This is one of those pieces of paperwork you just have to deal with when you are a startup founder in California.
2023 update: watch out for fraudulent requests to fill out a California Statement of Income. These scams come at you through what looks like official CA mail, but are in fact done by unscrupulous marketers trying to make a quick buck off of busy founders. If you get a mailing saying that you need to pay $125 to file your CA SOI, watch out! We have an entire article on this here.
What is a California Statement of Information?
The California Statement of Information is a mandatory annual report that businesses operating in California must file. This document provides the state with updated information about the company’s participants and activities. The filing fee for the Statement of Information is up to $25, and failure to file on time can result in a hefty penalty of $250.
If your company has employees in California but is headquartered elsewhere, you’ll still need to file a Statement of Information (SOI) with the California Secretary of State. The requirement applies to both domestic companies (those incorporated in the state) and foreign companies (those incorporated outside of California but doing business in the state).
What is Most Important When Filing a California Statement of Information?
There are three really important things to think about when you’re considering filing a California Statement of Information.
The first of which is that this filing, in particular, is super easy. You just need to go to the California website and fill out basic information like your name, your company’s name and, you know, your address. Pretty easy.
But the second thing you need to keep in mind is that there’s no real official due date for these California Statements of Information. You’re only going to be prompted by the state of California with a little white postcard. So do watch out for the mail that’s coming through, you’re going to be tempted to throw away that little white postcard, or ignore it. Pay attention to it, it’s important, it lets you know when your specific due date is. This is one of the reasons you need to have a mailing address if you are a startup!
And then the third thing that you’re going to want to keep in mind is that it costs $25 to do this filing. So it’s super cheap, super easy, so no excuses here. You can do it online, it’s basic information and it only costs 25 bucks. That’s California Statements of Information.
When to File a CA SOI
- Initial Filing: Within 90 days of registering with the California Secretary of State.
- Subsequent Filings: Every year or every two years thereafter, depending on the type of entity.
How to File
- Identify Entity Type: The form and frequency of filing differ for LLCs, corporations, and other types of business entities.
- Collect Required Information: Typically, you’ll need to provide details such as business address, executive names and addresses, and a brief description of the business activity.
- File Online or By Mail: You have the option to complete the filing online or send a physical copy to the California Secretary of State’s office. You really should do it online though, it’s easier. Go here: http://bizfile.sos.ca.gov/
- Pay Filing Fee: The fee varies depending on the type of entity and whether you’re a domestic or foreign company.
Even if your company is not headquartered in California, having employees or a business presence in the state triggers the requirement to file an SOI.
Missing the deadline for filing can result in penalties, which can add up and become burdensome. So stay in compliance, and watch out for that little white postcard that reminds you to file!!
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