless consultation with a business attorney addressing new legal issues for the first 3 months of subscription. You'll also have interactive guidance from professionals in business law based on your state. The professional will also handle any changes in your LLC formation documents for the first 3 subscription months.
  • Recognized LLC service brand
  • Extensive customer support availability
  • Wide range of legal services for your California LLC
  • Limited features in LLC formation packages
  • Too many high-priced add-on LLC services
Sign Up To LegalZoom

6 - Harbor Compliance

Two businessmen talking while looking to a gadget

If you've been looking for relevant LLC formation services, Harbor Compliance has most likely surfaced on very few listings.

They provide companies and NGOs with full-service compliance solutions throughout their years of existence.

Harbor Compliance is the industry leader for critical compliance solutions required to launch a new business.

Their LLC services range from expert LLC forms, incorporation assistance, and more, offering the essential tools needed to start your own company confidently.

Harbor Compliance is very famous for its excellent customer service.

They are manned with qualified individuals that can assist you with just about any issue that may arise, unlike most of the rivals who outsource their assistance to third-party contact centers.

They prioritize their customers' privacy, using Norton and Trustwave to ensure website security and data encryption.

Service features: 

  • Formation Package ($99 + $5 State Fee): Covers existence of Names, operating agreement form, articles of incorporation, EIN federal, and a registered representative.
  • Registered Agent Service (89-$99): Among all LLC formations, Harbor Compliance offers a one-year period of registered agent service. This service will continue yearly at a price of $99 once the period term expires, and there are no additional charges.
  • Harbor Compliance provides exceptional support for its clients
  • Processing time of one day
  • Harbor Compliance provides a cost-cutting alternative
  • If you are dissatisfied, Harbor Compliance will not return your money
  • The web page is old, out of date, and factually inaccurate
Sign Up To Harbor Compliance

7 - SunDoc Filings

SunDoc logo with business people in the background

SunDoc is not among the top companies overall, but since you’re here to look for the best online LLC formation service in California, you might want to consider this.

It is based in Sacramento and offers to hand-deliver paperwork to the California Secretary of State's office three times every day–that’s already an advantage when it comes to turnaround time.

Because of this, SunDoc has gained popularity among California entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Plus, the majority of the 3,000 reviews we found online were positive.

Service Features:

  • Basic Package ($79 + $5 State Fee): This Basic Package comes with LLC formation, courier, business license summary, and email delivery.
  • Key Package ($99 + $5 State Fee): Key Package contains features from the Basic plan, but requires you to draft your own articles of organization. This includes email delivery and a description of the company license.
  • Premier Package ($279 + $5 State Fee): Includes EIN registration in addition to everything in the previous package.
  • Registered Agent Service ($149): They are simply accountable for delivering subpoenas and other state notices to you as your registered agent. In addition, it costs $159 per year for an existing entity.
  • Guaranteed quick California LLC formation turnaround time
  • Excellent customer feedback
  • Efficient and ease of use order process
  • No registered agent included
  • Expensive bare minimum packages

Advantages of Creating an LLC in California

A businessman looking at his phone

Establishing an LLC in California may be an ideal solution for those seeking the benefit of both corporation and sole proprietorship business structures.

By evaluating the various service providers, business owners can ensure that this legal entity affords them personal liability protections similar to those found in corporations while benefiting from lower taxes typically associated with sole proprietorships.

Read below for a snapshot of the benefits of forming an LLC.

1. Personal Liability Protection

While the primary benefit of forming an LLC in California is protection from personal creditors, there are additional benefits. An LLC can also help a small business avoid personal liability associated with other owners and members [1].

Incorporating as an LLC will give business owners the peace of mind of knowing the LLC will safeguard their venture against unexpected or unpredictable debts.

2. Pass-Through Taxation

LLCs in California has the advantage of accessing pass-through taxation. Unlike other large corporate entities, LLCs don't face double taxation at both a personal and business level, avoiding costly extra payments towards taxes.

3. Taxes Specific to California LLCs

Setting up an LLC in California is a relatively simple process that does not involve a large sum of money. However, there are taxes associated with this legal structure that must be paid.

These are yearly LLC franchise taxes, a tax estimated fee tailored to your company, and an LLC return of revenue [2].

The California business landscape may have a few restrictions and strict regulations when it comes to establishing large corporations, however, there are many favorable laws for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

California LLC Formation Process

A person using a laptop to search for LLC Services in California

Individuals forming an LLC in California may be able to save money by foregoing the use of an LLC formation service.

The California Secretary of State does not require their utilization, although they can certainly provide valuable benefits during the process. [3].

Follow these eight easy steps to form a California LLC:

  • Step 1: Find a suitable LLC name
  • Step 2: Find a California registered agent
  • Step 3: File California LLC Articles of Organization
  • Step 4: File LLC Initial Statement of Information
  • Step 5: Decide on the type of your California LLC
  • Step 6: Make an LLC operating agreement
  • Step 7: Obtain a California LLC EIN
  • Step 8: Obtain LLC licenses and business permits

Qualities to Look For in an LLC Service

An office person using a white laptop on a white table

When forming an LLC in California, understanding the separates a top-tier service from the rest is key.

Consider the following qualities when researching LLC services:

  • Competitive pricing of packages: Establishing a business doesn't have to be unattainable, explore reasonably priced bundles that feature all the essential tools your business needs.
  • Ease of use: Forming a business is much simpler with an LLC formation service that offers an easy-to-use internet interface, providing users with the best possible online experience.
  • Customer support: LLC formation service can provide a smooth and stress-free experience, taking the burden off you with rapid response times.
  • Proven track record: Get the facts before you decide. Using online sources, take a look at customer reviews and track records which will ensuring the firm is reputable and has an excellent background in the field.


How Long Does It Take To Form My LLC in California?

It takes around 3 business days to form your LLC in California by online filing. In-person filing in the California Secretary of State takes around 5 to 6 business days.

How Much Does Forming an LLC Cost in California?

Forming an LLC in California costs $105. The California Secretary of State charges an $85 filing fee for the articles of organization. In addition, the statement of information must be provided within 90 days after the formation of the LLC, with a filing fee of $20.

Do I Need an LLC Service?

Yes, you need an LLC service if you don’t want to deal with all of the paperwork that comes with the LLC formation process. However, the Secretary of State does not require hiring LLC services for your business formation.

Is California a Good Place to Start an LLC?

Yes, California is a good place to start an LLC. LLCs, like those in other states, have limited liability protection, which means they are not personally liable for the company's debts and if the company’s being sued. They also benefit from pass-through taxation and other advantages.

How to Choose the Best LLC Service in California for You...

Though many California LLC formation services may assist you in forming your LLC, based on our personal experience and research, we recommend ZenBusiness.

They are the best choice because of their well-rounded LLC services and customer support. Their services offer an accessible and economical way to get your business off the ground, providing all necessities for success.

We were delighted with the LLC formation service packages, registered agent services, and processing time. Positive reviews from their former clients also testify to this.

Our #1 Recommendation


A ZenBusiness logo with a working entrepreneur in the background
  • Several formation package options available
  • The cost for each plan is reasonable
  • Extended customer support hours
  • They hasten the growth of enterprises
  • Has garnered several positive consumer comments
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of March
  • Brand recognition is lacking

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *