The California $800 per year minimum franchise tax applies to both corporations and limited liability companies. Many people do not realize, however, that the tax can be avoided – at least, for a short time.
As explained in Franchise Tax Board Publications 1060 (for corporations) and 3556 (for LLCs), there is a “15-day rule” or “15-day exception” stating that the minimum franchise tax need not be paid for an initial tax year if:
- The corporation or LLC was formed (Articles filed with the Secretary of State) during the last 15 days of the entity’s tax year, and
- The entity conducted no business during that period.
So, if an entity has a tax year ending December 31 (as most do), then it can be formed on December 17 or later, and it will not have to pay the California $800 minimum franchise tax until the following year.
Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510 547-0545 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
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