Business-friendly. Registering an LLC. Utah vs. California

Participant in meeting to determine how to make California Secretary of State website even less helpful and more difficult to use.

You may have heard that California isn’t business-friendly while nearby states are. Here’s an example, a comparison showing how Utah is way more friendly than California in the seemingly simple act of registering an LLC. Utah makes it easy and fast, California does not.

How to register an LLC in California

First off, there are no instructions that I could find on the California Secretary of State (CA-SoS) website on how to register an LLC. Why is this? After repeated searching, eHow finally provided a few clues.

Download Form LLC-1 and LLC-12 from this utterly unhelpful CA-SoS page. Fill them out and mail them to the Secretary of State with $70 and $20, respectively. Nowhere on the website is there info on how long the process will take, or on whether to mail both forms at once or wait to hear back on the first filing before sending the second one.

Further, the forms must be mailed in (or dropped off in person at one specific office in Sacramento only. Wow that’s just so helpful for those not in Sacramento.) You can’t fax the forms in either. There is no online registration nor do they take credit cards.

The California Secretary of State website has always been clumsy, unintuitive, and difficult to find information on, whether looking for voter info or how to start a business. It seems to have been designed by trolls whose primary purpose was to hide information and perplex citizens.

How to register an LLC in Utah

Go to Utah One Stop Business Registration. Register the LLC online, paying $70 with a credit card. The LLC will be registered by Utah in as little as 15 minutes, but not more than two days, and generally within 24 hours.

Simple, isn’t it? Utah encourages people to start businesses. California makes it complicated, slow, and seems disinterested in whether anyone actually does. It’s no wonder more than a few businesses are leaving California for low-tax, business-friendly states like Utah and Nevada. Recently Adobe, game company EA, and eBay have announced plans to build major facilities in Utah and quite a few large and mid-sized businesses have simply left California.

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