Registering for Business Taxes

Because of the complexity of tax laws and their strict enforcement, it is strongly recommended that companies acquire specific assistance from a certified public accountant or tax attorney regarding tax questions and tax return preparation. You can find more information about this at or accountants or tax attorneys may be found in the local telephone Yellow Pages under “accountants” or “attorneys, taxation law.”

State of California Business Tax Information:

A business operating in California may be liable for taxes based on the company’s annual income. Such taxes are paid to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

A business that registers with the Secretary of State has completed the necessary procedure to register for purposes of annual taxes payable to the FTB. The Secretary of State communicates the registration of the business with the Franchise Tax Board, which in turn sends the company the appropriate forms to file annual taxes.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not subject to a tax, but the owner of a sole proprietorship and the partners of a general partnership pay annual state taxes on their business income at the rate applicable to the owner or partner.

Limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships must pay an annual $800 tax if they conduct business in California, are organized in California, or have registered with the Secretary of State. Tax on income derived from a limited partnership or limited liability partnership is paid by the partner at the rate applicable to the partner.

Limited liability companies classified as partnerships are subject to an annual tax, plus a fee based on total income. LLCs classified as corporations follow corporation rules to pay their annual state tax.

Corporations incorporating or qualifying to do business in California on or after January 1, 2000, will not be subject to the minimum franchise tax for its first year. This exemption from the minimum franchise tax is not applicable to any corporation that reorganizes solely for the purpose of avoiding payment of its minimum franchise tax. Additionally, this new law applies only to corporations, and not any other form of business.

The California Franchise Tax Board offers information on required taxes for each type of business structure at:

Additional Tax Information

Corporate Taxes

Business Tax Information
Read information on taxes that apply to businesses, access detailed instructions, download forms or file your taxes electronically.

General Partnerships
Access information and download California tax forms for General Partnerships.

Limited Partnerships
Access information and download California tax forms for Limited Partnerships.

Limited Liability Partnerships
Access information and download California tax forms for Limited Liability Partnerships.

Limited Liability Companies
Access information and download California tax forms for Limited Liability Companies.

Federal Tax Information from the IRS
Learn all about the types of taxes for different kinds of businesses, from corporations to sole proprietorship. Print or download IRS publications, and file your taxes online.

Employment Taxes

Payroll Tax Information
Find information that will help employers understand the employment tax program.

Payroll Tax Forms
Download or request the payroll tax forms you need.

Payroll Tax Seminars
Access information on tax seminars for employers, including seminar overviews, dates and locations. The California Employment Development Department offers tax seminars to help employers comply with State employment tax laws.

State Forms & Publications on Employment Issues and Taxes
Many State forms and publications on employment issues and taxes are available online.

Federal Employment Tax Requirements for Businesses
Find information on federal employment tax requirements.

Personal Income Taxes

California Tax Information
Get the information you need to understand California individual taxes.

Tax Information from the IRS
Get answers from the IRS about exemptions and learning how to estimate tax liability.

Sales, Property, and Use Taxes

Sales & Use, Property and Special Taxes
Access information on programs, instructions and forms for filing these taxes.

Tax Assistance

Tax Help for Businesses and Individuals
Find the tax information you need from state and federal tax agencies. Link to useful web sites, locate local offices, assistance programs, and toll free numbers to help answer your tax questions.

Payroll Tax Seminars
Take a seminar offered by the Employment Development Department's Tax Offices. These seminars are designed to help employers comply with California payroll tax laws.