Many documents cannot be filed because of name issues, errors, omissions or misstatements contained in the proposed filings submitted to this office. The following filing tips are designed to help you meet the minimum filing requirements of the California Corporations Code. They are not intended to provide legal or business advice. If you have specific legal questions or concerns, please consult a private attorney.

Refer to the applicable document sample or form, available on our Forms, Samples and Fees webpage, for complete filing instructions, fees and any additional requirements.

Name Reservations

For general information about name reservations and name style requirements relating to limited liability companies, please refer to our Name Reservations webpage.

Electronic Signatures

"Electronic signature" typically is defined as meaning an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the electronic record. An electronic signature may be as simple as typing in a name electronically, checking a box indicating an intent to sign or some similar process. However, electronic signatures only are permissible in electronic transactions between consenting parties. The use of an electronic signature requires the agreement of both parties to allow the use of the electronic signature and must be on a document that requires a signature and that is electronic.

Electronic signatures on filings submitted through the Secretary of State's online process are the only electronic signatures that are acceptable for filings with the Secretary of State. Computer generated signatures or fonts made to look like a signature printed on paper filings are not acceptable.

Digital Signatures

A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that requires specific security criteria to be met during the electronic transaction to ensure the signature is from the party it is supposed to be from. Digital signatures use a form of encryption as part of the signature process to ensure the signature cannot be duplicated or impersonated and require the receiving party to have the encryption key to decipher the signature.

Digital signatures are not acceptable for business entity filings made with the California Secretary of State.

Copies

  • For documents with a filing fee of $25.00 or more: Upon filing, we will return one (1) uncertified copy of your filed document for free, and will certify the copy upon request and payment of a $5.00 certification fee at the time of submission. To get additional copies, include a separate request and payment for copy fees when the document is submitted. Copy fees are $1.00 for the first page and $.50 for each additional page. For certified copies, there is an additional $5.00 certification fee, per copy.
  • For documents with no filing fee or a filing fee that is less than $25.00: To get a copy of the filed document, include a separate request and payment for copy fees when the document is submitted for filing. Copy fees are $1.00 for the first page and $.50 for each additional page. For certified copies, there is an additional $5.00 certification fee, per copy.
  • For information about ordering copies after a document has been filed, go to Information Requests.

Filing Options

The completed form/document, along with the applicable filing fee, can be submitted to our Sacramento office:(1) by mail; (2) dropped off at our public counter along with a separate non–refundable $15 special handling fee; or (3) dropped off at our public counter using our preclearance and/or expedited filing services. The preclearance and/or expedited filing of the document within a guaranteed time frame can be requested for a specified non–refundable fee (in lieu of the special handling fee). See Service Options to determine which service will meet your needs. Check(s) should be made payable to the Secretary of State.