6 California Business Address Facts
Every New Business Owner Should Know
Ready to form your California LLC or corporation? We legal scriveners are excited for you. But first, here are six things you need to know about the California business address requirement.
When you form a California LLC or corporation, you have to list a business address.
You have to list a California business address when you file articles of organization or incorporation with the California Secretary of State. A California business address could be the place where you actually put in the hours – your storefront, commercial office, or even your home – but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, that’s an easy way to put your personal info on the public record. Hiring a company with a permanent business address in California can help keep your personal information private. More on this below.
You can’t use a PO box as your business address in California.
California won’t let you use a PO box for your business address on your formation documents. In fact, the California Secretary of State will reject your filing if you try listing one. The business address you list on your articles of formation or organization must be a physical address in California.
You can probably use your home address as your CA business address. That doesn’t mean you should.
If you don’t work out of a commercial office, shop, or storefront, you might be tempted just to use your home address. After all, it’s free! And chances are, using your home address is also totally legitimate. However, you should check your local zoning laws and HOA rules to be sure there are no regulations that prohibit you from running a business out of your home.
Even if you can use your home address as your business address, there are quite a few reasons you might not want to.
Your California business address will become part of the public record.
The moment the California Secretary of State processes your filing and your LLC or corporation is officially formed, your business address will be posted on the California Secretary of State’s website for all the world to see.
This means that anyone can look up where you live. Maybe no one will look it up. Maybe someone will. Maybe they’ll just peek at your house on Google Street View, or maybe they’ll drive by. Maybe a disgruntled customer will show up on your front porch while you’re making dinner. We really, really hope not, but we’ve heard stories.
One thing is sure to happen: junk mail. The address you list here is going to get slammed with junk mail. Maybe the occasional mailer or credit card offer doesn’t bug you, but imagine getting tons of junk mail every day – for years.
Once your home address is out there, there’s no taking it back. Make sure you’re okay with that before you list your home address as your business address. If you’re not, we can help. Hire us and you can use your business address instead.
Changing your business address in California is sort of annoying.
It’s an oft-repeated fact: moving is among the most stressful experiences most people will have in their entire lives. If you’re a business-owner in California and you’re moving, you’ll have to add one more task to your moving to-do list: changing your California business address with the SOS.
If you hire us and use our business address, you can move as many times as you want and you’ll never have to update the Secretary of State.
A permanent CA business address helps build a reputation for stability.
Like we said earlier: anyone can look up your business address online. Potential customers, clients, investors, vendors, random strangers – any of them might scope out your business’s record online. If you’ve moved around a lot, they’re going to see that. It might impact their decision to hire you or go with a competitor with a steadier record.
If you hire us for California registered agent service and use our business address, the public will see one business address. A long history at one address can project an image of trustworthiness and stability. It says, “I’ve had this address for years. I’m not going anywhere.”